Down East 2013 ©
So, I’m at Mikey’s Meat Market on Saturday. I buy the basic stuff down to our A&P, of course: ground turkey, chicken breasts and the like. But when it comes to steak, roasts and such, I go to Mikey’s. It’s a good old fashioned meat market with people behind the counter who really know their stuff, including how long to cook just about anything you’re buying.
Plus, they carry that Iowa Stock Yard pork, which you have to taste to believe. As you know, I’m kind of a pork fanatic. It is the food of my people, after all. This Iowa pork? Manna from heaven, far as I’m concerned. I’m particularly partial to the center cut loin pork chops. Broil ‘em or throw ‘em on the grill; you can practically cut these babies with a fork.
So anyways, I’m waiting in line. It’s all fellas in the shop, behind the counter and as customers, except for me and Mildred Campbell. We’re standing side by side, both staring into the meat case. I’m considering how many pork chops I should buy, and maybe I’ll get a porterhouse steak while I’m here, when Mildred farts. I mean, she just lets her rip, a two-part fart, loud, long and uninhibited. It was an epic fart, the kind you usually reserve for when you’re all by your lonesome.
All I can think is that Mildred forgot where she was. That she was so deep into thinking about what she was going to make for supper, doing the higher math of how many pounds of whatever she should buy, she forgot she was standing in line at Mikey’s Meat Market.
But the sound of her fart must have startled Mildred, and brought her back to reality. She turns and looks at me in horror, her hands up to her face, and goes, “Oh, Ida! I’m so sorry. That one just got away from me!”
I try to console her. “It’s OK, Millie. Happens to the best of us. I’m just thinkin’ that meat must be lookin’ pretty good to get you that worked up.”
“Gettin’ old’s no picnic, Ida.”
“Ain’t that the truth.”
And that’s it. We both go back to starin’ at the meat case. Fireworks over. Except every once in awhile when I start thinking about what I happen, and I feel the laughter start to build inside me and have to turn my head away from Millie. Why is a fart funny? I don’t know, it just is. Plus, there was the expression on Millie’s face when she’d realized what she’d done.
Finally, it’s my turn. I order my pork chops and porterhouse, and make a break for the door. Millie’s still in there, placing her order.
The minute I get outside, I just explode into laughter. I mean, uncontrollable. Marcel Bartley’s getting out of his truck, and he starts laughing, too, and he has no idea what’s so funny. That’s the kind of contagious laughing fit I had. I’m still laughing when I get in my car, and it continues, off and on, all the way home. Listen, it took me three tries to tell the story to Charlie, ‘cause I’d get laughing so hard. I couldn’t talk!
Thinkin’ back, the strangest part of this story is that not one of them fellas at Mikey’s Meat Market acknowledged the incident. I mean, they had to have heard it. It was big, two-part fart. But it was like we were in a movie or something. Everything’s going on as usual, except for Mildred and me, out of time, sharing this private moment that one else can see or hear.
You know, it’s been a few days now, but every time I think of the expression on Mildred’s face, I just about spit a gut.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!