To the guy at the gym who thinks his headphones mask his farts,
You may not remember me, but you should. I’m the guy that passed out next to you on the Stairmaster at the gym two weeks ago. I just woke from my coma and the horrible memories came flooding back to me. I remember the most important thing of all. This was all your fault.
Do you really think that wearing those gigantic can headphones makes you exempt from the rules of public flatulence? Like they’re a silencer on a gun and you’re some Navy SEAL sniper freeing the oppressed? I have news for you, my friend. You’re dead wrong. I see you pull those headphones on and take your first step and I know all hell is about to break loose.
For one, just because you have your headphones on, it doesn’t make your farts silent! It’s like hearing Tora! Tora! Tora! in full surround sound while it claims just as many victims. Army veterans at the gym have suffered minor bouts of PTSD when they chose a machine near you. But don’t worry; you have your headphones on. So no matter how loud and boisterous your ass clap is, to you, it’s silent. I mean can’t you feel the ripple effect? You can’t possibly believe those are actually silent.
Second, the smell. Oh my God, the smell. I don’t care how loud the Nickelback in your headphones is playing, there’s no way you can’t smell the foul odor released a few feet south of your little rat nose. Are you numb to smell? Sure, the gym has fans constantly circulating air, but you have even managed to overpower the fans at times. Remember the gym blackout last year? You managed to short circuit the gym’s backup power. You may think the fans would help, but instead they managed to make things worse, spreading it amongst the gym patrons. But don’t worry, you’re happily climbing the Stairmaster, rocking out while the rest of us struggle to breathe. I’ll even give you the benefit of the doubt that maybe, just maybe those are noise-canceling headphones, but they’re not smell-canceling.
Third, that last one sounded a little wet. Maybe you can’t hear them, maybe you can’t smell them, but you have to be able to have felt that. Hell, I’m twenty feet away and I felt it. I don’t want to think about it any longer, but seriously, that was disgusting. I don’t think the machines are all that need to be wiped down.
Can you imagine the power of all of these travesties wrapped into one shell shock-inducing blast? Unfortunately for me, I don’t have to imagine it. I lived it. That’s what put me here in the head trauma ward. I was minding my own business, building up a good sweat when it happened. I saw you begin to put on your headphones, but I had nowhere to go. I had just two hundred more steps to reach my goal for the day. I surely could survive whatever biological warfare you were carrying with you. I was wrong.
As soon as the headphones were on, your arsenal was released. I became woozy and began to lose my balance on my Stairmaster. The smell engulfed my lungs and I struggled to breathe. I tried to gasp for air, but that only made matters worse. You weren’t the least bit affected by this, as your headphones make you oblivious to all of those around you. I reached for the stop button on my machine but it was too late. I fell from my Stairmaster, hitting my head on each step on the way down. The stairs continued their rotation, slapping my head with each and every step, while you continued on farting and walking as I blacked out. Two weeks laterI woke up here, in the head trauma ward.
I’m sure you think you’re a nice guy, but your fellow gym patrons have had enough. Your headphones are not a magical fart suppressor. Please see to it that you attend to your extreme flatulence in private and don’t violate our personal airspace.
Head Trauma Patient #246
(Previously published on Robot Butt by Tim Drake)