Jest For Fun
Dad likes to tell the story of the first time he kissed my mother. When he leaned over to plant the memorable smooch, his lunch betrayed him and a loud burp escaped. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that mom was not impressed.
Also referred to as belches and the lesser-known “eructations,” burps have a way of occurring at the most inopportune times.
Meteorologist Shawn Cable embarrassed himself during a live weathercast from Sioux Falls, S. D. “Did I just belch on the air?” he asked his amused co-worker and the viewing audience after an unexpected eruption.
Another guy recalls the time his high school class observed a few moments of silence for someone who had passed away. As he tells it, “I felt this atomic burp building up in my throat.” Despite his best efforts to curb it, it rushed to the surface and lasted “at least 10 seconds.”
Of course, some people make no attempts to hold back. They belch whenever and wherever they feel the urge, regardless of who may be present. Then they casually return to business as usual.
Still others burp on purpose. Don’t ask me why, but I watched a YouTube video of World Burping Champion Paul Humm, whose belch measured a full 118 decibels.
Luckily YouTube videos only “appeal”–and I use the term loosely—to our sense of sight and sound. Let’s hope technology never evolves enough to bring us the aroma of a radish burp.
Among those who belch at will is a Toronto woman who auditioned for “Canada’s Got Talent”. Recalls the show’s producer, “All she did was burp.” Alas, her gas was not chosen.
As a legal secretary, I heard more than my share of emissions in the audios I transcribed. “Gentlemen. [rumble, rumble] The purpose of this [rumble, rumble] letter is to [burp] notify you that [belch] my client…”
On it went till the dictation ended or the gas subsided, whichever came first. I remember feeling eternally grateful for Memorex tapes, or I would have had to endure the gutteral performance in person.
When my husband and I embrace, I have this habit of patting his back, which often results in a minor belch. “I burped you,” I told him the other day. “Good thing I didn’t pat you any lower.”
Now, that’s a whole ‘nother column.