I got older yesterday. Birthdays don’t make you older, of course. Children do that, even adult ones. But they remind you that you’re getting older. Birthdays function like mileposts marking the distance you have travelled. Just think of them as “time-posts” instead.
Since I passed a time-post, I think it appropriate for me to share my latest creative work as a dad and grandpère. Interestingly, the more time-posts I pass, the deeper I go into dad joke territory. I can’t help myself. And I say grandpère not only to be pretentious but because I leave for France in a few days and will convert this site into something of a travel blog. As they used to say at the auto repair shop, stay tuned.
Within dad joke territory lies a wooded dell, not large but rich with fauna and flora, of magic tricks. That dads do magic tricks is a self-evident truth on the order of saying that water is wet. Who would argue with you? Usually, they perform them for small children who have not yet attained the age of reason or the age of the eye roll, whose onset can occur as early as ten. I use the word “onset” as you would to describe an infectious disease. Also, small children love even the lamest of tricks.
I had a granddaughter over the other day. She’s five going on fifteen. Once we got through ice cream cups, Hershey Kisses, Paw Patrol on my battered iPad, and a conversation about why the sky is blue (I told her God did that to match her eyes), I came up with the brilliant idea of showing her magic tricks.
I started with a card trick involving the joker in a deck I had gotten in Vegas, threw a Hershey Kiss ridiculously high into the air and caught it in my mouth, and asked her to pick a number between 2 and 3 (answer 2.5). I saved the pièce de résistance for farting peanut butter. In all honesty, I had been promoting this trick in advance, announcing it to all my grandkids. Being in the anal stage of development and loving a good gag, they responded enthusiastically and even shared their own heinie, butt, and poop jokes.
On a related note, I’ve been showing them how to spit and hang upside down from a tree limb, not necessarily at the same time but not necessarily not at the same time. The difficulty of doing the latter is that you’re liable to spit up your nose, which can be most unpleasant. My daughters allow this as long as the kids wear sunscreen. That’s modern parenting for you.
Here’s how to make peanut butter fart. It doesn’t matter where you buy your peanut butter (assuming you don’t make it from scratch), although you’ll need the organic, non-GMO, gluten free, unmixed kind. You can find it in most places. I usually go to Safeway, since my conscience won’t allow me to spend eight dollars on a jar of “all natural” anything somewhere else (e.g., Whole Foods). Stir the peanut butter with a butterknife or spoon to mix it. After mixing, screw the lid back on and place the jar in the back of your cupboard upside down.
Anybody who’s taken a junior high school science class knows where I’m going with this. By storing the jar upside down, a bubble of air forms at the top (bottom) of the jar. When you retrieve it to amaze the kids in your neighborhood, turn it right-side up again. Then remove the lid. The air bubble, now at the bottom, slowly rises to the surface, churning the peanut butter into what looks incredibly like a fart.
If parents object, substitute belching for farting, although the little crowd gathered around you will find this less appealing. You just can’t go wrong with farts no matter how much parents object. Who knows, maybe it’s because they object that farting as a topic of conversation and humor is so effective in the first place.
You are now ready to perform your first farting peanut butter trick. As for me, I am at work on a new act. Maybe it will be ready for Halloween. It involves balancing a jar of peanut butter (a pumpkin?) on my head while dancing in a circle and pretending to fart. If I can perfect it without injuring myself or anyone else, it’ll bring the house down.
Image credits: feature by Tetiana Bykovets; jar with knife by Steve Buissinne. Want more? Go to Robert Brancatelli. The Brancatelli Blog is a member of The Free Media Alliance, which promotes “alternatives to software, culture, and hardware monopolies.”