By Marilyn Kentz


One hot summer day, the neighborhood kids were all swimming in our pool. The little
girls were swimming in the shallow end pretending they were otters. One was playing
the mommy otter and the other two were sister otters. The mommy otter was teaching
her children how to swim on their backs with clams on their chests.
Meanwhile, the boys were seeing how far into the middle of the pool they could jump. I
heard an inventive Billy exclaim, “I know… I’ll fart!”  Apparently he thought his gas would
propel him farther into the pool.

I just don’t get it. Do you think passing gas is funny? Every single time?  On any given
night my two boys would be cutting them, laughing, imitating them, laughing, lighting
them, laughing, “hey…pull my finger”. Gas can be endless entertainment for boys. If I
should let one little bubble slip out, they’d be horrified. Everyone would yell “MOM!” in
an accusatory tone.

They are grown men now, and my oldest often brings up a bitter memory. It was a time
when they were ten and eleven years old. It was a hectic evening and the boys were
being wild as usual – intermittent squabbles, followed by chasing, roughhousing,
laughing and barking at one another. My husband and I had set their chicken patty
burgers on the dining room table and went back in the kitchen to get the fries and

“Aaron farted on my chicken-patty!” announced an angry Richie.

“Just sit down and eat!” was the simultaneous response from both my husband and

“Are you KIDDING?”

“Do we look like we’re kidding? Just eat and then finish your homework.” We didn’t want
to hear one more complaint.

“But….” Richie tried to protest.


Now, we never really believed Aaron had time to do such an awful deed, but to this day
we cannot gather round a dinner table without Richie reliving that horrid experience.
He’s about to have his first child. I really hope it’s a boy. And I hope he has another
one. It’s the only way he’ll ever see his way to forgiveness .


Marilyn Kentz has dedicated her career to supporting women.  During the 90’s she co-developed and appeared in The Mommies comedy show and later in the TV series.  She has co-authored three books to both empower women and give them a reason to laugh at life with her. Today she is a ghostwriter, an artist, a parent educator, and she facilitates several women’s support groups. Since her children became young adults and are out on their own, Marilyn now lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband, four Chihuahuas, two cats and two tortoises.

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