Some people will try to list the greatest discoveries in the history of humanity. As I was channel surfing the other day, I saw a show on the History Channel about the wheel. It was tracing the origins of the wheel back through time as the narrator proclaimed it to be the greatest invention in the history of the world. Since I had to choose between Elmer Fudd tracking that wascally wabbit and the wheel, I never found out whether it really was that important.
One man was on the television the other night declaring that the computer was the greatest technological breakthrough of all ages. As he demonstrated all the things that can be done with the computer, it was beginning to make sense to me. I felt that this man must really have a point when he declared he had a dream to see computers in every home, not only in America, but also in the entire world. Of course, some of the people would need electricity first. All of this sounded like the work of a caring visionary, until I actually looked up from the Internet game I was playing and saw that I was listening to Bill Gates. So much for the credibility of that theory.
As impressive as those may be they cannot hold a candle to the greatest discovery of all time: Beano. This amazing medicine makes a preemptive strike against the natural gas found in the people who are always given the middle seat on flights of two hours or more. I cannot tell you how often that little pill has saved me from embarrassing moments. Before I discovered Beano I often found that I was sitting alone in church in my own pew. But now I have a pill that keeps flatulence at bay.
Looking back at my childhood, I wish I had known then what I know now. More accurately, I wish my father knew then what I know now. He had several foods that he loved; however, there was one food that he loved more than all others combined: Kidney Bean Salad. We called it Skunk Surprise. I lived in fear for two days after that. There was one thing my Dad would say that would make maggots for miles around squirm away to the perfume of a poop pile. He would point at me and say, “Come here and pull my finger.” After years of therapy I can once again bear the sight of an index finger without going into hysterics and falling on the floor in a fetal position, sucking my thumb and begging for the green clouds to go away. But I digress.
Thanks to a team of psychiatrists, a skilled nasal doctor and several surgeries, I recovered from my childhood trauma. Nevertheless, there are still children out there – mostly in Alabama – who still suffer from a father who can make himself levitate in ways that David Blaine never dreamed. With the proper precautions, they can avoid the hardships that so many of us endured during that less technologically advance age. First thing you kids need to do is to go to any store with a pharmacy. I’d recommend looking for a store with the word PHARMACY written on the side of the building. That is usually a good clue. Once you have entered the store, go to the section where they keep the Pepto Bismol. Get some of that to take care of your churning stomach from dad’s antics after the double-bean burritos he ate last night.
Now look a little further and you will see Gas-X. This is NOT what dad needs. That, kiddies, is for someone who is having gas pains and needs to find some way to get rid of the methane within. Just remember: you are the one in pain. Dad feels really good! Near the Gas-X you will see two little bottles with the name Beano on it. This is your Ark of the Covenant and Holy Grail all rolled into one, Indy. There is the smaller size that has only 30 tablets. This is fine for someone like you who may have an occasional toot. For dad you need the 60-count size. I have sent a letter to the Beano people requesting a slightly larger size for exceptionally gassy people. I received a rather terse and narrow-minded reply. They said that 50,000 pills is not a feasible size for shelving purposes.
Now take your purchases to the counter. You may notice that the Beano is roughly the same price as a year at Harvard Law School. Don’t worry about that. If you do not take care of the toxic fumes at home you will not live long enough to be rejected by Harvard. After taking out a student loan to pay for the Beano, take it home and hide it someplace safe. I’d recommend putting it where you put the cigarette loads you occasionally sneak into dad’s cigarettes and blame it on his best friend. By the way, never put three in one cigarette. I tried that experiment one time and discovered that those loads also work well as facial reconstruction implements. Perhaps facial demolitions would be a better description. Don’t worry, it only blew up while my parents were entertaining their new friends. Now that I think about it, I never saw those people again.
The next time your mother decides to punish you by fixing your dad her infamous New Orleans Red Beans and Rice casserole with boiled cabbage on the side, you will be ready. Take some of the Beano and palm it in your hand. The directions recommend three pills; however, I’d recommend using the whole stinking bottle for that explosive meal! If you have siblings you can trust – or who are suffering from the same maltreatment as you – have one of them cause a distraction. Some so-called experts in the field of distraction will tell you a spilled glass of milk is sufficient to distract everyone at the table. That has a slight chance of working, but dad may not even think it is worth crying about and will not even stop the scoop shovel going to his mouth with all of those beans and cabbage. I recommend a fire at the very least, but a small tactical nuclear warhead in the living room in even better. Little things like fires and massive radiation will get his attention and make him get up from the dinner table. While he is gone, put all the Beano you can into his beer. (Of course he is drinking a beer with this meal!)
The Beano uses space age technology to stop the flatulent one before he can become armed and dangerous. I think it uses enzymes, parasites or some kind of nano-technology to stop the gas. Just think of the pain and suffering we can stop with this life-saving piece of technology. No more children must suffer needlessly at the hands of a sadistic father who…Wait a second! That chili I had for supper is getting to me. Hey son! Come here and pull my finger.