Sunday, August 7, 2011


With all my focus on the excitement when we landed here in Rochester, I forgot to mention a funny incident as we were clearing immigration in Los Angeles.

Because we hold dual citizenship, we are lucky enough to always get in the shorter lines both in the US and Oz. Well, not quite so lucky this trip.

It wasn't a long queue leading up to passport inspection, but it had snaked back so we were standing beside the people about 8 ahead of us in line. Tired after a 14-hour flight, no one was saying much. And then we all heard it. The unmistakable rat-a-tat-tat of gas escaping from the Valley of the Cheeks.

It was fairly easy to figure out who the culprit was because the woman next to us acted out of reflex, taking a step backwards from the man in front of her and grimacing as if the smell of the flatus that was wafting her way might very well prove to be lethal.

That quick thinking undoubtedly saved her from distress, and no further noises were heard - except for the odd snuffly sound a dozen or so people make when they are all trying hard not to laugh out loud but trying at the same time not to breathe through their nose. As the great Benny Hill knew all too well, there just isn't anything quite as funny as a fart.

When the culprit made it to the immigration agent, he came under a lot of questioning until finally the agent rose from her chair and escorted him into some sort of detention area marked "For Further Questioning". I assume I was not the only one who was pretty sure that this further questioning was in no way related to his expulsion of gas. But this being US Immigration, I also was not 100% certain that farting in public may now be one of the actions that marks you as a suspicious person.

Or perhaps immigration officers just perform this as a public service, acting as Fart Police who remove guilty transgressors from public areas. At any rate, LK and I were especially relieved when we cleared passport control. Neither of us had any desire to sit in a small room with that guy.

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