One of my favorite stories written by one of my favorite writers about some of my favorite people.
By Blake Kimzey
If you like stories that involve a church sanctuary, Down Syndrome, Pete, and farting, this story is for you:
So we'd been reading The DaVinci Code. You remember the book. This boob, Dan Brown, raised a question about the divinity of Jesus and, through the plotting of the novel, suggests that Jesus left behind a bloodline. I knew it was Fiction. So did Pete and Danielle. But the book made us stop and think for a moment about the idea that maybe Jesus had a wife, a kid, a house, and a patchwork of sod banded by a white picket fence and was living the American Dream. And the rest of the nation for a period of months wondered about this possibility and needed a lot of Today Show interviews and Op-Ed pieces in The Christian Science Monitor to sort it all out.
So me, Pete, Danielle, and Heather go to Northwest Bible Church to hear a panel of Dallas Theological Seminary experts refute the entire book. Like any good church function, there are plenty of generic refreshments provided. So the four of us mulled around the lobby for a bit, eating cheese cubes from Albertson's and sipping small Dixie cups of flat Cola and making snarky comments about how seriously everyone is taking The DaVinci Code. Everyone there is white, most are wearing some form of Khaki, and everyone seems a little embarrassed that this book has rattled them enough to attend a DaVinci Code lecture series.
After we'd all had our fill of off-brand Oreo's, we filed into the sanctuary and sat in the back, where we could snicker and make eyes with each other as needed. Predictably enough, the DTS Bible Nerds put holes in The DaVinci Code within the first few minutes and start getting granular, talking about the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Biblical-era writings that were left out of the Bible for one reason or another. The DTS guys are all wearing tweed, maybe in a nod to the Dan Brown's author photo, maybe not. What they're saying is interesting and it all starts to feel a little Indiana Jonesy, all this ancient fact checking that in the end produces a pretty solid time line of events. We're feeling good about following Jesus and start to feel reassured that he didn't leave a bloodline.
About ten minutes into the talk this sweet kid with Down Syndrome, maybe 14 or 15 years old, with a fistful of cheese cubes and a face streaked with some sort of chip residue, sits down next to Pete. When I say sits down next to Pete I mean wedges his stout little body between Pete and the nine inches before the end of the pew so that he basically has one buttcheek on Pete's thigh and one cheek off. The kid looks at Pete and smiles real big, broadcasting a mouthful of cheese and saliva that had probably been hanging out in his mouth for the last five minutes and desperately needed to be swallowed.
But Pete's no misanthrope so he doesn't move or glance at the kid in a "Guy?" get off of my thigh kind of look. But Pete does look at me with a "Guy?" look on his face and then down the row at Danielle and Heather with the same "Guy?" look. Were all looking at the kid and thinking "Guy?" and the kid is looking back at us like, "Hey, I'd give you some of this cheese if it weren't so effing good and in such short supply."
At this point we're all starting to mouth-breathe with laughs because this kid is making fast friends with Pete, still sitting on Pete's thigh and eating dairy like it doesn't have to be rationed at all because there are still a couple trays of cheese in the lobby and probably some chips too. Another minute passes. More PowerPoint slides bloom into focus on the giant screen at the front of the sanctuary. Then the kid points at the stage and in an outside-voice declares, "That's my dad, that guy is my dad!"
Pete, ever the camp counselor, whispers back at the kid, "That's cool." A couple people sitting in front of us glance back in our direction with looks meant to scold us into silence and to non-verbally convey the following generic statement: "Can it, the DTS guy is getting to the meat and potatoes of this whole Dan-Brown-Jesus deal."
So we can it. Then all of the sudden the kid lifts up the buttcheek that is on Pete's thigh and rattles out a come-to-Jesus-loud fart that seems to vibrate every church pew in the sanctuary. It was a heroic fart that had to tickle Pete because the initial shockwave bounced off of Pete's thigh before perfuming the entire sanctuary. And the best part, aside from Pete getting farted on and the sheer thunder-like quality of The Fart, is that this kid doesn't even seem to notice he's just passed gas. He simply lowers his buttcheek down so that it is once again resting somewhat warmly on Pete's thigh. In go a couple more cheese cubes into the kids' mouth and he looks like he's feeling like a million bucks.
In the seconds immediately following The Fart we were holding in our laughter and trying to expel any smelly air from our persons by breathing heavily out of our nostrils, pushing the air out with incredible force. Anyone who has smelled an adolescent boy's dairy fart knows the gravity of the situation.
Pete is tearing up by this point and trying to pinch the bridge of his nose to somehow contain his laughter. His face is red and he can't breathe. At first none of us can look at the kid but then gradually each of us glance at him and the kid has no clue he has just disrupted his dad's presentation with A Nuke. Pete can't believe he's just been farted on. Neither can any of us, and our laughter starts to grow louder and people all around the sanctuary start to look back at us and then the people nearest to us, who are scowling, start to crinkle their noses at The Fart and its amazing dairy quality. Some people are even sniffing at the air in an investigative manner as if this very smell should be bottled somehow and studied for its pungency.
I look at Pete and his cheeks are streaked with tears and he's looking at me like "Guy?" and I'm looking at him like "Guy?" and we know this is a story we'll tell for the rest of our lives. The kid is still sitting on Pete's thigh, finishing up his remaining cheese cubes, and down front, the kid's dad is tearing Dan Brown a new one.