Regular readers will know that I am the owner of a colostomy, following a surgical re-design of my internal drainage system a few years ago. In the early days, one of the downsides of this was that the inadvertant breaking of wind was a fairly regular occurrence. Since I switched to a colonic irrigation system, this rather embarrassing characteristic has largely disappeared - but not totally. I've mentioned before that when in Church or in the presence of Royalty, I keep a firm hand on the stoma as an insurance policy. It was David Melding AM, a man of great historical knowledge who reminded me some years ago that the Earl of Oxford felt it necessary to leave the country for 10 years after breaking wind in front of Queen Elizabeth 1.
I was out leafleting earlier tonight. As I approached Sarah's house, she saw me coming and opened the door in a most welcoming way, with her three young children in close attendance. My stoma spoke. Neither Sarah nor I said anything. But her 4 year old son looked me in the eye, and said "You farted". About 5 seconds of silence ensued, before Sarah and I collapsed in laughter. 5 years ago I would have been mortified. That's progress I suppose, of a sort.