A Suburban Dad's Guest Blog: All Things Must Pass

By Rick Kaempfer

I made a comment on my Facebook status update yesterday about Theo Epstein’s arrival in Chicago, and it somehow degenerated into a discussion of passing gas with my Facebook friends.

I have to admit, this sort of thing happens to me a lot. The subject matter isn’t my favorite, but it sort of wafts out at times that it shouldn’t, if you know what I mean. I’m going to put the blame where it belongs: spending every waking moment with three growing boys.

It really is like a locker room in this house. A reference like this can come at any time from any of my boys. One incident is my favorite.

I was driving (then 7-year-old) Sean over to my mother’s house, when he said: “Dad, I think you need a hearing aid.”

I’ve actually been thinking the same thing, so I didn’t fight him on it at first.

“That’s thanks to 30 plus years of rock and roll, buddy. It takes a toll on your hearing after awhile. That’s why I tell you turn down your headphones.”

“But you’re almost completely deaf,” he said.

“I am not,” I countered. “I can hear you now. My hearing isn’t what it used to be, but…”

“YES YOU ARE!” he insisted. “You didn’t even hear what just happened.”

OK, he got me there. I had no idea what he was talking about.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“I just farted sooooo loud,” he explained totally seriously, “and the bubble in my butt was sooooo big, that it almost lifted me up off the car seat, and I’m wearing a seat belt. You didn’t even hear it, did you?”

I tried not to smile, because he was truly concerned.

“How do you know I didn’t hear it?” I asked.

“Because you didn’t turn around and say ‘Excuse yourself, Sean.’”


“I must admit,” I said. “I didn’t hear it.”

“It was the loudest fart of all-time, dad. You need a hearing aid.”

He’s probably right; I will eventually need a hearing aid. But in this case, it wasn’t the 30-plus years of rock and roll that caused my hearing loss. It was the 16-plus years of being a father of boys. Some things happen so often, you don’t even hear them anymore.

My 16-plus years of experience also gave me the wisdom not to question the all-time status of his flatulence.

The last thing I needed was a competition.

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