The only problem with the sound insulating quality of my new headphones is it's very hard to judge how loud you are talking if you have them in.
This is compounded when talking, which I often do, both metaphorically and physically, out of my arse.
Walking through the underground to work this morning, music on, and in a world of my own, I felt the familiar gentle pressure in my colon, and despite the fact that I knew someone was a few steps behind me, and another person approaching, I relaxed slightly to reduce the pressure. This is normal practice when farting in public. A slow controlled release whilst carefully listening for any tell tale signs that it's coming from you. If silent, just carry on regardless, and if it smells, just keep that poker face and look accusingly at everyone else. It was easy to get away with on an elderly care ward, and still pretty easy in most areas of the hospital.
But this morning I was in a staff only section, and had forgotten the key flaw in my usual fool proof plan. I couldn't hear my own arsehole.
And even more foolishly, in my early morning fug of confusion and low caffeine content, I got cocky. Hearing no noises myself, I started to relax my sphincter....
As a child growing up, we had several different words for farts based on the noise, or lack of noise they made.
A pleb was a small staccato fart, audible, but not overly wet.
A veep was one of my favourites. A long high pitched whine through very tight arse cheeks, and often slightly moist - as best demonstrated by Gav Hatt onto Matts head. It even gave it's name to a character in the Spanish role plays me and Nick used to have to do for GCSE. I have fond memories of the exploits of Senor Sticky Veep and Senor Eggy Guffer at the cafe Jumbo Whiffy.
A whiff was not just a smell, it was the gentle breeze of a warm, but silent fart - like the Mistral blowing through your pants.
And a quack was about as onomatopeic as it gets. Like a large duck stuffed down the back of your trousers. Expulsed at a forceful high speed to maximise the volume and pitch, it also held the inherent danger of following through, ripping your ringpiece, or even both.
So what started as a whiff this morning, transmogrified into a veep as I grew in confidence, until with a probable strained expression on my face I tightened up every muscle in my abdomen and turned it into a full blown quack.
If I was sat on a chair I'd have been rolling onto one cheek...
I can only assume from the disgusted look on the woman approaching me that she could hear what I could not. Poker faced, I walked on - avoiding eye contact.
And the woman behind me was stepping into the vapour trail so obvious that I may have well attached a Red Arrows style paint job to - I certainly wasn't about to look around and check if she was also glaring.
But I'm sure she could also hear the other thing that escaped my ears. The sound of me giggling like a child at a fart that I was more proud of than ashamed, and just wishing I'd had the pleasure of hearing it myself.