When you live and work in close physical proximity to others, the phrases – ‘Excuse me’, ‘Beg your pardon’, ‘Bless you’ will oft be heard and said.

Then there’s the apologetic (and dreaded)  – ‘I wouldn’t go in there for five minutes if I were you’

In certain situations no warning or apology is given. (Yes, I’m talking about the infamous SBD – Silent But Deadly)

Elevators and crowded train carriages in particular are places where the guilty culprit can only be identified by slight reddening or sudden fascination with a newspaper or the ceiling.

Here’s a tip. Look at everyone else. The person who won’t meet your eye will almost certainly be the culprit.

Between couples or families any vain attempt to hide the ‘guff’ or ‘trump’ is met with derision and defamation. ‘You dirty b****d!’ or ‘What’s wrong with you?’ will be cried. However, many people turn this around and take pride in their foul-smelling emanations or ability to burp the alphabet.

Are you a secret farter or would you enter an olympic event if it existed?

The cries for forgiveness  and the subsequent ‘letting off’ far outweigh the crime in my opinion.

‘Bless you’ when someone sneezes. Really? Is the expulsion of snot a divine gift?

‘I beg your pardon’ – Prisoners on death row receive a pardon. Of course, if you fart in the presence of the queen, it is the appropriate plea.

‘Excuse me’ – from the Latin excusare. Again, originally used to beg forgiveness for a dire transgression.

I like more modern phrasing. For example, if you didn’t enjoy this piece, I would say to you –

‘Get over it’…

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