You want to know how awesome my childhood was? When I was a kid, nearly every year my family would vacation on the Gulf of Mexico in Fort Myers Beach, Florida to a resort called The Pink Shell. While, like normal families, we did enjoy playing in the sand and the waves, much of the time spent on vacation was actually causing mischief. Nearly every year, my dad, my sister, my brother and I would take a walk down to a store chock full of rude toys and buy the worst of the worst. With stink bombs and fart machines in hand, we ran back to the hotel ready for pranking. After realizing that the stink bombs faded too quickly in the ocean breeze and the fart machine could rarely be heard over the waves and traffic, we migrated to the quiet confines of the hotel elevator where we unleashed hell on unsuspecting victims. My sister with the fart machine in her pocket, me with the remote, my brother with his heel ready to crack the stink bomb, and my dad the supervisor/instigator, we all had our roles. The farter had no idea what kind of mayhem the holder of the remote was going to unleash, and that vulnerability only added to the fun. Oftentimes the omnipotent remote holder would scroll through all seven farts on the little black speaker of flatulence before the victims could escape. Sometimes our laughter couldn’t be restrained and like a contagion would spread to each of us until we were all crippled by the giggling in front of our victims. A resort attracting international vacationers, we established a good name for Americans and the American family. Hopefully someday, with updated technology and farts that don’t sound robotic, I’ll venture into an airtight box with offspring of my own and show them that no one is ever too old to laugh.
I found this video tonight and is the only time I felt nostalgia from imitation fart noises. It reminded me and amazed me of all the fun that I have had so far in my life. My memories of my family’s adventures at the Pink Shell Resort are among my first and are surely to remain till the last. While they may seem so simple and childish to an outsider, they are euphoric to me. They remind me of a somewhat forgotten tie to my family, the many years that we grew up alongside each other, whether growing from children into adolescents or as parents. I recognize that no matter how much crap there was in the time between innocence and respect, we have always had that innate desire for joy and laughter, no matter how obscured at times. I see that the pains of close siblings and arrogant adolescence were never inspired by harm but were simple misguided actions. Each one of us would want to return to that elevator and the Pink Shell Resort and the cramps from laughing at those silly farts. But distance and careers have separated us now and all we can do is hope to share that joy with the future. I know this may sound silly to an outsider, and this is hard to write with such sincerity, but to me it excites memories of an epic adventure. To me, the remembrance of the process of growth into who we all are today inspires me to be more forgiving, something which I haven’t been very good at for quite a long time.