Safety first


Let’s play a little game. This game was developed by adolescent aged boys so please try to keep up.

A few years ago, my boys started shouting “Safety!” and “Doorknob!” Gerald and I looked at each other in confusion. The boys’ friends were also shouting out these words at what we thought was pure randomness. Gerald and I were able to piece it together though, as parents learn to do.

So this is how it goes, people. If you fart, you have to say “safety” before anyone can say “doorknob,” and if someone says “doorknob” before your “safety,” then you try to find a nearby doorknob to touch in time before the “doorknob” caller gets to tag you and frog you repeatedly in the arm, until you touch a doorknob. Okay, got it? Well, just when we thought we had it, the boys added another rule to the game. After you say “safety,” you have to say “no aftershocks.” So it’s “Safety, no aftershocks!”  If you said “safety” without the “no aftershocks,” apparently you were still eligible for an arm bruising.

Well, in good parental spirit, Gerald and I decided to do the old if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em bullshit. So we started playing the game too. And trust me when I say, this game was alive and well in our house. Gerald and I would laugh and call out our required “Safety, no aftershocks!” and “Doorknob!” whenever necessary (huh hum…). At some point, the entire group of boys decided to take out the “no aftershocks” rule. Probably for the best, there already was a lot to remember.

Funny thing, once Gerald and I wholeheartedly embraced this whole Safety/Doorknob game–admittedly, we even started playing when it was just the two of us–the boys interest quickly faded. They started being slow to participate and annoyed when we would take to calling them out (Safety!) when they let one rip (Doorknob!). Oh, like the smell didn’t give it away, puh-lease! I’m sure having Mom and Dad all involved in their GOF (Game of Farts) was just too much.

But we, our little family, still find ourselves playing the game. It’s kind of a half-assed effort now, but we still call out the occasional “Safety!” and “Doorknob!” We’ve even tried to get the grandparents in on the game, but for whatever reason (?), they have never shown much interest.



P.S. See now, Carlos, this post is about flatulence!

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