But the young woman and her baby turned out to be a delight. We chatted with the increasing intimacy that only strangers who will never see each other again can enjoy. She told me about her family -- a Catholic brew of brothers and sisters presided over by a happy Polish father and a more subdued Irish mom. At dinner, the woman told me by example, the father might come through the door after work, survey his children at their dinner table, and then announce loudly, "Clara, you've got to feed these kids more beans! They're not farting enough!"
And the dad had more play up his sleeve: One night, after dinner, he explained to all the children that if they saved their farts in bottles, there was a man in Ireland who would pay them $1 apiece for them. For several weeks, all the kids saved bottles like fury. But when the collection became too great and the kids considered cashing in their savings, the father dropped the other shoe.
While it was true there was a man in Ireland who would pay $1 apiece for the captured farts, it would be necessary to paint each fart green before sending it off. The Irishman would only pay for green farts.
Ah, the agony of the dilemma! In order to get paid for what had been so lovingly captured, it would be necessary to open the jar to paint the captive. But the moment the jar was opened, the captive would escape.
The kids agonized for weeks on end, trying to devise a way to get paid for all their hard work.
They never found one.