We typically utilize manners as a casual way to make others around us a little more comfortable. But there are certain occasions when we inexplicably feel it necessary to be polite to the point of our own discomfort. Like, when you're talking to someone, and they accidentally spit on you, and you don't wipe it off right away because, for some strange reason, it just seems rude. Meanwhile, you're unable to concentrate on what they're saying, because all you can think about is how you have someone's saliva dripping down your face. When it comes to embarrassing things like bodily functions, it seems we still haven't completely hammered out the rules of etiquette. Case in point: just last night, I was at a loss at what to do when I found myself sitting with one other person in a room that began filling up with an ungodly dense fog of stomach-turning gas - and they wasn't coming from me.I had just finished eating take-out BBQ (pork ribs) with my fiancé (still hate that word), and had given some of the scraps to my dog because I knew it would be the most exciting part of her week. We were laying in bed watching TV and I got smacked in the face with this horrible, hot fart that was so disgusting that it barely seemed possible that it was even organic. I looked at him out of the corner of my eye to see if he was gonna mention it, but he just kept staring straight ahead at the television. A few minutes later, another, more lethal one arrived. This time, I got up and walked over to the other side of the room and pretended to look for something in my purse. He obviously didn't want to talk about what was going on with his ass, and I thought that since he was too embarrassed to talk about it, it would be even more more embarrassing for me to confront him on it. And I figured that if the smell was any indication, he must be in severe stomach pain. Thirty minutes and about 15 more incidents like that later I started to get really annoyed. The farts were getting worse and more frequent, and it felt like they were altering the temperature in the room... and the stench was such that it was literally clouding my ability to complete a crossword puzzle. Finally, after another bomb was dropped, I slammed my book down in annoyance and looked at him. In a super bitchy tone I was like, "It stinks in here." Then he said, "I know. I think Edie [the dog] is farting like crazy." I was like, "Wait, that's not you!?" He said, "No way! I thought it was you, because I know you just got your period and you have diarrhea and I felt bad for you at first but then I realized that this is so bad that it can't be human." My heart warmed up like a pork-ribs dog fart at the idea that he 1.) knows that I get diarrhea on the first day of my period and 2.) he accepts it as a way of life. We kicked the dog out of the room and locked the door. The moral of the story is that if we hadn't been so polite to each other, we wouldn't have had to sit in unimaginable stink for a good portion of the night. The problem though, is that farting, accidental spitting, hanging boogers, stinking up the bathroom, etc. are such taboo topics that even etiquette experts are too polite to discuss solutions for how to deal with such situations, so we're left to our own devices to make it up as we go along. The silver lining is that now I'm mulling over my own etiquette rule for this (not just with my fiancé but with anyone that's stinking up the room with their asses): Ask the person you're with, in a really sympathetic way, furrowed brow and all, if they are feeling alright. Coming off as understanding of a belly ache will diffuse some of the embarrassment, and will also give them the hint to either plug it up or leave the room when they have to release. Then everyone will be able to breathe a little easier.