Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Belching in public

Alright… I am open minded.  I can tolerate quite a bit, even if I find it repulsive.

That being said, when did it start becoming the norm for people to belch or fart in public and it be connsidered something to laugh at, encourage or otherwise support?

My wife and I where at California Pizza Kitchen a few days ago, when some people a few seats from us all laughed because there kid belched.  I could excuse this if the kid was, oh, say… five years old.  Even then I would expect the parents to explain that this was not proper behavior.  But the kid in question was obviously between thirteen and fifteen years old, and appeared to be mentally capable (i.e. not mentally challenged.)

This was not the first time I have seen this happen.  In fact there are a couple of my friends who have done similar… luckily they, at least, waited until they were outside the restaurant before doing this, but I still see this as being extremely rude.

To be fair, I am referring to the loud, intentional belches that one releases for the sake of releasing them.  I am not talking about the little ones that you cannot always control, and you release them making every effort to keep them quiet and suppressed.  Those are excusable, and should still be followed up by a polite, “Pardon me.” or “Excuse me.”  The fact is that your body still needs to function, and part of that is the production of gases that need to be expelled.  But you have a pretty good idea of how much force is coming up before you releaser it, so rarely should you be surprised by one.

So… do I belch?  Of course…  When I am sitting at home, and need arises… I do let a couple noisy ones go.  But then again, it is me, my wife, the dogs and the cats.  There have been a couple that I would proudly say are award winners.  But I still excuse myself when I do it!  If we have guest over, I will not do this.

Now that I have put all this out… I have had a few accidental ones slip out and I can tell you that they are rather embarrassing.  They usually come out in the middle of a conversation with someone, too.  Not something that pleases me, or the person I am talking to.  But I hope that my profuse apologies and reddened face can attest to the fact that it was entirely unintentional.

A story comes to mind about a guy I used to work with.  He was at a job interview where part of the interview was to display how he could save the company money.  About half way through the powerpoint presentation, in front of about six people, he leaned over to adjust the focus on the projector, when he let out a fart.  As he tells the story, it was not a quiet one… it was a “ripper”.  Add to that that it was a small room, and this one reeked.  He told me that he cleared the room in a heartbeat.  The good news was that he did get the job.  However he would never tell me the nickname they gave him… I can only imagine.

Maybe I am being too prudish about things like this.  But we really need to get back into the habit of telling our kids when something is just not cute or funny.  The kid I mentioned in the start of this piece… if he had done that at home, with just his family… I am sure it would have been hysterical to them all.  But in a restaurant or in a public place?  I think not.

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Samuel Wright
Writer / Father / Listener / Philosopher
I am a starving writer living in the backwater of California, in a place known mostly for Buck Owens and Valley Fever called Bakersfield.

This site is my release. A place for me to talk about things that annoy, please, or excite me.


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  1. grant

    In some cultures this would be normal and in fact, would be considered rude, not to belch during the consumption of a good meal. That being said, I agree there is definately a time and place for this kind of behavior. In a restaurant surrounded by people you don’t know, definetly not one of those places.

    • You know… I predicted that response from someone, and in doing a little reading, I have found that this is not as true as it once was. Yes, at one time it was considered very acceptable, in certain cultures, to belch after a good meal. Likewise, at one time, it was considered ok to eat your fill… then visit the vomitorium to releave themselves of their meals so that they could go eat again and again.

      The point being that more and more culture is accepting that displaying or demonstrating bodily emissions in public is not all that pretty.

  2. grant

    ok, this comment is kind of off the topic, but kinda freaks me out, when I post a commment and I look down and see the smiley face telling me I am being watched….i wonder who is watching, the blog police perhaps????????

    • That is because we, at the Samurai Institute for Advance sociopathic investigation need to keep our eyes on shifty people like yourself.

  3. Russ

    ….. Uh, can you tell me who the head ‘sociopath’ is at “the institute”, I’d like to have them committed!!

  4. Ang

    I used to have a coworker here who, while we were at lunch or dinner in the galley together, would belch obnoxiously out loud, without looking up and obviously without any embarrassment, while during the same meal would bitch at people who made the slightest accidental scraping noise on their plates with their silverware. Many people witnessed this and she’s still talked about even though she no longer works with us. It was definitely strange. She burped out loud at work a lot too…no apologies or “excuse me” ever uttered, but heaven forbid anyone crack their knuckles within earshot of her. We’d get an earful.

    • Curious… How old was she? I am thinking that, in some cases, this might be a generational thing. Maybe our parents and those of the kids before us were just that much more well behaved and taught that to THEIR kids.

  5. grant

    Oh, thats great, now the dogs are watching my every move. Of course they are only sane one’s in that family.

  6. grant

    carefull now, I resemble that remark.

  7. Kelly

    Hey, I’m hurt I’m in the family,,, and I’m sane! [sometimes]

  8. Well… You are different. You ARE family, so you are open to special dispensation. Russ, Jackie and Grant are adoptees into the family, so they are scrutinized a little closer than, say, You, Scott and Naty… I will not go into the Aunts.

  9. Melissa

    I understand where you're coming from, Samurai, I feel the same way. For some reason I feel the urge to post about this particular incident. It was an awkward moment, but excusable. I was at a pool session for my scuba diving class and Jeff told me I'd be working with another instructor, that night. "His name's Rich, and he's really nice," he assured me.

    Rich came in, sat next to me in the bleachers, we shook hands, and began discussing skills I'd covered. In mid-sentence, he turned his head away and put his fist to his mouth. He sucked his belly in, his cheeks ballooned, then flattened down. He started patting his chest. "Excuse me, I just got done eating," he apologized. "That's okay, I know how it is," I replied. And I do. Again, it was awkward because I'd only just met Rich. But again, it was excusable.

  10. me personally

    I just ended a one year relationship with a generally nice guy that had the embarassing habit of belching in public. People would respond by looking at him then looking at me and all I could think was "he has nothing to do with me".
    Have we lost our minds. It is a rude and indecent and socially disrespectful and careless act.

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