Ode to the Six Dudebros Who Sat Behind Me on the Flight From Calgary to Toronto

O flowers of Canadian manhood
it is not
when the sharpness of the memories begins to fade
your enthusiastic discussion of the films available for free viewing
on the airplane’s entertainment system
that I shall remember
nor even the fact
that the film about which you expressed the most enthusiasm
was The Princess Bride

It is not your conversation
about Forrest Gump
and your oft-expressed assertion
that Jenny is a whore
and her baby
probably isn’t Forrest’s anyway

It is not
your use of the phrase
“Aw…did he misuse your pronoun?”
and your subsequent declaration
that social justice warriors are destroying the human race


It is none of these things
but instead
this one moment:

It creeps over us
all of us
the miasma
at first seeming simply
part of the stale atmosphere of the plane
then stronger
and stronger
almost a physical being
almost a person
coating us all
in a stench
beyond all stenches
a stink
designed to pulverise mountains
and we hear you cry
into the horrified silence
“Dude…did you fart?”
and oh
the sidelong glances
and the helpless squirming
and the desperate need
to fling ourselves out into the open air
as you moan
and grunt
and finally end
with an explosive “Wow”
you paragons
of virtue
you soldiers
of fate

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