Timing or How to alienate yourself at Chipotle


Oh, the people I offend….

A friend of mine is a huge fan of this chain. For a year or so, I heard her wax rhapsodic about the gloriousness that was a Chipotle burrito. The savory goodness, the heat, the satisfying almost euphoric feeling she got from completing a meal there. Her level of food worship bordered on cult -like for this palace of all things burrito. Being a big fan of the burrito experience, I envied her and her trips to this magical place where burritos brought one to a semi-orgasmic state.

When word reached me that a Chipotle was opening near me, I must admit, I got a little excited. And not just near me, but right down the highway from my workplace, well within driving distance on my break. I went in on the day they opened and I haven’t looked back. For a “fast food” chain, they beat the pants off of anything you can get that involves golden arches, talking chihuahas, little girl with pigtails, castles, or creepy guys in royal garb and silly masks. Continually made fresh all day long, the ingrediants are delicious and the line is fast and efficient. With only 3 items on the menu and a vast amount of choices to customize them any way you want, you can eat there every day and if you so choose, not have the same meal twice. Ok, that may be a bit of hyperbole, but you get my meaning.

I am a burrito bowl whore. Instead of getting the traditional burrito wrapped up in a tortilla, you can have all the ingrediants piled together like a sort of casserole in a bowl for the same price. This gives you the biggest bang for the buck since the server is trying to fill the bowl and not worrying about overstuffing a tortilla and making a huge mess. Here is what I always get, in some variation:

Carnitas (slow roasted pork from organically raised pigs), rice, pinto beans, fresh tomato salsa, tomatilla green chili, roasted corn chili, cheese and a little lettuce (ya know, because I’m health conscious….). This concoction has proven to me that yes, there is a spicy heaven and it’s name is Chipotle! Just the right amount of heat to get you to sweat a little, but not enough to overpower the amazing flavor of the food. Ah, the food, can we talk about the Carnitas? Oh lordy! Crispy sweet exterior, the juicy meat just falls apart like the best pulled pork you have ever had.

This past sunday, I decided to splurge, after over a month of denying myself, and I went in for a burrito bowl. It was a beautiful afternoon, a far cry from the massive thunderstorms we were told were coming. SO I decided to sit at one of the tables outside in front of the restaurant. The place was packed but I managed to find a spot in the middle of the large group of tables. Surrounded by families out on a beautiful sunday afternoon, I parked myself in their midst.

The chairs at this place are a little strange. Not only are they built for people not quite as wide as me (damn, I can’t lose fast enough) but they also pitch your legs upwards so to sit in them, you are almost hunched over. And to make matters even worse, the tables are way too low. So to use the table affectively, you have to lean over it. This position compressed my lower body together and about 5 minutes into my bowl, disaster struck!

It was quiet, only the sound of the wind or the occassional passing car disturbing the munching sounds and quiet conversation going on around me. Everyone seemed happy and content as well they should be in this spicy paradise. Then, I felt a little gurgle in my stomach. Nothing major, but it was there. Now, I’m not one to gross people out, but when your body gives you that early warning sign of impending doom, it’s wise to listen.

Another gurgle. Hunched over the table, I began to eat quickly, reasoning if I ate quick and got out of there, I wouldn’t embarass myself further.

Another gurgle, this one loud enough to turn the heads of the people at the next table. I smiled at them, pretending not to notice and tried to finish up my meal. They gave a weak smile back and returned to their food.

The meal was almost complete, only a bite or two left. I leaned forward for the final bit of tasty roasted carnitas goodness when something happened. A bomb went off. Being hunched over, compressing my body the way I had, combined with the introduction of spicy food had created a perfect storm of gaseous anomolies to come together within my body that needed a release. The slight gurgle had built and built until it could be contained no more. An ill wind was about to blow and boy did it ever.

At first, I thought I could contain it, as you do when you are in mixed company. I always hold it in at the bar, on a date, at the movies, etc because why subject other people to my own personal funk? But no, this would not be contained.

Without much warning, my ass made a horrific noise. This was no ordinary fart. This wasn’t a rip, a butt trumpet, no wind was broken, nothing tooted, no gas was simply passed, nobody was playing the colonic calliope and it definitely wasn’t silent but deadly. This was an atomic blast. This was Hiroshima. A noise something like how you imagine a bass drum would sound if amplified several thousand times erupted from my backside followed by a solo on the tom toms.

Horrified, I froze. EVERYBODY was staring at me. I felt my face flush red. I swallowed the last bite of my bowl. Wiping my chin, I looked and smiled at the family in the next table. The wife was making a face like I had just peed in her salad, the husband was trying to contain his laughter but their child was the one who broke the ice.

Pointing at me, the little angel said, “That man farted!!”

The whole patio erupted in laughter. I could feel my face getting redder and redder from embarrassment, but I laughed along with them. I stood up to go when the husband from the table next to mine said leaned over and said, “If I were you, I would head to the restroom and make sure that blast didn’t include anything unwanted.”

I nodded and smiled. OK, these people were allright. I was so horrified at embarassing myself and these people just laugh off my bodily functions indescretion. Feeling somehwat relieved (literally and figuratively) I took his advice and headed to the restroom. Luckily, no accidents had occurred and I was able to go on with my day. But I did take one precaution: I snuck out the back of the Chipotles because  the last thing I wanted was a repeat performance as I was leaving.