I don't remember how old I was when it happened but my aunt and uncle and cousins moved across the street from us in Port Arthur. Most afternoons everyone would be outside sitting in their front yards (if you were the adults) or playing (if you were the kids).
At this time of year, everyone would be outside working on their Christmas decorations. The men were needed for one thing. Their only job was to climb up a ladder and get on the roof and hang the lights along the eaves. The women and kids took care of everything else.
One Saturday afternoon, while my uncle was on the roof hanging the lights like all the other good husbands, my mother and sister were across the street working on their own masterpiece. What my mother and sister didn't know was that my uncle had been sick and things still weren't quite right with him.
As they were working on their decorations, they noticed my uncle hurrying down the ladder. The reason their attention was drawn across the street was because my aunt was laughing so hard the whole neighborhood could hear her. On a normal day, my aunt has a loud laugh but this was one of those gasping for air, somebody call the paramedics kind of laughs. When my uncle hit the ground he ran, top speed, into the house.
My aunt stumbled, still laughing, across the street and explained what had happened. She explained how my uncle had been sick all week and that while he was on the roof, he thought he had to, I'll put this delicately, "release some gaseous intestinal discomfort." More room on the outside, as they say.
However, in my uncle's words, often repeated in family lore, "I thought I had to fart but I sh** my pants."
A word to the wise this holiday season. Be careful out there and, if you're the one holding the ladder, wear a hat.