Anne brought the car carefully to a halt in Ralph's and Georgina's driveway. Unusually, Brian had agreed to take the passenger seat. Normally he preferred to drive whenever they went anywhere together as he was a better driver than a passenger. However it was New Year's Day and he'd had quite a bit to drink during the early morning festivities and Anne had insisted that she should take the wheel. After all, he needed his licence for his job. Brian's brother Ralph and his wife Georgina had invited them over for a New Year lunch. Barnaby, Ralph and Georgina's twenty-year-old son, would be there too. A second-year History student at Oxford, determined to get a good bachelor's degree, he was home for the Christmas break.
"Here at last!" Anne exclaimed, switching the engine off.
Brian undid his seat belt and leapt eagerly out of the car, keen to stretch his legs after an eighty-mile journey which, as usual, had taken an hour and a half, most of it on the motorway. He was also keen to escape close confinement with his wife who'd been farting solidly for almost an hour. She'd refused to take a toilet stop, perhaps understandably, at the rather grotty service station where he hoped she'd unburden herself since being in such extreme proximity to a smelly, flatulating wife was scarcely one of his greatest pleasures.
Anne was a little more cautious, stepping out of the driver's side rather more carefully, and continuing to fart as she did. She needed to do a good poo, and there was no denying it. Brian gave her a knowing and rather disapproving look but refrained from saying anything. Even Anne herself had the good sense to realise that obtaining relief at the earliest possibility was no longer a luxury, but had become an urgent necessity. There was no way she could risk being really brazen and "baking it" through lunch, although it certainly wouldn't have been the first time she'd "cut the brie" at Ralph's and Georgina's.
Ralph had already spotted his brother and sister-in-law from the dining room window and rushed out to greet them.
"Hi Brian. Hi Anne. It's so good to see you! Can I offer you something to drink before we sit down? Georgina's been working like a Trojan in the kitchen and dinner should be ready in half an hour or so."
"Thank you," Anne replied. "I'm sure Brian will be delighted to join you for a single malt or two, but if you'll excuse me, I'll just pop up to your bathroom."
"Certainly, my dear."
Before she could do anything to stop it, a noisier, smellier fart escaped from Anne's bottom, and she headed straight up to the bathroom, which was second on the left at the top of the stairs. Not bothering to the lock the door, she lifted the toilet seat, raised her skirt, pulled down her white maxi panties and sat down. "Parp!" A loud fart escaped and echoed round the toilet bowl. Barely needing to push at all, she heard the familiar crackling sound as a large, almost snakelike turd oozed out of her bottom and curled into the toilet bowl, hitting the water with a gentle thud. As it did so, she heard the sound of footsteps which she recognised to be Barnaby's, creeping about on the landing by the bathroom door. She could tell that he was listening – "listening in" on what really ought to have been a private, audience-free performance. Some women would have been frightened or angry, or a mixture of both – but not Anne. She seldom saw Barnaby nowadays and spotted a rare opportunity to deal with the situation in her own unique way.
"Barnaby, is that you out there? Why not come in? The door's unlocked."
A sheepish, blushing, Barnaby gingerly opened the bathroom door.
"Sorry, Aunt Anne. Don't be mad with me; it's just..."
"You were curious?" Anne ventured.
"Yes, I suppose so."
"I see. Close the bathroom door and sit on the end of the bath there. Tell, me do you hang around bathrooms at uni?"
Barnaby turned a bright shade of crimson.
"No, Aunt Anne."
Anne grunted as she pushed, and another, smaller, turd dropped into the water.
"It's alright, Barnaby. It's just that I don't want my nephew getting arrested or being sent down from Oxford for disgracing himself. I know your father regards those tuition fees as an investment, and I also know he wants to see a return on them. He's not like your Uncle Brian, who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."
Another rather squeaky fart escaped from Anne's bottom and a rapid succession of soft plops landed in the pan beneath her.
"That feels better. I needed that."
Barnaby put his hand to his mouth. His eyes were beginning to water at the smell.
"Phew, it stinks in here!"
Anne couldn't resist a wicked grin.
"Well, what did you expect? The scent of roses and carnations?"
"Precisely. Have you ever seen a woman take a dump before?"
"No, Aunt Anne."
"Well you have today. Whilst we pee differently, I think you'll agree that a woman taking shit isn't all that much different to a guy taking one. Some of us even smell worse and drop bigger loads. I can outdo Brian any day. How's uni going, by the way? I hope you're working hard and playing hard, getting drunk when you can afford it, and staying clear of the dope."
A torrent of pee cascaded from Anne's peehole into the toilet, making a hissing sound.
"It's okay, and I'm trying to do all those."
"Good. Well, let me give you some more advice. When I went to Cambridge, the 'other place' as you've no doubt been taught call it, I realised for the first time in my life that I could do a good poo when I wanted one, not when other people thought I should go. It hit me during the first term that there was no one waiting to give me castor oil or syrup of figs in a morning because I hadn't 'done' anything. I learnt to go when I wanted and to take risks sometimes when need was ahead of want. A dump is certainly a necessity, Barnaby, but it can also be one of life's greatest pleasures if you take the time to enjoy it when and where it suits you instead of at the dictates of other people."
Barnaby was wide-eyed. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Suddenly he grew bold.
"Have you ever had any accidents, Aunt Anne?"
"Probably more than you've had hot dinners, Barnaby! I remember one incident at uni particularly well. During my time at Cambridge, Maggie Thatcher, the then Prime Minister, decided to pay us a visit. It wasn't long after the Falklands War, and feelings still ran high amongst those who'd been for it and against it. A few students decided to hold a bit of an anti-war demo, and although I wasn't one of the ringleaders, I got sucked into it. There were other issues too about public spending and such like, but it was basically an excuse for a handful of students to let off a bit of steam, although in my case it was more gas than steam if you get my meaning. Well, caught up in all the excitement and furore of the day, I shit myself in a big way. Wendy, the friend I shared accommodation with, was disgusted and didn't speak to me for a week afterwards."
Barnaby's eyes were practically on stalks.
"Wow, Aunt Anne; I never thought you were the type!"
"Well, we've all been young once. In 25 years time you'll no doubt be telling your nephew or niece about your Oxbridge days. Not that I'm suggesting you follow my example, mind. Anyhow, I think I've about finished in here, so I'd better wipe."
Taking two long strips of loo paper off the roll, Anne wiped herself more perfunctorily than Barnaby had expected in view of the load she'd dropped, adjusted her clothing, and washed her hands, not bothering to flush the toilet. Reaching for a comb and running through her hair, she continued talking.
"Barnaby, Brian and I were talking last night and we've decided that at twenty you're far too old for uncles and aunts. We've decided that from now on you can just call us Brian and Anne. Is that okay?"
"Yes, that's fine," Barnaby mumbled.
"Also, we've decided that you're really much too old for presents. We did think that a modest contribution towards the cost of uni would be in order though, so I've written you a cheque for a thousand pounds. I don't expect it all to be squandered on your next pub crawl, though. Perhaps you might like to put it towards something ridiculous like driving lessons or a down payment on your first car. Come on; I think lunch is nearly ready.
Stepping out onto the landing, they bumped into Brian, who was obviously in need of a leak after his pre-lunch drinks.
"What's been going on?" he asked.
Anne smiled broadly at her husband.
"I've just been sharing a few of my undergraduate experiences with Barnaby here and giving him a bit of advice for when he goes back to uni."
Brian grimaced, gasping for breath as he entered the bathroom.
"And no doubt trying to gas the poor bugger, I shouldn't wonder!"
Anne turned to her nephew.
"Come on, Barnaby. Let's go and check out that turkey your mum's been cooking!"