Seriously bad gas is no joke
Ever get bad gas while stuck in the window seat of a plane? Imagine that, but standing on a packed BART ride. And in a business meeting with superiors. And out with friends at happy hour. And the times in between. Letting it fly is what your body wants to do, but what about the rest of society? Well, they'd clearly prefer you keep it in, but that can be pretty uncomfortable. "People say ridiculous things like, oh, it was just gas pain," she says. "Gas pain can be really painful!"
Novak's had her fair share of hacks over the years. Her office desk is super-clean, not necessarily because she's one to keep tidy, but because her grapefruit-scented cleaner is perfect cover-up. She scouts the little-used back rooms of any building she's working in, in case she needs to scurry off for quick relief. She tried putting a dryer sheet in her underwear once. "It wasn't really effective," Novak says. "Maybe one or two farts, but that's not really a long solution."
The whole thing has been draining, physically and mentally. "I remember when I read Water for Chocolate, and there was a character who sleeps in her own bedroom because of bad gas," she says. "I remember thinking at the time, this is going to be me. I'm going to be ostracized, it will be lonely and shameful. This is going to be my fate."
Until she got fart-filtering underwear.