Finlay wasn’t fooled by his mum at all. Did she think he was stupid? He hated veggies and she knew it.
“Mammy, no green mash! I told you lots of times NO GREEN MASH!” Green mash meant just one thing. Mammy had squished the sprouts in with the tatties, thinking Finlay wouldn’t notice.
“And don’t even think about blending the cabbage in with the gravy because I can smell it and it stinks,” he said.
Mammy sighed, “But you won’t get to be big and strong.”
Finlay didn’t want to be big and strong if it meant eating veggies. Veggies were yukkity yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk. Raw or cooked, they didn’t go anywhere near Finlay’s mouth. This had been going on for weeks and mammy was getting worried that Finlay might end up getting spotty like Mikey next door. Finlay didn’t care.
When Uncle Bruce came for dinner, Finlay was still stubbornly refusing to eat veg. He quite liked peas and carrots but sprouts? He thought they were disgusting and so was cabbage. Cauliflower was dreadful and broccoli looked like trees. He wasn’t going anywhere near that. Uncle Bruce said nothing. He had a secret weapon and he knew how to use it.
Half way through the afternoon, while Finlay and Uncle Bruce were playing on the Xbox, Uncle Bruce leaned to one side and let out a long, raspberry, of a fart. Pthhhhhhp, it went. Finlay started to laugh. Uncle Bruce looked at him.
“The fantastic fart machine’s working well, lad,” he said. Finlay thought this was hilarious.
“How did you do that?” he asked.
“Easy,” said Uncle Bruce. “You just wait for it to bubble up a bit and lean to one side. Then you just push it out. Try it.” He showed him. Pthhhhhhp. That one was particularly smelly.
Finlay looked sad. “Nothing’s bubbling,” he said.
Uncle Bruce looked serious. “Maybe your fantastic fart machine isn’t working,” he said.
Disaster! This was terrible news. How could he get it to work?
“Are you feeding it?” asked Uncle Bruce?
This was news to Finlay. His eyes grew large and a look of horror spread across his face.
“You mean you have to feed it? How?” he asked.
Uncle Bruce nodded his head and said, “Great question. You have to eat your greens.”
This was probably the worse news Finlay had ever heard. He almost burst into tears.
“But I don’t like greens. Can’t I just do it by eating baked beans?”
“Ah well,” said Uncle Bruce, “baked beans work up to a point but it’s the greens that really make the fantastic fart machine hiss and pop.”
Finlay wasn’t entirely convinced but he was willing to give anything a go. The next day, he said to mum,
“Mammy, I have an important announcement to make.”
“Oh,” she said, “you’re leaving home?”
Finlay scowled, “Don’t be silly, I’m far too young. I need to eat some greens.”
Mum looked shocked. Was he ill? Had an alien invaded the body of her poor little son? When she asked him what had brought about this incredible change of mind all Finlay would say is that it was so he could blow a two-part harmony. He didn’t tell her the two-part harmony would hopefully blast out of his bottom. He also didn’t tell her that his whole motive for eating greens was to sneak out a silent but deadly fart in class the next day.
The broccoli and cauliflower mum gave him was surprisingly nice. He had to smother it with an awful lot of ketchup and not hold his nose too often but he managed quite a lot. That, he thought, should get the fantastic fart machine working. All he needed to relax everything was a nice warm bath before bed and he was set.
Just after mammy had been in to kiss him goodnight, the fantastic fart machine slowly came to life. Finlay’s tummy started churning. Boyk. It was only a very small fart but all good things begin slowly. Another fart started to bubble and Finlay wriggled a bit to encourage it. Fweeee and out it came with a squeak. This was incredibly satisfying. It warmed up the whole bottom half of the bed and smelled awful, which made Finlay very happy indeed. He went to sleep with a smile on his face.
For dinner the next night, Finlay had pie with mash and sprouts all covered in onion gravy. It worked like magic at school the next day. While everyone was getting changed for PE, Finlay felt his fantastic fart machine start to work. Not only was the fart silent but deadly, it was also a sulphur bomb. The awful stench crept across the changing room and the other children started coughing. Then they started to laugh. Mr Holmes, the PE teacher came to see what the fuss was about. Even he could smell the fart.
“Alright children,” he said. His voice was muffled because he had covered his nose and mouth with the front of his pullover to keep the horrible pong out. This made the children laugh even more.
There was definitely something fun about eating veggies and having a fully functioning and very fantastic fart machine.