I developed an unfortunate digestive problem after going through menopause, which means I'm prone to farting.
Of course, this is highly embarrassing for me.
In public, it's not so noticeable, but if people are around my tiny apartment, the smell is unavoidable.
To my great shame, I started to blame my two budgies, Barry and Bart.
"Lovely birds, terrible wind problem," I told visitors.
My husband and I split up amicably after 20 years of marriage about five years ago.
I didn't want to spend my twilight years on my own, so I decided to try online dating.
Sometimes, the dates went so well I invited them back to my house.
One night, I was laughing heartily at my date Paul's jokes when I felt my tummy gurgle.
oh no I thought.
Before I could rush to the bathroom, I let rip a huge fart.
"What the hell is that?" Paul asked, blocking his nose.
"It's my budgies," I said, my face turning puce.
"I took them to the vet about it and apparently there's nothing they can do."
It was quite the mood killer, as you can imagine, and Paul made his excuses and left.
He didn't call again.
A few weeks later I went on another date with a man called Michael, but the same thing happened.
The delicious meal we'd just eaten worked its way around my tummy and a familiar scent squeaked out of my rear end.
"Crikey, that's terrible," Michael cried.
I spun him the same yarn about my birds and thankfully he wasn't too turned off.
We went on a few more dates and every time he asked me back to his house, I made some excuse to make sure he came back to mine instead.
Without Barry and Bart there, who could I blame!
The sex was great and I had high hopes that Michael and I would become an item.
Then one day, after we'd been dating for a few weeks, he was at my house when I let off an inevitable stinker.
"Those darn birds," I said.
I was so used to blaming them now I no longer blushed.
I went off to the loo and when I came back Michael was on his phone.
He shifted awkwardly.
"I've just googled budgies to see if there is anything to be done about their wind problem," he said.
He looked up at me and I swallowed hard.
I'd been rumbled.
He know, and I knew, and he knew I knew.
I wanted the ground to swallow me up as my cheeks burned crimson with shame.
"Apparently budgies don't fart," he said.
Then he cracked out laughing, teasing me.
"Get out!" I raged, consumed with embarrassment.
He left giggling.
Needless to say, I never saw him again.
I'm now on medication for my flatulence and hope to resurrect my love life soon.
Barry and Bart are none the wiser, and are probably used to the stench by now.