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Today, I shared the quiet room with the older guy who usually wears a green or yellow trucker hat, but today he was hatless. I saw him coming through periodicals, waving off invisible insects with his book. I assume he came into the quiet room to avoid the shrieks and screams of the children even though screaming day is usually Tuesday.

Anyway, he came in, still waving his book around, muttered something and sat down. I usually refer to him as the Cartoon Bear because he always leans back, spreads his arms, and loudly yawns like a tired bear in a cartoon.

Today, though, it was farts. Loud, reverberating, wet farts that rebounded off the hard wood of his chair into the silence of the quiet room. The first time he was still muttering from his entrance, paused long enough to rip the silence, then continued muttering something about "motherfucker."

As he continued to read, arms on either side of the book laid flat on the table, nose near the print, he occasionally lifted a leg and trumpeted his presence with no apologies to me, the other occupant of the room. I don't know what to call him now, and I'm a little worried about his mental salubrity.

Later, another guy came in and the Cartoon Bear stopped farting, so now I wonder if it was just for my benefit.

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