In these days of political, economic and climatic extremism, fundamental questions go unasked. Some of my readers have been asking for advice on how to deal with children who fart in public and find doing so hilarious. If you find your farting child difficult to deal with, this could help you:
Are Farts Funny?
What do you think? I think they are and if you don't you should chill out and let rip. Sounds dramatic - it surely can be - but read and consider the following before you answer, make your mind up or (indeed) let rip from the mouth in your pants!
A year ago, my friend's eldest, a boy of 5, thought it would be extremely funny if, (when his parents were entertaining important guests), he were to walk into the room where the group were enjoying after dinner drinks and small talk, and emit a very loud fart.
The child did just that and, post-emission, broke down in tears of laughter. His Father was furious and marched the offending boy from the room. His Mother asked forgiveness of her guests. The guests looked embarrassed made some diplomatic remarks and the whole affair was, rather uncomfortably, not mentioned again during the course of what became an uncomfortable evening.
When my friend related this embarrassing incident to me, although I tried not to laugh, I was unable to fully contain myself. My friend was annoyed but I told her she was a hypocrite and listed several occasions in the past when she herself had laughed at farts. She refused to agree so I listed the occasions:
Firstly, I reminded her of the rhyme we were fond of when we were children - a rhyme we were told came from the tomb stone of a man in a small parish church in Worcestershire, England. It went like this:
Where'er you be
Let a Fart Go Free
For "twere the want of a fart
That killed poor me!
My friend started to smile but still didn't see the humour in the incident we discussed. Not perturbed I reminded her of another childhood verse we must have recited a thousand times between us; this went:
Tarzan in the jungle
Got the belly ache
Wants to go to the toilet
Plurp, plurp [fart noise, fart noise]
The switch went on and my friend started to laugh. I motioned a couple more anecdotes from our past including:
When we were eleven we'd named fart types, just like millions have done in the past are doing now and will in the future. For us farts, loosely fell into two categories “rumblers” and “splips”. The biggest fart, the one we aimed for, was the “dynamite black rumbly”. The smallest fart, the one that we found very disappointing upon producing yet did cause us a different kind of amusement - think giggle as opposed to the guffaws that followed dynamite black rumblies - was from the Splip genus and known simply as a “light-switch”.
I shall not repeat other weirder stories here but, anyway, it was reminiscing about a recent fart incident that had her rolling about laughing...
My friend continued to laugh but protested “but that was when we were young”.
“Excuse me?” I said - “what about two months ago?
“What about two months ago?”
Two months ago my friend (the mother of the farting child who caused this discussion) had called to relate a tale a friend had told her that day. She'd found it extremely funny and wanted to share it with me.
Dave X (I shall not name him) had remarked to her that he'd thought someone was driving a Harley 1250 motorbike through his kitchen yesterday but was relieved to discover it was (merely) the sound of his wife farting as she prepared food.
My friend was still laughing when I returned to the subject of her dog-housed five year old by enquiring “Don't you think you're sending your son mixed messages?” She was cracking up when her son (the farter) entered the room and I did something I hadn't done in front of her for a good twenty years and probably more - I shall not name the act, but it was from the genus rumbly!
I laughed, she laughed and her son went into near hysterics. We had some explaining to do to her husband later that evening, but as expected, given a few drinks and convivial company he too laughed and in so doing found farts funny.
Proof positive that Farts are Funny.
You can have too much of a good thing and too many farts can ruin the soup - a vile distortion of a much used cliche but nevertheless illustrative of the following point:
Recently I visited the home which inspired this article only to discover that, with several whoopee cushions, remote controlled fart machines and fart ring tones a plenty - farts are sometimes extremely unfunny... and can be very boring. As with the writing of comedy - particularly for stage - timing is essential as is the frequency of any punchline.