September 11, 2015

Farting, Fellowship, and Forgiveness

NOTE: I'll be traveling in Spain for the month of September. Here is a popular post from the archive.

Let's just start with the forgiveness. For those of you easily offended, please forgive me. In my world, this topic just seems to float by every so often. After all, this is a blog about men and boys, and while it's awkward to admit, occasionally taking pleasure in, or laughing at, the passing gas seems to be embedded in the male DNA. So this post is about using information about flatulence to connect with boys . . . OK, males.

Women have a more dignified relationship with this part of the human experience, and are most often offended by any attention focused on the passing of gas. Males however, especially the young dudes, clearly have a more celebratory relationship with this bodily function.

This time the topic was brought to my attention by a mom who had been transporting a car full of young guys, when one of them passed some Serious Gas. Of course, this sent the other guys into fits of laughter, and vain attempts of the boys to match the original “call.” The mom said it was just gross and the last straw. She was offended, really was frustrated, tired of the joke, and just didn't get it. Not all moms feel that way, however.

On The Stir is a blog especially for moms. A recent edition had an article about a young boy who was actually given detention for farting on a school bus and causing a major ruckus. The mom in the article did express some boy-literacy when she said, You know, I don't like anyone smelling up an enclosed space any more than the next gal, but farting is practically an art form for a pre-teen boy. She also allowed that the young man, in his gaseous statement, had . . . just bought himself a one-way ticket to popularity-ville. At least until he starts getting really interested in what the girls think.

I have a theory about male farting. Perhaps we can attribute the joy our young guys (males) take in creative flatulence to our cave dwelling ancestors? Think about it. These guys, prior to football on TV, would spend a lot of time just sitting around the fire with not much to do or say. I can imagine them relaxing after chowing down on a big meal of mastodon, or kangaroo, or venison, and being a little groggy with the digestive process. With nothing else to do and zero social constraints, I'm sure the passing of gas was a major source of entertainment. Because they were guys, I’m also pretty sure competition would eventually commence. From my experience with men, and as a man, I just know this did happen down through time and all around the world. Ancient history there.
When farting is outlawed, only outlaws will fart!
I liked another explanation of why boys fart from a blog actually dedicated to that particular art form. The author of Farting for Boys, I suspect a young male, responded to the question, Why do boys like farting? He said, Because it's gross, unkempt, from the body, and discouraged by society. When farting is outlawed, only outlaws fart, and boys like to be outlaws. If enjoying "dumb humor" is criticized, boys would rather be dumb. The more it's hated by others, the funnier it is to do, and the more they enjoy doing it. If you visit Farting for Boys - (UPDATE! Since the publication of this post, the Farting for Boys blog has been taken down by Blogger. In doing so they obliterated another creative, but boyish expression of the truth. 

When I describe the draft of this post to a couple of my men friends, the response was a smile, an “of course,” and encouragement to let it fly. Having also been through the gaseous part of boyhood and adolescence, they nostalgically remembered the strange form of fragrant bonding that comes from that particular form of male “sharing.” The simultaneously occurring feelings are disgust, compassion, humor, jealousy, and occasionally awe, that unites males in a pack. If you want to endear yourself to a group of young guys, tell a fart joke, or better yet, offer them the real thing. You'll endear yourself to them forever.

If you really want to impress the young dudes (and some of your men friends), here are some fun facts about farting from
The average person will fart 14 times per day and produce a half liter of fart gas. These farts can travel as fast as 7 mph and due to their composition (largely methane), are quite flammable. The top ten farting animals from most to less, are as follows: Termites, Camels, Zebras, Sheep, Cows, Elephants, Labradors - Retrievers, Humans (Vegetarians), Humans (non-Vegetarians), and Gerbils. And finally, did you know even dead people can still fart?
I’m resisting putting a “fart button” on this post because I really do have my limits. But I am including the edgy video below which I guarantee will bring peals of laughter from any group of adolescent males . . . and a fair number of men. Like I said, it’s in our DNA. If you’re not a fan of flatulence, don’t watch.

If the video doesn't show up, use this link

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