Over the weekend, I saw the movie The Hangover Part 2, for which a review on this site is forthcoming. The sequel wasn’t nearly as good as the first, but it does deliver more than a fair share of gross humor and the inappropriate exchange of bodily fluids. That, combined with a few interesting tweets I saw out there in the mom and dad blogosphere, convinced me to dedicate this week’s posts at DaddybyDefault.com to bodily functions, poop, and flatulence. We start off the week, with a topic that kindles an age old argument between men and women: Farting. And I explore it like no blog has ever explored the subject before. Enjoy – if you dare!
I thought I’d wake up early today, have the house to myself, and watch some TV, which I haven’t done in weeks. But, to my surprise, the baby and the wifey were both already up, bright eyed and sharing a cup of coffee (the little one likes teething on the Starbucks mug).
I made my way over to the coffee machine to brew up a K-cup of Dunkin’ Donuts, the best cup of coffee east of the Mississippi! I must still have been a little drowsy from waking up so early, and I’m not sure I had full control over my body because I let one rip, and it surprised the heck out of me. It also surprised my wife, and daughter, who were in the process of walking behind me to get to the fridge when it all happened.
My daughter was trying to figure out what that loud noise was, where it came from, and if it might happen again anytime soon. My wife was pissed that she got caught in its wake, and claimed that I did it on purpose. That sparked the age old argument between us about whose farts are worse, and I thought I’d take a moment and explore the difference in philosophy. As she likes to say, “men fart, and women toot!”
Why Men Fart
Dare I say it, most men are proud about their flatulent abilities. It’s almost a right of passage, and one we take seriously. We learn to appreciate farting at a very young age, primarily through a game played with our fathers called “Pull my finger.”
If you’ve never heard of “Pull the Finger,” here’s how the game works. During a gathering or holiday party, the dominant male figure of the family extends his hand and points the index finger directly at his mark (ie. the youngest, most naive kid in the room). He tells the boy “Pull my finger!” and when the willing child does as instructed, the male figure rips the loudest fart he can muster. This is usually accompanied by a ridiculous face contortion and for effect – a slight lifting of the buttocks off the recliner he is undoubtedly seated in.
The game has been played for thousands of years and has been passed down from generation to generation. It is extremely funny to the male child, it becomes uncool during the teen years, and then it resurfaces funnier than ever when the male becomes a father. In fact, one of the true milestones of fatherhood is bagging your first “pull my finger” victim. For men, it’s a celebrated event, almost as important as the day you lose your virginity. Almost.
Why Women Don’t Fart, They Toot
Before I discuss how most women approach flatulence, I want to discuss my qualifications to write about such things. I have a sister, just a few years younger. She doesn’t fart in public, and the main reason is because of parenting. I’ll get to that more in a moment. Also, after college, I lived with three gorgeous and funny women, which, at first, might seem like every guy’s dream, but it’s not – believe me.
One of the girls played hip-hop music at all hours of the night and dated scary men just to annoy her father. I’m not talking about guys with tattoos or those who drove motorcycles, that’s kids stuff. I’m talking about guys with felony convictions and weapons tucked into their waistbands. I had to lock my room when they came over. Seriously, I was afraid they would steal stuff. The second could burp the alphabet after just one beer and a nacho platter, and the third thought her farts “smelled like roses,” which I assure you, they did not. When working together, they were even worse, and could quickly wear down a man’s spirit and will. I swear after just a few months with them I was close to using tampons myself. But that’s another story.
Like I mentioned earlier, it’s all about parenting. Moms usually teach their daughter proper manners, a lesson conveniently left off the table by dads busy showing their sons how to throw a football, or how to fight back when being bullied at school. Girls are taught not to fart and not to burp, and if by chance one slips out, they should quickly say “excuse me” and change the topic. The problem is, holding it in in leads to a backup of gas that, when finally released, causes a furious eruption and a devastating assault on the senses of those within the blast radius.
Believe it or not, men could get over such an assault, if properly warned. But that’s not the way it goes down-it’s always a surprise. Consider this:
He Who Smelt It Isn’t Always the One Who Dealt It
The age old saying “he who smelt it dealt it” postulates that the person who informs the group to the existence of the malodorant smell, is, in fact, the one who cause said smell. I’ve found, in most cases, that simply isn’t the case.
Most women will try to slip it by you unnoticed. Usually she’ll be doing something completely innocuous, like watering the flowers, and carrying on a fairly interesting conversation with you. While doing so, she breaks wind without breaking a stride in conversation, and it is several moments later before you get hit with a wall of stink that nearly melts your eyebrows off your face. Only after we acknowledge that stink, and by demonstrating how neither the baby or the dog could be responsible, do the ladies confess to the crime.
The Saturation Theory
After being caught down wind of the fart mentioned in the first paragraph, my wife expressed her annoyance, grabbed her nose, and then tried to shield the baby; a gesture I thought fairly ridiculous, and one to which I responded by arguing that my farts smell nowhere near as bad as hers.
She responded quickly, saying ”My one fart per month may stink, but your 20 farts a day saturate the air, and overall, stink more than mine.”
Usually I dismiss her cockamamie theories out of hand, but I have to admit, the fart saturation theory, on its surface, may have merit certainly warrants further examination. I’ll report back in a later post.
In the meantime, to bone up on your fart education, I suggest taking a look at FartNames.com, a fabulous website dedicated to our bodily functions, including a list of fart slang. Seriously the list is like 500 names long; it’s thorough. I also recommend the Fart Sound Board at Fart-sounds.net. It’s great for ambient music at parties. I particularly like the sound for “Forest Dump,” the “Slide Trombone,” and the “Long and Winded Road.”
I Want to “Hear” Your Story
Does your husband prefer the “Dutch Oven” or does he say it out loud and proud? Does the wife practice the “back seat fart?” If you’ve got a good fart story I would love to hear it. Well, not really “hear” it, but you can write a comment about it below. Please don’t send audio files. That’s not right and you need to get yourself checked out.