It's an ill wind

Ed Smith
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This is about flatulence. I have a great story to tell you, but I want to state that right up front. Now you can throw the paper down in disgust and not waste any more time reading this trash.
I'd like to have a dollar for every one of you who does keep reading. Geewhiz, perhaps I do. Perhaps I'm paid a buck for every person the editor thinks reads this stuff. Can't be that few, can it?*
This is what some people call bathroom humour. It's supposed to be the lowest form of humour, and perhaps next to puns, it is. Most people wouldn't be caught dead laughing at it, which is why many people read this column in the privacy of their own bathrooms.
Bathroom humour is based loosely on bodily functions. The lower the function the lower the humour. A burp is much higher on the socially acceptable continuum than gas expended through the nether region, even though that particular function is only a burp gone backwards. Some would say, gone bad.
I've never understood that. Gas leaving the body through the small intestine is looked down on something fierce. Gas leaving through the stomach and upper digestive tract is received with a tolerant smile, especially if the person says, "excuse me."
No number of "excuse me's" will smother the indignant and downright offended natures of those who have been treated to a burp gone bad.
Some years ago, we had a teacher named Jocelyn (not her real name, of course) at one of our high schools who suffered from uncontrollable flatulence. When we found out about it, we said, "Well, there goes her career." High school kids, especially boys, will murder her.
Turned out they didn't, and she managed quite well.
A couple of years after she had been in that school, I was at one of those standup cocktail hour things before a banquet. With me was the principal of the school where the teacher with the flatulence problem had worked. While we were chatting, this beautiful, sophisticated-looking woman approached me.
"Hi," she said. "I'm Jocelyn's sister. She said to say hello to you."
That was rather nice and I turned to the fellow who had been principal in Jocelyn's day, and introduced him to the sister.
"How do you do," says Richard (not his real name, either). "Can you fart like your sister?"
Like the narrator in "The Shooting of Dan McGrew," I ducked my head and waited for the fireworks to start. Perhaps a slap in the face or a knee in the groin. At the very least, some highly insulting rejoinder.
She laughed. She actually laughed! Anyone else having said that would have been tossed out on their backsides so hard their bums wouldn't have been able to function for a year. But she laughed and walked away.
That's a good story, perhaps even better than the one I had in mind at the beginning. You be the judge.
It was in the Yahoo news this past week, and happened in the Southern States, of course, as all strange stories do. Given everything else that's happened in the good old U.S.A. last week, this may not seem so weird, but that's beside the point.
Seems this driver was meandering down the highway and not taking a straight line to get there. He was in his vehicle at the time. Anyway, the inevitable happened and he was stopped by a state trooper.
After several attempts to prove his sobriety - walking a straight line, forefinger to nose and all that - this driver was taken in for a breathalyzer test.

Rectal ruckus
The story gets confusing at this point. The driver said he asked to go to the bathroom and the arresting officer refused the request. The arresting officer said the driver made no such request. The driver said he did, so there.
Now we come to the crux of this incident. According to the officer in question, the driver, who was sitting in a chair close to him, lifted one leg off the chair and flatulated directly at him.
Four questions may have occurred to you about this story thus far. I'm afraid I don't know the answers to the first two. I don't know which leg he lifted. I suppose it isn't important to the overall thrust of the story.
Secondly, I don't know if there is any such word as "flatulated." If there isn't, there should be, because I suspect it would be more socially acceptable than "farteed," which is how it used to be pronounced in Bonavista Bay, and may still be.
According again to the officer, the driver not only flatulated or farteed (depending where you're from) in his direction, but actually used his hands to fan an absolutely "odious" odor directly at his face.
Your third question, I'm sure, is why that wouldn't have been the end of it. The officer should have removed himself from the immediate vicinity of the offending flatulater (not sure about that word, either) and then told the story to his buddies down at the local watering hole. That's what you'd think.
But no. This fellow was not the type to suffer that kind of rudeness gladly. In addition to being charged with impaired driving and a couple of other related charges, he had the flatulater charged with assault. Should have spelt it "ass-ault" and that's what the news story said.
And I can't answer your fourth question, either. Why in the name of unholy flatulence was this story allowed to get out to the public? Do they enjoy being the laughingstock of at least two nations, or are they simply that stupid?
Remember, this happened in the part of the country mostly responsible for electing George W. Bush.
Of course they're that stupid!
* "Sure it can!" - the editor

Ed Smith lives in Springdale. His e-mail address is

Organizations: Yahoo

Geographic location: Southern States, Bonavista Bay, Springdale

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