Let’s talk about farts

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We’re taking a break from regularly scheduled programming to talk about farts.

If this makes you uncomfortable please come back tomorrow when we’ll be back to photos of food, travel and home improvements. Thank you for watching.

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I’m just back from a wonderful trip to Death Valley in Southern California. Jack and I backpacked into Death Valley National Park for three days/two nights of hiking and camping. Once we hit the trail it was just the two of us. We had Surprise Canyon all to ourselves. And it was glorious.

It gave us a chance to spend some quality time together. To learn new things about each other. To see new lights.

For example, interesting things come up in conversation around a campfire in the middle of nowhere.

Things like funky fart smells, fart etiquette, memorable fart moments and the difference in fart production between men and women. Apparently men have the fart production market cornered. Without knowing the reality of this statement I’m inclined to agree. It’s an assumption, I know. But I don’t think it’s too crazy.

•••

Before I proceed let me give you a soundbite-sized back story. Jack and I just got married four months ago. In many ways, we’re still getting to know each other. And each others farting philosophies.

Now, I must confess that he’s normally the most fastidiously hygienic man I’ve ever met in my life. I really like that about him. A lot. It’s an OCD that I can support. But sometimes you gotta be real. Jack is also a biologist. He is a man of the earth. He’s Mr. Au Naturale. He’s the son of a physician. All things natural seem, well, ‘natural’ to him. Bloody gashes, severed limbs, body odor, unshaven legs … he doesn’t care. For heaven’s sake, the man has spent ten days out in the field (in the middle of nowhere Alaska) without showering or changing his clothes. He knows “ripe”. Human bodies are walking, talking, germ-collecting bags of goo and gas. He gets it.

So … farts? Yeah, he doesn’t care.

Add on being a biologist—he really doesn’t care.

Top it all off—he’s a dude. He revels in it.

•••

(Please note that I’m paraphrasing here as I was drinking wine while this conversation was going on. Picture us huddled around a campfire sharing some good Barbera wine, talking politics, current events and the philosophy of farting at work.)

Me: So when all you scientists go out in the field together—camping in the middle of nowhere—do you just openly fart in front of each other? Do you try to hide it? Or is it just a kind of—who cares, I’m only human—kind of thing?

Him: Depends on the person, but generally people don’t really care. We’re all scientists.

Me: So, everyone just let’s ’em rip without thought? Both men and women?

Him: Well, I think men just produce a lot more gas than women, so in general, they fart a lot more. And they don’t care to hide it as much.

Me: What about when you’re back in the office, do people act the same way?

Him: Pretty much. You could be in the middle of a meeting in someone’s office and they’ll just fart and keep talking. Sometimes you’ll try to make it quiet, but who cares if it stinks? I’ve been in a lot of meetings like that.

Me: You’re kidding!

Him: Uh. No. We’re biologists. We really don’t care.

Me: Huh. Well, my experience in the corporate world kind of frowns on the openly passing of gas during business meetings. I think it’s considered a might unprofessional.

Him: That’s why we’re not corporate.

Me: Wow. Really. I simply have no words. … Wow.

###

This conversation prompted me to wonder:

1. Is there an official farting at work etiquette? Which industries are most lax about it? Least lax?

2. What IS the difference in fart production between men and women? Has someone done a study? Can you imagine what that proposal for funding must have read like? What’s the scientific significance—measuring methane and its contribution to global warming?

3. At what point in a relationship is it appropriate to fart openly and happily in front of each other? Like, is it a third-date test? Or something you should save until after marriage when you know they’re less likely to flee?

4. Is there any correlation between farting in front of each other and peeing in front of each other? (This is a non sequitur, but if you feel comfortable peeing in front of each, do you feel comfortable pooping in front of each other?)

5. Does openly farting in public mean that you’re uber-confident or just indifferent?

6. Why do men’s farts smell so much worse than women’s? (Generally speaking.)

7. At what point do farts go from being cute to unholy?

8. Does it matter to you if your partner farts openly in front of you? Should they be blase about it or go for gusto and glory in it? Should they go through the motion of trying to hide it? Or say something like “gesundheit” afterward?

9. Who, in their right mind, actually likes a dutch oven?

This, folks, is the way my mind works. It’s a scary place to be sometimes.

And because I’ve already crossed FAR over that TMI boundary I might as well share my own philosophy with you. While I’m very private about my own farts (I refer to them as toots, even in my head) I don’t care one whit if others fart in front of me. Except maybe in the workplace. Corporate suits tootin’ during board meetings is just a little too much for me. Or while standing in line at a cafe. Or in a restaurant. That’s just unappetizing. Other than that, who cares? Feel free. It’s a natural, biological thing after all. I do; however, care if it stinks and I’m trapped in a small space with the gas. Hence, I’m not a fan of the dutch oven.

That’s all for today. Regularly scheduled programming will be back tomorrow.

For now, talk amongst yourselves. Mingle. Ponder. Discover one another.

Or, if you’re so inclined, share.

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One response »

  1. I grew up in the “ladies don’t fart in public” era…..and as I was the only girl with three brothers, I had better have a robe on when leaving my room wearing pajamas. I lived at home till I got married.

    On our FIRST date, my husband and I were in the car, I heard him fart. Now, had it been me, I would have been mortified…..hubby rolled down the window, said “the geese are flying low” and smiled. That was a very good indication of what would be my life with him. I can’t tell you how many conversations he has had with the kids while sitting on the toilet…no big deal.

    As a result, my kids are public farters, reveling in the loudness and stink, it is almost a competition….and I must admit, in the privacy of my home…..I will join in……I still don’t close the bathroom door at home, because when I do, someone will come on in (the dog was the worst). In public, I wouldn’t be caught dead even pooping. I SO think this is a girl thing…..how many times have you walked into the bathroom at work….somone is sitting there, no peeing noise and it is quiet the whole time you are there. It is my hypothesis that they are pooping, stop while someone is there and will resume once you leave. I know many women who do not poop while on vacation….why?

    It is totally a comfort level in a relationship…..would I want to go 20 years running to a bathroom to fart? I learned early to blast away at home. I WOULD DIE IF I DID IT AT WORK, THOUGH.

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