Tuesday 10 January 2012

Contemplations on Flatulence aka fart

Human beings have different interesting dimensions to them. One of them is the way an individual responds/reacts to sounds. One such sound is that of the fart. It is a natural process in which a person releases intestinal gas. Well, a process as harmless as a fart is something that evokes different responses from people. I have always been interested in these expressions that always remain unnoticed and unspoken.

Kids, especially, are quite thrilled when they hear the sound of a fart. They don't see any strings attached to the sound and the smell. Things like etiquette, politeness and formality does not matter to them but they do realise that the one who releases gas is an object of fun. One has to be careful for the kids harmlessly rattle away the statistics of the sound giving importance to the after-effects of the same.

I have seen (and heard) older people who don't restrict themselves when they have the need to release gas. They do so effortlessly without any reaction. As kids, we tried hard to supress our laughter when we heard a fart. But why does a simple act of releasing gas evoke so much laughter and fun. Is it the sound or the smell or the fact that the sound is released from a very unlikely place. Why is it that a burp and a hiccup is not seen as funny as a fart or a snore? On that note, farts and snores are the most laughed at sounds made by the human.

And how did a fart get into the notes for etiquette. Why is it not proper to fart in public? If one can sneeze and cough, why not fart? Especially with women, farting is a vice with a capital V. A fart by a woman is worthy enough to be the fodder for gossip. Why? I don't understand this fascination with farting. Just ignore and carry on. Why does one need to supress sniggers, look away and pretend to keep a straight face.

And to add to the facts and figures, we have farts that are common to a specific community and as all tall tales begin, this one begines like this: You know people from x community are always farting, no matter where and when. Who thought culture would intervene here. Maybe, it's the food habits of a specific community.

I don't know what more to think and say. You tell me.

Image: Internet


  1. I agree on your views but then you know it's so natural to laugh out or try to make a straight face when you hear someone fart...

    May be because it comes under the tag of etiquette and since it's always been taught to us that it's not appropriate to fart in front of anyone it has become our dogma ..so when something is uncommon it attracts attention when done in public...getting me?

  2. Farts and burps have some how always been a topic of conversation in my family. My mother since I can remember ignored the fact that they existed.This caused much laughter with my children, they would fart to get her to grin or try to hide one, which she never did. I had never heard her fart in my entire life until her hearing started to go, now she is an almost constant flow of flatulence. Never realizing that she is farting up a storm while we walk through the stores. Not very loud but loudly enough for me to worry for her embarrassment. Why that would be so is beyond me, I have know answers as to why bodily functions are funny. I do think it has to do with shame, but which came first????

  3. Susan,how on earth do u even think of such topics...I admire u..
    To excuse yourself and leave for a moment.Seriously, if you don't know someone well enough to acknowledge a fart in their presence, don't fart in their presence. How hard is it to wait 30 seconds while you walk to the bathroom?
    To tell u the truth..I would say "Excuse me," in voice approximately as loud as the sound had been and then try to forget about it. It does happen to everyone sometimes.

  4. Susan you're a treasure...Although Alpana asked you how you think up such things, I think a more important question in this case is that you actually blogged about it.
    Yes, I wonder why we're so excited by flatulence and try so hard to suppress it. Pablo feels no embarrassment and I think loves to torment us at times!!
    Just had to share it with you:
    A Belch is but a gust of wind
    That cometh from the Heart,
    But should it take a downward trend,
    Turneth into a Fart

  5. Okay, Susan, now I've heard it all! :) And, I'm still chuckling!
    You did such a wonderful job here talking about something we, characteristically, don't speak about even though it happens all the time.
    This was "fartastic"!

  6. I laughed so hard reading this I farted! I have no answer to your questions, so I'll just quote Madonna who waxed poetic about farting:

    "A fart is a chemical substance.
    It comes from a place called Bum.
    It penentrates through the trousers, and lands with a musical hum.
    To fart, to fart 'tis no disgrace for it gives the body ease.
    It warms the blankets on cold winter nights and suffocates all the fleas."


  7. Fun post and soooo different from what we want to write. I think like everything else we grow wise with age and accept farting in public without a blush or being embarrassed about it.

  8. Just the reading the word fart made me laugh. I did have a laugh reading your post Susan. I really dont know why we cant just let out that pent up gas and move on normally without being the object of ridicule. I have often pondered on this. As for women, can you imagine an Aishwarya Rai or a Nicole Kidman fart??? I cannot for the life of me!!!! LOL!

  9. What a wonderful post to read my day...how in the world did you ever come up with this topic?
    I've been around people that fart on a whim and think nothing of it...no excuse me, no 'whoops', no nothing. It doesn't bother me one way or another. Again, always living on a farm gives you a tough skin I guess. I know people who turn their nose up at going 'around the back of the barn' or 'stepping into a horse stall' to pee.
    Oh well...to each his own. Great post!

  10. This Christmas I gave a friend of mine a book. Not exactly sure of the title, but it was about fart sounds around the world. It made a variety of different sounds corresponding to different countries. Hilarious! We returned to being 10 and had so much childish fun.

    Reading this, I laughed again and wonder too why it's so funny.

  11. why not fart in public - that's because one might be inconveniencing the others - the smell is not pleasant more than the association with the sound -
    as for the funny bit - i wonder why - it's like it's funnier when somebody pretends they didn't do it perhaps!

  12. we all do it...and those that say they do not would have exploded by now...smiles...so just be respectful as you would with a cough...

  13. HA HA HA HAAH :)

    although i agree with you why is it not proper to fart in public its a natural process as is the cough and sneeze ..

    I dont know anything else tooo he hehe but reading the comments of some has made me laugh more too


  14. lol There is certainly a stigma associated with farting..that's for sure! Especially when it's done by a female...Ever see the Scrubs episode when, to make sure a woman's surgery succeeded and she was safe to go home they had to make sure she could fart...and she flat out refused...It took her quite awhile to get the nerve to do it! ;)

  15. Susan,

    My kids get that thrill you are talking about every night about the time I tuck them in!

    Nice job!

  16. Susan,
    I should accept I had thot of blogging about the topic a few weeks ago, bt dropped the idea I don't exactly know why, probably thinking it wasn't the right topic.

    Well, reading it here was fun as your writeups always are.... I had a few laughs too.:)

    I think we laugh probably because of the exit for the gas - v hav a bit closed mentality,n d smell. We must remember dat even people who fart feel dey 've done something wrong, though it's just a sound. Great read!!
    Happy writing!!!:D

  17. You know when we get patients with bowel obstruction with distended abdomens and we perform surgery on them, we actually eagerly wait for them to fart. It means the surgery was successful and there's nothing else obstructing the intestine. Haha, that's another spin on flatulence for you. It makes general surgeons glad! :D

  18. I think we are embarrassed of anything that reminds us of our animal origins.Farting,pooping all belong to that category.

    My first time in a science lab when I was maybe 10,near the bottles of Hydrogen sulfide, I had thought someone had really unleashed 'bio' terrorism:-)

    And yes,we guys really think gals never fart or poop,its silly I know.J lo's posterior would lose all its charm,unless we block out certain thoughts:-)

    I just read this a while back...


    It is so revelatory of our attitudes around this topic:-)

  19. Oh, you are s funny dear Susan! The topics you choose for your posts are so varied and this one made me laugh out loud!:)))
    I too wish farting would not be considered as such an asocial and rude behavior.;) Medically speaking one should not retain farts as it can be painful and also dangerous.;) My grandfather once did to a party and after that he was in such a pain, he swore never to hold them back again. Thus my father recollects meeting his father in law for the first time and being all nervous, but my grandfather just farted and my dad was immediately put at ease.;) They were the best friends after that.;)

  20. It's funny you should bring this up.

    I was at a restaurant last night, where a lady ripped one. It was a quiet setting, so it was one way to break the silence. One of the waitresses was so surprised she couldn't stop staring ... she was in shock, or maybe scared.

  21. An award nomination and tag for you in my post here: http://yuvikachaube.blogspot.com/2012/01/versatile-blogger-nomination-and-tag.html

  22. Nu:

    But fart has become so common these days with the kind of food we eat.


    I had to smile at the wonderful way you have described the act in your comment. I wonder when the fun with fart started. I somehow think that it is only very recently.

  23. Alpana:

    Thanks for your lovely words of appreciation, dear Alpana. For me, trying to control a fart is the most hardest thing :)


    Yes, Corinne, sometimes these apsects of the human are compltely side-lined. I am so envious of Pablo. he can have his way without thinking of etiquette and all that.

  24. Martha:

    Fartastic!!!! Roars with laughter.

    Lot sof blessings back at you.


    Madonna is an angle for coming up with quirky verses as this one! Glad that you shared this one.

  25. Janu:

    This one with age, I don't know. My grandfather would never ever do it in public :)


    Imagining Rai farting is definitely a hard reality.

  26. Mary:

    Thanks for visiting after a long time. Glad to see you here. Yes, you are right. Living in a farm does wonders to our overall living.


    I wonder what details were in that book. A good choice for a present, dear Myrna.
    It is funny but we don't stop to think why.

  27. Yuvika:

    Sometimes the farts are devoid of smell. But sometimes even if the person is not farting aloud, we know that he/she has farted. This happens in assemblies, public transportation and churches.
    Fun, all the way
    thy name is fart!


    Smiles, yes.

  28. Bikramjit:

    The comments are hilarious, yes.


    Just scroll down and a medical student has suppoted the fact that you have stated. So true, Jessica that women have all these false sense of etiquette and all that.

  29. David:

    Welcome here and glad that you commented. Well, kids are the most funny ones. Just looking at them laughing makes me laugh.


    When thoughts arise, please do write about them. Sometimes I don't write and when I see the same on someone else's blog, I wonder, "I should have . . ." It's just a sound but not everyone thinks so.

  30. Karishma:

    Surgeons are the only ones glad, I suppose. But I wonder about those same surgeons when they are out socialising. Do they mind?


    I read that article that you recommended. Silly girl.
    I would like to read up more on the animal origin part. I wonder how. Maybe looking at farting as something funny came after the industrial revolution when lot of other things also started. Girls/Women are vain when it comes to certain thing, I assume.

  31. Zuzana:

    Your grandfather is a wise man but if the same was a women, she would have never done so.

    Lots of love, dear Zuzana.

    J. D. Meier:

    The waitress would have been on high etiquette system, I reckon. I wonder what i would have done if I was in her place.

  32. Stock tips:



    Got that.
    Thanks and joy always :)

  33. It's my favorite poem about farting so far. Mrs Sus, you've certainly outdone yourself with this one. Truly unexpected from an academic like you, but I love it! :)

    1. :)

      Yes, I know. One of my friends told me "Why do you blog about trivial things when you can write more academic stuff."

      I replied: "Hello, I'm not writing for a peer-reviewed journal. I am a blogger!"

      What say, Age?

  34. why does it seem that older people's farts make different noises than younger people's farts. As people age the fart sounds are longer and unusual sounding.



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