Teaching elementary school inducts one into the Farts Are Always Funny Club. I never liked teaching fourth grade for this reason alone. I always call fourth graders burpers and farters. They think bodily functions are hilarious! Fifth grade boys are members of the “club” but fifth grade girls try to make boys think they think farts are disgusting. When boys let one go in my classroom I have to be the bad guy and give them the “no-really-YOU-aren’t-doing-that-in-MY-classroom look”. But really farts are always funny!
I remember as a young girl being in the grocery store with my grandmother and her ripping one. It sounded like a motorboat heading out to deep water. I was appalled that MY grandmother would fart in public. When I expressed my feelings to her she said, “Someday you’re going to be old, like me, looking for an empty aisle in the store. Keep quiet, keep walking and we may be far away before anyone notices.” So we proceeded to motorboat our way down the aisle as quickly as possible. When I got home and recounted the story to the family we all howled until we cried. Farts are always funny.
I remember Bill Cosby did a portion of his stand up routine on farts. And recently, there is a popular youtube video on “breaking the barrier”. Yep, farts always have been and always will be funny.
My favorite chapter of the book The BFG by Roald Dahl is called “Frobscottle and Whizpoppers”. The chapter is about farting and being proud of one’s ability to “rattle the glass jars on the shelves and make the walls of the cave reverberate like thunder”. When I read this chapter to children and adults tears of laughter are always rolling. Farts are always funny.
I am fifty-seven years old and I have learned that with age comes gassiness. I now understand my grandmother’s dilemma. It is painful to hold gas in. I, too, am continually in search of an “empty aisle”. I walk at the end of my class’s line for a reason. I am not a motorboater like my grandmother. I am the SBD type and when I let one go I pray that it is Silent and not Deadly.
This summer while in Montana we had quite a gigglefest about farting. Caren’s home is in the woods and has very poor TV reception, so we spend a lot of time playing games at the kitchen table. Caren, my cousin Kelly, a friend I teach with Ally, and myself were playing Yahtzee. We had spent the day at the Flathead Cherry Festival tasting cherries and eating cherry pastries. One must be careful with one’s cherry consumption, if one doesn’t want an intestinal problem that always begins with gas. Caren and I are in our fifties and Kelly is in her forties so we are at “that” age where we can’t and probably don’t want to hold things inside. Poor Ally being only in her early twenties and having the capability to hold it was surrounded and doomed! I thought the one I let go was going to be just silent but I was wrong. It made one’s eyes water like the weeping walls at Glacier National Park. Of course, like my father, I tried to blame it on the dogs but they weren’t in the room. And then we started laughing and Caren had to shout the “sistah” mantra, “Stop, I’m gonna to pee!” Then Caren who doesn’t try to be sneaky about anything let one rip. Caren doesn’t do anything half-assed not even farting. Ally’s eyes got as big as saucers and laughing she said, “Now that was like a whoopee cushion!” Again the “sistah” mantra was shouted by all, “Stop, I’m gonna pee!”
The evening continued with a melody of gaseous explosions. We farted and laughed, farted and howled and peed, and farted some more. We could have gone on the road as the Flathead Cherry Festival Quartet. We too “made the glass jars rattle on the shelves and the walls reverberate like thunder”. The BFG would have been proud. Farts are always funny.
Good thing no one lit a match!
The Flip Side
There was one that sounded like a bear growling. That’s when I hid under the bed.