Monday, March 03, 2008

Ask Erin, vol. 1

Dear Erin,

Riddle me this: why are we immune to our own farts?

Dan, South Carolina.

Dear Dan: This question recalled Erica Jong's groundbreaking 1973 novel Fear of Flying, in which she says people enjoy their own flatulence. I hadn't read the book in years; hence a reread was in order.

When I finally found the passage, it read, "Despite what Auden says about all people loving the smell of their own farts, my reek was beginning to offend my nostrils." Why, Jong wasn't a self-fart lover at all--just a reference pimp.

I went in search of Auden's farts. I found them in the 1962 Viking Book of Aphorisms, which he compiled with Louis Kronenberger in 1962.

The "Self-Love" section includes this Spartan entry: "Every man likes the smell of his own farts," which is credited to an unnamed Icelandic Proverb. So neither Jong nor Auden actually admitted savoring their own emissions. This gent, however, on Is It Normal? was much more upfront: "Whenever I fart, I enjoy the smell that I release. I tend to wave with my hand upwards between my legs so I can get a better whiff."

But why doth he or anyone enjoy said indulgence so grandly? Perhaps we are proud of having nourished ourselves. After all, the fart is representative of our triumph over starvation. For woman hath put forth platter of roasted meat after chest-thumping man hath slain ferocious beast.

Both should be proud!

Both should enjoy this brief and playful interlude that denotes proper ingestion, this happy mile marker on the road to the universal punctuation mark of sustenance: the turd.


Henri Banks said...

hi sweety hows life going there !!

Hal said...

Charles Bukowski said the stench from that first beer poop in the morning was like redemption. Perhaps like Ernest Angely faith healing your hangover away.

deangc said...

When I'm sucking back beer and onions, there's nobody this side of Hell can stand it. Including me.

Erin O'Brien said...

My sister-in-law pointed this marvelous new product out to me.

Who knew?

Erin O'Brien said...

People, please go to the link above. There's even an instructional YouTube!

Toby said...


Goat said...

PLEEZ tell me it was your other sister-in-law who pointed out the website above and NOT MY SISTER !!

josh williams said...

I knew a guy who put the bounty fabric softener things in the back of his undies, in hopes if he did fart it would smell of soft cloths. I have the worst olfactory east of the Miss. yet I can still smell, some farts...But can I smell a rose? Nope a rose is a rose is a rose.

Doug said...

Erin, what is that thing -- a cork?

Erin O'Brien said...

Now so much a cork as some sort of fart filter for the skivvies.

zen wizard said...

When you take a righteous dump and then pour baking soda into the toilet bowl, the smell totally disappears without the telltale perfumey smell of Oust!

They should really change the name of Oust! to Admit You Just Farted!

Anyway, this leads me to believe that the culprit that makes $H!T smell bad is some form of acid.

When someone's catalytic converter is going bad at a light, it smells like the freakin' Jolly Green Giant just cut one.

This would lead me to believe that methane is the culprit element that makes a fart reek.

Something that neutralizes methane--like, um, a Bic lighter--would seem to be the antidote.

In polite society, however, one doesn't hoist one's legs heavenward and wave a lit lighter around their crotch. This could potentially ruin a great tuxedo. Plus, it is considered bad form.

That's really all I have to add to the discussion...

deangc said...

Dude, burnt farts smell worse than the unoxidized kind. Way worse.

Don't ask how I know this.