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.