Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Guy buffoonery

Flatulence - Amount and constituents

The average human releases 0.5 to 3.5 litres (1 to 3 U.S. pints) of flatus in 12 to 25 episodes throughout the day. The primary constituents of flatulence (collectively known as flatus) are the non-odorous gases nitrogen (ingested), oxygen (ingested), methane (produced by anaerobic microbes), carbon dioxide (produced by aerobic microbes or ingested, and hydrogen (produced by some microbes and consumed by others). Odors result from trace amounts of other components (often sulphur) and nitroglycerin.

Nitrogen is the primary gas released. Methane and hydrogen, lesser components, are flammable, and so flatulence is susceptible to catching fire. Gas released mostly has a foul odor which mainly results from low molecular weight fatty acids such as butyric acid (rancid butter smell) and reduced sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell) and carbonyl sulfide that are the result of protein breakdown. The incidence of odoriferous compounds in flatus increases from herbivores, such as cattle, to omnivores to carnivorous species, such as cats.

--Online definition of flatulence

That cracks me up because I have come to the conclusion that one of the biggest difference between men and women is that guys think farts are funny. This would explain some people's visceral reaction to the classic "pull my finger" schtick. That is okay. The world is big enough for all opinions.

BTW, flatulence figures prominently in much of Chaucer's writing so don't think fart humor is a recent development.

I do want to go on record that, although I have said "pull my finger" to my nieces and nephews, no one has ever pulled it. And if they did, I would not be able to fart on demand. It is not one of my talents. I would like to be able to fart at will, but flatulence for me has always been a random act.

My point is that I paraody buffoonery knowingly. It's like tacky things. If you know something is tacky, it becomes kitsche. It's a subtle distinction that not everyone appreciates. The real trick in pseudo-buffoonery is not stepping over the line. I try to be tasteful in my vulgarity. It is an art, trust me.

So, remember, the next time you point your finger at a buffoon, prepare for him to pull it and keep in mind you have three more pointing back at you.
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