Eat your fart out

As the race kicks off to find this year’s ‘best bum’, JOE GOODMAN takes the opportunity to talk about something a bit more serious.

best bum bums Dalai Lama farting queen

I have a flatulence problem, let’s put that out there.

For the vast majority of my twenty young years, I have spent literally hours of my week clenching my delicate, white buttocks like a rodeo rider on his day off, crippled by that most basic and animalistic of behaviours (farting, not rodeo-riding, although arguably that too). 

It’s a burden I’ve carried with me everywhere. An embarrassment I’ve contained for most of my adolescent life. A constant fear of those immortal words ‘Miss, Joe farted!’, that permeates my daily routine.

Two buttocks, for illustration

A pair of buttocks, for illustration

That was, until this year.

Some of you may remember Miguel, the Shaman I met on my travels this summer. This bright eyed man-child(-puma-snake) taught me to see the world in a new light. To forget my worries and find my inner peace.

Thanks to Miguel, I’m a zen being now. I giggle when I’m upset and hug people when I’m angry. I realised my problems weren’t real in the grand scheme of things, and nor was I. If I didn’t have the elementary and culturally constructed senses through which to conceptualise myself, I wouldn’t exist. And I’m afraid you wouldn’t either.

My flatulence problem began to seem banal. ‘What’s the point of all this wasted energy?’ I thought. ‘For what purpose am I expending my physical and emotional self on such a meaningless task?’

When I realised I couldn’t answer these question I cried tears of joy for three days and nights and shat myself on more than that many occasions.

But they were shits of pride.

I’m the new Dalai Lama for fuck’s sake – can you really imagine an ounce of tension in that body? No, he’s letting off bum burps all over the shop. And now so am I.

Free yourself from tension

Free yourself from tension

So let’s discuss this. Why is it that farts are taboo anyway?

OK sometimes maybe it’s the smell. But then what about the ones that don’t smell? Can a sound (especially one so varied) be so disgusting?

I guess maybe it’s the association with the smell that makes the sound gross, but then that’s kind of unfair. Shouldn’t we treat it on a fart by fart basis, tolerating those that are smell-less and squirming at those that aren’t. It can’t be more than 50/50, depending on the direction of the wind (no pun intended).

I mean, don’t you think we might be limiting ourselves a bit here by writing farting off so easily?

For one thing, it is definitely sociable. I doubt I stand alone when I say I’ve procured most of my friends through farting on them. Seriously though, you know you’re on good terms with someone when you can fart in front of them. Even if it’s in a laddy, eurgh-we’re-so-disgusting-and-manly-but-actually-I-love-you-and-want-to-be-friends-with-you-forever-and-hold-your-hand sort of way.

The other great thing about farting is that anyone can do it. And everyone does, albeit it at different times and places to myself. When I’m feeling down I like to think of people letting one off, it’s like that ‘imagine people naked’ trick. It just instantly transforms them.

Monkey talks to other monkeys

Yes, she farts too

Of course, that’s the real reason it’s taboo. If everyone started farting all over the place, we’d be constantly reminded that we’re all just poncy animals running around in hats and heels.

Gosh that would probably be too much you know. I don’t think people would let there be a Queen if they realised she was just a farty little monkey in a prim frock.

It’s the same with all these taboos like nudity, public urination, picking your nose. It reminds us too much that we’re just like all those animals we like to treat with such little respect.

And then what would happen to the world? There’d be no reason to allow some people to have more things than others without sharing; there’d be no reason to tolerate leaders when they weren’t doing a good job; there’d be no reason to believe in invisible lines dividing up the world into parts you can and can’t go into.

All in all I happen to think it might be a slightly nicer place.

But then again what do I know? I’m just a farty, smelly monkey.

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