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Although it is likely that flatulence humor has long been considered funny in cultures that consider the public passing of gas impolite, such jokes are rarely recorded. Two important early texts are the 5th century BC plays The Knights and The Clouds, both by Aristophanes, which contain numerous "fart" jokes. Another example from classical times appeared in Apocolocyntosis or The Pumpkinification of Claudius, a satire attributed to Seneca on the late Roman emperor:
At once he bubbled up the ghost, and there was an end to that shadow of a life…The last words he was heard to speak in this world were these. When he had made a great noise with that end of him which talked easiest, he cried out, "Oh dear, oh dear! I think I have made a mess of myself."
He later explains he got to the afterlife with a quote from Homer:
"Breezes wafted me from Ilion unto the Ciconian land."
In the translated version of Penguin's 1001 Arabian Nights Tales, a story entitled "The Historic Fart" tells of a man who flees his country from the sheer embarrassment of farting at his wedding, only to return ten years later to discover that his fart had become so famous, that people used the anniversary of its occurrence to date other events. Upon learning this he exclaimed, "Verily, my fart has become a date! I shall be remembered forever!"
One of the most celebrated incidents of flatulence humor in early English literature is in The Miller's Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer, which dates from the 14th century; The Summoner's Tale has another. In the first, the character Nicholas sticks his buttocks out of a window at night and humiliates his rival Absolom by farting in his face. But Absolom gets revenge by thrusting a red-hot plough blade between Nicholas's cheeks ("ammyd the ers")
"Sing, sweet bird, I kneen nat where thou art!"
This Nicholas anon let fle a fart As greet as it had been a thonder-dent That with the strook he was almost yblent (blinded) And he was ready with iron hoot And Nicholas ammyd the ers he smoot.
The medieval Latin joke book Facetiae includes six tales about farting.
François Rabelais' tales of Gargantua and Pantagruel are laden with acts of flatulence. In Chapter XXVII of the second book, the giant, Pantagruel, releases a fart that "made the earth shake for twenty-nine miles around, and the foul air he blew out created more than fifty-three thousand tiny men, dwarves and creatures of weird shapes, and then he emitted a fat wet fart that turned into just as many tiny stooping women."
Benjamin Franklin, in his open letter "To the Royal Academy of Farting", satirically proposes that converting farts into a more agreeable form through science should be a milestone goal of the Royal Academy.
In ye heat of ye talk it befel yt one did breake wind, yielding an exceding mightie and distresfull stink, whereat all did laugh full sore.
The Queen inquires as to the source, and receives various replies. Lady Alice says
Good your grace, an' I had room for such a thundergust within mine ancient bowels, 'tis not in reason I coulde discharge ye same and live to thank God for yt He did choose handmaid so humble whereby to shew his power. Nay, 'tis not I yt have broughte forth this rich o'ermastering fog, this fragrant gloom, so pray you seeke ye further."
In the 1940s a clandestine record called "The Crepitation Contest"  was produced, allegedly by Canadian Broadcast Corporation staff (narration by sportscaster Sidney S. Brown, who identifies himself in the closing seconds of the original unedited recording, and "sound effects" by his producer, Jules Lipton). The recording is in the manner of a seemingly real radio broadcast of a live sporting event, complete with pre-game interviews of the contestants (the “champion”, Lord Windesmear and the challenger, Paul Boomer), detailed descriptions of all aspects of the competition as it unfolds, including the rules and traditions associated with the sport, play-by-play reporting, and crowd sounds reacting to the drama. The listener also hears a game official on the field as he announces scores attributed to the flatulence sounds emitted by each contestant in the competition.
Australian comedy musician Kevin Bloody Wilson released his song Mick the Master Farter on his 1984 album Return of the Yobbo. The song contains references to his schoolfriend Mick's uncanny ability to fart, and how it solved various situations, e.g. helping his team win a school rugby match, playing the trombone at a Kamahl concert when the trombone player did not show up, and winning the America's Cup yacht race.
First Chorus from the song:
"Mick, me mate the master farter Brought the art back into farting with his custom-tailored farts Mick, me mate the master farter Broke new ground with breaking wind, with his double-jointed arse.
The bawdy rugby song "Twas On The Good Ship Venus" includes a verse about a flatulent first-mate:-
The first-mate's name was Carter By Christ he was a farter When the wind didn't blow and the ship wouldn't go They got Carter the Farter to start 'er"
The sourcing of a fart involves a ritual of assignment that sometimes takes the form of a rhyming game. These are frequently used to discourage others from mentioning the fart or to turn the embarrassment of farting into a pleasurable subject matter. The trick is to pin the blame on someone else, often by means of deception, or using a back and forth rhyming game that includes phrases such as the following.
A Dutch oven is a slang term for lying in bed with another person and pulling the covers over the person's head while flatulating, thereby creating an unpleasant situation in an enclosed space. This is done as a prank or by accident to one's sleeping partner. The book The Alphabet of Manliness discusses the Dutch oven and a phenomenon it refers to as the "Dutch oven surprise", that "happens if you force it too hard". The Illustrated Dictionary of Sex refers to this as a Dutch treat.
There are dozens of books about fart history, fart jokes, and fart culture. One of them (see Farts: A Spotter's Guide, below) even has its own electronic fart machine with 10 fart recordings. Walter the Farting Dog is a children's book that reached No. 1 on The New York Times's Bestseller list. Who Cut the Cheese? is probably the most comprehensive history of flatulence in literature, humor, religion, films, etc.
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