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  • Max Brown, PhD

How to fart

There are occasions when a well-timed fart is an effective, yet woefully under-utilized form of communication.

When to fart. Apart from dealing with a pressing anatomical imperative, the properly executed release of back pressure may be used to signal a) your emphatic disagreement, b) your disdain for present company, or c) your self-confidence and sense of superiority. In all three instances the act must be audible; otherwise, what’s the point? In the first and third cases courtesy may demand that audibility not be accompanied by smellability. Stand downwind, by a fire, open door or window, etc.

Timing is everything. Since a fart is such a strong statement, it must be employed sparingly. Don’t become known as the guy who can’t hold it in. When a fart-worthy occasion arises, wait until the room is quiet.

The mechanics. Rock up on one cheek. This helps with the release and signifies that the act is intentional. That’s important. Your flatulence is not an embarrassing loss of control; it’s a statement. Contract your lower abdominal muscles and relax your sphincter. Hope for a drawn out and audible release. Practice at home.

Prepare for all contingencies. Since it’s impossible to predict the volume and duration of the emission, have cover lines prepared for statements that are less bold than hoped for, or – it can happen – far exceed what might be appropriate to the occasion. For example, in the latter case you might say, “I hope I’ve made myself clear” in a tone that signifies your target audience is comprised of idiots who need every message delivered in high relief. Then you should leave, walking with dignity and in measured paces. *

Sell it with a smile. If your intention is to signal disagreement, finish with a solemn smile that indicates solidarity with those present who share your view and endorse your response. If your purpose is disapproval of present company, grin broadly and disdainfully. If you’re breaking wind to underscore the fact that normal social conventions don’t apply to you – in fact those present are privileged to inhale the byproduct of your digestive workings – you can even pat your stomach.

Do not apologize.

* Should a woman fart? Of course. The statement may be even more powerful when delivered by a woman.

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