On a recent flight, the man seated in the aisle of our row began hacking, coughing, and blowing his nose just after takeoff. When he began sneezing, I also noticed a simultaneous odd smell wafting around my row. I wasn’t near the lavatory, so I assumed a child or infant was behind me and went back to my book.
Soon the smell came again… and again. I checked the row to my rear – no child. Fortunately, I’ve been reading a lot of crime novels lately so my powers of deduction are as heightened as my olfactory senses. I quickly followed the chain of evidence and a pattern emerged – sneeze… stench. Sneeze… stench.
Ahah! My row companion was indeed a sick man.
This went on for the entire flight. Oh, and he took his shoes off too, so I got the joy of foot odor mixed in. I was distracted from my book and my mind was somewhat affected by his pungent assault so I began to formulate a handy guideline because:
It is not okay to fart on a plane!
Now, I’m as keen on fart humor as the next guy. I giggle like a six-year-old when I read about a good dutch oven. That is comedic gold. But even I recognize there are places where this behavior is not appropriate. To make this easy for my next potential row-mate to follow, let me list seven places where it is okay to fart.
- The bathroom– No matter how many people are in a public restroom, it is totally appropriate here. In fact, it is the purpose for which the room was designed.
- The doctor’s office– Doctors love farts and nurses are used to ungodly smells. Being lovers of science, medical personnel know that your body is designed to produce gas and they appreciate its efficiency. This approval does not extend to the waiting room, however.
- Your car– This is simple self-hazing. It goes against the typical advice against flatulation in a closed in space. (Caveat – it is only okay if you are alone or when the windows are not on child-lock.)
- While running – Runners are very forgiving about this. Marathons are basically a fart chorus. However, try not to fart if a fellow runner is directly in your wake.
- Campfires– It’s actually encouraged during guy weekends, campfires, and other outdoor activities. Rule 1 – leave the gas at home if there’s estrogen in the camp.
- The Fart Game – Standard Greco-Albanian Rules (frequency + volume wins.) Approach cautiously: The Fart Game is not like unpacking a box of Scrabble. Finding participants is as hard as asking the hottest girl in school to prom.
- Underwater– Best possible scenario. All systems go and a clever spin during release even disperses the tattletale bubble trail.
Look at that list. When you consider that 71% of the earth is covered by water and only around 40% of the remaining land is developed, you can fart on approximately 88% of the earth. You only have to think about it for locations in the other 12%!
Since I’ve made this very simple by creating a vast fart-safe zone, let me list a few of the leading places where it is not okay:
- Church– They don’t have the saying for nothing. I tested this as a boy with a long, loud staccato burst off the wooden pew during a particularly boring sermon. The right hand of God that soon ripped me out of said pew let me know that it wasn’t okay.
- Airplanes– This should be self-explanatory – any shared enclosed space should be treated as a sacred fart-free zone.
- Restaurants– Food and Funk don’t mix.
- The office – Murphy’s law – you think you’re alone in your office until you break wind. As soon as you do, a staff party is called in your office. (I worked with that guy and yes, we knew. We fumed about it behind your back.)
- – 764. FIGURE IT OUT.
It isn’t that hard. Basic guidelines of taste and decorum should be pretty clear. No matter how much you appreciate your own tootilage, 99.99% of the people in your life don’t want to smell you.
(It must be noted that Cropdusting defies categorization. While an elevator is the ultimate closed-in space, done properly, cropdusting the next-guy-on wins you the fart game and the admiration of your peers.)
Here is the final rule on the subject I would like to pass to my friend on flight 1749 and all of us men who would be boys:
When in doubt, don’t let it out!