Lately, I’ve been filled with more gas than Rush Limbaugh on an Oxycotin high. It usually happens in bed at night, where my long-suffering boyfriend has a very limited retreat. “What food pyramid item was that?” he’ll ask like a horrified Top Chef judge, his fingers searching the putrefied air for proper adjectives. “It’s like… rancid mustard baking on a decomposing iguana in the clothes hamper of a Jersey Shore cast member…”
It isn’t easy to admit having thunder pants, because I value my potty privacy. I can’t use a bathroom that doesn’t have a lock, and that includes when I’m home alone. So this post is self therapy to normalize a perfectly normal bodily function: doing the one-cheek sneak.
Here are some facts that might help us all feel a little more human.
1. Everybody farts. Flatulence is common. Estimates of farts-per-day range from men farting 14-25 times per day and women 7-12 times per day. Men have butt burps more often because we think it’s funnier, that’s my guess.
On average, a person produces about half a liter of fart gas per day, and the gas is produced one of two ways. First, from swallowing air as we eat. Oxygen is absorbed but this leaves nitrogen and carbon dioxide, which eventually makes their way out of the anal opening. Secondly, gas is produced by the breakdown of food during digestion.
2. The “warm silencers” are, in fact, worse than the loud ones. The farts produced by swallowing air are odorless, although they often pick up more odiferous components on the way through the bowel. They emerge from the anus in fairly large bubbles at body temperature. In other words, they’re all bark and no bite.
On the other hand, the gas produced by bacterial action (digestion) is another kind of fart altogether. Bacterial fermentation and digestion processes produce heat as a byproduct as well as various pungent gases. The resulting bubbles of gas tend to be small, hot, and concentrated with stinky bacterial metabolic products. These emerge as the notorious, warm, SBD (Silent-But-Deadly) farts, often in amounts too small to produce a good sound, but excelling in stench.
3. Individual fart results can vary. Diet is the largest variable for flatulence. If you’re looking to reduce those foods, good luck with that. The list includes beans, milk products, vegetables, fruits, cereals, fatty foods and carbonated liquids.
The side effect of many medications can also contribute to anal audio. If I wanted to avoid hole flappers, my HIV treatment options would have to go without Atripla, Invirase, Kaletra, Norvir, Prezista, Truvada, Viracept, and Viread.
4. Farting is commercial. Jim Carrey would be flipping burgers if jokes about blowing the butt bugle weren’t funny, but he’s not the only one making a buck. In 1940, some employees of the Jem Rubber Co. in Toronto were toying with scrap sheets of rubber when one of them sat on it and produced a farting noise. They informed their boss, who soon marketed the “Whoopee Cushion,” which soon became a world wide sensation.
5. Fart jokes never get old. In conclusion, allow me to share the oldest, raunchiest joke I know. Four gay guys are sitting naked in a jacuzzi, hanging out and having a good time together. Suddenly, a slimy white substance floats to the surface. The men stare at it, silently, in embarrassment. Finally, one of the men says to the others, “All right guys… who farted?”
Thanks and good night! I’ll be here all week!