last column's reference to a report of a Dutch airliner that was
diverted due to a passenger's flagrant flatulence at 30,000 feet
received such a resounding response (at least from my big brother)
that I've decided to devote this entire piece to other newsworthy
incidents of a gastrointestinal character. While some readers may
find this topic unsuitable for publication, I think it's time to
clear the air (literally), and recognize the power of a good rip
and its potential impact on society.
I've always been convinced that God has given even the most unimaginative
and solemn individuals the ability (deep within) to make others
laugh. I mean, what could be funnier in an awkwardly silent situation
than the sound of a deflating balloon followed by the pungent aroma
of boiled cabbage? Unfortunately, some people (including my wife)
have not yet learned to appreciate the organic comedy of ye olde
air biscuit. In fact, this most natural of bodily functions has
even been known to elicit acts of violence and criminality-and not
just toward human nasal passages.
Take, for example, an affidavit obtained by the Miami Herald regarding
a Dania Beach, Florida, woman who pulled a knife on a man while
waiting in the checkout line at a Dollar General Store, all because
someone rang the Taco Bell. While unfair stereotypes propagated
by my three daughters might suggest that the male at the business
end of the blade was the offending cheese-cutter (and probably someone's
dad), it was actually the knife-wielding woman who cooked up the
Jiffy Pop. The man in line nearby simply complained, invoking the
wrath of the fragrant female in question. If only these bargain
shoppers could have recaptured that sense of humor often lost after
graduation from junior high, everyone could have laughed it off-once
they were able to breathe again. Instead, the incident resulted
in an aggravated assault charge and a missed opportunity for some
comic (and lower-abdominal) relief in the world of discount retail.
In addition to common citizens, our men and women in blue have also
been known to fall victim to the scourge of the trouser trumpet.
Tony Rizzo of the Kansas City Star recently reported on a police
interview that was abruptly halted when a suspect, upon being questioned
about his address, leaned to one side of his chair and brashly answered
the call of the wild burrito. Despite the detective's valiant attempts
to proceed, the suspect continued to split the seams of his jail
uniform, and the detective was forced to end the interview, apparently
in order to evacuate for oxygen treatments. No charges were filed
at the time, but the interrogation room has reportedly been repainted.
Officers on the beat must also maintain their sense of calm under
pressure, especially when a suspect releases his. In international
news, Feargus O'Sullivan of CityLab reported that when a partying
citizen in Berlin, Germany, was asked by a group of police officers
for his ID, he proceeded to burn the bratwurst in the general direction
of the officers-twice. The rank reveler was eventually slapped with
a fine of 900 euros (that's about $1,000 in Monopoly money) for
disrespecting the officers-and their respiratory systems. Luckily,
cooler heads prevailed in court, where the judge dismissed the case
in ten minutes and invited everyone out for kraut dogs.
As these semi-accurately paraphrased accounts demonstrate, we have
a long way to go when it comes to opening our watering eyes to the
humorous and odoriferous realities of being human. Amid raging international
crises like the conflict in the Middle East, immigration, and "The
Masked Singer," we all could use a little more laughter, even if
it's at the expense of our olfactory nerves.
Now, excuse me while I finish my Nachos BellGrande combo #5. I have
a flight to catch.