My sense of humour has been somewhat impaired by yet another dose of frigid -29 degree weather this week, so I decided to go back to the good old standbys that make me laugh no matter what:  wordplay and fart jokes.

(Some might argue that my sense of humour is permanently impaired, but let’s not go there just now.  Moving right along…)

First this:  There’s been a lot of talk in the publishing blogs lately about best-selling author Hugh Howey advocating for indie publishing.  Headlines like “Hugh Howey and the Indie Author Revolt” abound.

And every time I read a headline like that, my brain goes here:


I know it’s an ancient joke.  I’m pretty sure I first saw it decades ago in The Wizard Of Id comic strip by Brant Parker and Johnny Hart:

Knave rushes up to the king while a mob with pitchforks clamours in the background:  “Sire, the peasants are revolting!”

King:  “Tell them to take a bath.”

(I’m making that up – I don’t actually remember what the king said; I just remember ‘the peasants are revolting’.)  And I don’t know if Parker and Hart were the original creators of that joke, but it makes me chuckle every time I see the word ‘revolt’.

Fart jokes are pretty much guaranteed to make me laugh, too.  There must be a teenage boy walking around somewhere with a 50-year-old woman’s brain in his skull, because I’ve definitely stolen some adolescent male’s sense of humour.

I think I find farts so funny because they’re universal.  I’d be willing to bet there are very few people in the world who haven’t let one slip at an inappropriate time.  And yet, regardless of cataclysmic sound effects and olfactory assaults, nobody ever acknowledges a fart in public.  (Well, unless you’re driving 800 miles with my friend Swamp Butt and me.  But that’s a fool’s mission at best.)

I’m sure we’ve all been trapped in an elevator with a dozen people and one silent-but-deadly fart.  Everyone’s eyes are watering and the tops of their heads are about to blow off from trying to hold their collective breath for twenty-five floors… but nobody reacts.  All eyes forward;  all faces impassive.

We’re all dying, but we won’t show it.  I’m busting a gut trying not to laugh out loud, but you’d never know it by my face.  Then I start wondering if everybody else is trying not to laugh, too, and the urge to laugh becomes almost overpowering.  One of these days I’m just going to guffaw and see if anybody else joins me.

My ex-father-in-law (may his delightful soul rest in peace) had a down-to-earth attitude about such things.

One day he went to Emergency with chest pain.  Since he was a prime heart attack candidate, they got him onto a stretcher right away and hooked him up to various monitors and devices.  No danger signs showed up, but the pain persisted… until he finally belched, farted, and then sat up on the stretcher to declaim, “All systems:  Go!”

The ER staff cracked up.

Revolting?  Well, maybe if you got caught in the blast nimbus, but otherwise it’s the finest fart joke ever executed.  And thinking about it never fails to make me laugh.

45 thoughts on “Revolting!

  1. Your father-in-law must have been a pip! I would have laughed myself silly if I had been in the ER with him that day.

    I too laugh when I hear lines like “The peasants were revolting.” I also like when I watch documentaries about wars and the narrator says, “The enemy was repulsed.” I can’t resist riffing on that, saying, “Oh EWW, that’s so gross!” Because, see, you know, the enemy was repulsed.


  2. (Very) little known fact – cartoonist Johnny Hart and I went to the same high school (not at the same time) and had the same English teacher – the dreaded Ms. Vogelsang!

    One day I expect to read an article entitled “Car powered by farts attains equivalent of 40 mpg.” You and your friends could go cross-country without refueling but would have to take frequent breaks to breathe.


  3. I went back and read the blog post about your 14-hour trips with Swamp Butt and your sis. Gad, that was hysterical. And kinda scary.

    If you need a co-driver some time, gimme a call. I’m still good for 15 hours of driving at a stretch. But you’ll have to catch me in a moment of weakness between gusts of sanity. When it comes to covering lots of territory in a short time, I’m no pushover, but I can be had… 🙂


    • It would be a serious departure from sanity for you to consider getting in the car with the three of us! Sadly, though, those days are over. My sister has moved away and Swamp Butt now travels with a husband and two cats.

      I’ve got the drive down to a science, though – driving alone I can make the trip in 12 hours door to door, with a 15-minute stop at the 1-hour, 5-hour, and 10-hour marks. And best of all, the only person who has to suffer my singing is me!


    • You raise a very valid point! There have been a handful of occasions when I would have like to be able to summon one up strictly as an editorial comment, but other than that… no, probably not… 😉


  4. There was once a commercial set in a castle during the French Revolution. Someone looked out side and said to Marie Antoinette, “The peasants are revolting!” To which she replies, “Yes they are.”
    Swamp butt is a name to be proud of!


  5. I think we’ve all been in that elevator at one time or another. LOL We always have pets too, they are the necessary blame takers for just such as that.

    Couldn’t access the article without subscribing but does the guy just not think Indie writers are relevant, like they are “beneath” the so called true literary geniuses? (the kind that oft times put me to sleep?) Or, is it just the word “revolt” that spurred you on?


    • I don’t actually care about the larger debate at all. I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to play with the word “revolt”!

      If I had been at all concerned about the opinion of the literary community at large, I would have tried to go the traditional publishing route. I just write my stories and have fun doing it… and if people have fun reading them, that’s all the validation I want. 🙂


      • So glad you are here too! I’ve enjoyed more writers, the Indie writers, than I ever have in the traditional publishing arena. I’ve found more humor, more action style romance, more mystery than in most other long drawn out “mainstream” authors. Maybe it’s because the Indie writers are closer to real life than others. So much more of their own experiences, or near experiences are incorporated in their stories. It seems so anyway.
        And you, YOU my dear, have managed to incorporate every bit of those in your stories. Yeppers, got a true fan here kiddo. LOL


  6. As always, you have me laughing. And your ex-father-in-law’s response to his emissions? Perfect!

    I watched a news story once of an American family that went to stay with an African family. I’m not sure if it was for a book, a reality TV show or what, but I remember the reporter commenting on how difficult it must have been to speak a different language from the family and to be tossed into a culture they weren’t familiar with. She said it was at times, but not as difficult as she’d imagined because so many things are universal. Her example was passing gas. When someone did, both families would laugh, and the kids would instantly bond over it. Go figure.


  7. Every time I hear about swamp butt and you in that car, I can’t help but laugh. If I want at work I would be in the floor. I want even there.

    I think this is a three snorter……


  8. One evening years ago, we were all gathered around the TV. And suddenly there was this horrible smell. “Oh, Sarge!” my mother said to the dog, and he slunk away. A few minutes later, my little brother said, “I cannot tell a lie.”


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