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.