So you’re in line at the bank and you feel the pressure in your belly building. It’s coming… a large fart is about to enter the outside world. Will people hate the fart? Will they like the fart? Will they laugh or scorn? Will they attack the farter? As these questions race through your head, if you are like most people you will do just about anything to hold the fart in. You believe you are doing the right thing, but is holding the fart in really the best thing to do?
Let’s break this down in two categories: Physiologically and sociologically. Find out more about Why Fart
The physiologic consequences of holding in a fart
When you hold in a fart, you are working against nature at its very core. Every living creature farts and it is an efficient way of getting rid of intestinal gas. When you deny the exit of your gas you allow the gas to build. When it builds, more stinky gas mixes with old stinky gas and makes an even stinker, larger fart. When that baby accidentally rushes out, you would have wished you had let those out in more palatable portions.
But let’s say you are really good at holding them in. What happens then? Depending on the rate of your buildup of gas, one of two things will happen. One is quite humorous and throws fart karma back in your face. If your gas is building at a rapid rate and you won’t let it out, the lower chamber of your large intestine begins to expand with the pressure. Our intestines are made up of a series of chambers with sphincters in between each one. The only sphincter you have control over is the last one. If the pressure builds too much, the gas will push upward through the next internal sphincter into the upper chamber. And guess what? It makes the same fart sound going that way that it does going out. And to top it off, you can’t control it any more than you can control your stomach growing. Have fun explaining the loud fart noises coming from you that you can’t stop. Even while muffled a bit, these internal farts sound just like a fresh one entering the world out the back end.
If the buildup of gas is more gradual, if you hold it too long, the gas starts to reabsorb through the intestinal walls and enter your blood stream. The blood carries it back to your lungs and processed out where it exits when you exhale. That’s right you will have farts coming out of your breath. However, the stinky parts of the fart don’t make this voyage, just the gassy parts. So while your breath won’t stink like farts, the bulk of your fart gas will pass over your lips. So for the ladies who like to hold in their farts all day, how does this information strike you? What’s worse? Farting the normal way, or having your farts exit when you exhale? Think about this next time you are kissing someone who never seems to fart.
The Sociological side of farting in public
Farting in public is an everyday occurrence and generally accepted so long as the farter isn’t aggressive about it. But most people let their farts out silent and create a stink screen enveloping everyone around them. Everyone knows somebody farted and most people don’t say anything about it. However, if you rip a screaming loud fart that doesn’t smell at all, everyone gives immediate attention to you in the form of laughter or scorn. Correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t smelly farts more offensive than loud harmless farts? So what is this double standard we live with?
Since we are accustomed to silent farts everywhere we go, most people ignore them. Loud farts are a little more rare from folks over five years old. As a society, we don’t quite know how to properly handle those when they surprise us in public. Surprisingly the best way to avoid the awkward moments after a loud public fart is to announce it is coming before it blasts out. If you have the guts to say, “I am about to fart loudly” before you let it rip, the aftermath will be different. Upon saying that, everyone around you will pause and listen for the fart. Then it is human nature to judge the fart, creating a much less tense situation and more likely for people to laugh.
If you can’t bring yourself to say that out loud, the next best thing is to wear a shirt that states you are a farter. Once people see your shirt, they will expect a fart from you and receive it much more amicably. People are interesting and their reactions to farts are even more interesting. Try announcing a fart in public and see for yourself how it changes the reaction and diffuses any tension. And let it be said that you do not have fart breath.