Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Up for a chuckle?

Hard times call for fart humor the way great cheese calls for great wine.

Bejamin Franklin’s “mock proposal he made to the Royal Academy of Brussels that they study the causes and cures of farting.”

"It is universally well known that in digesting our common food, there is created or produced in the bowels of human creatures a great quantity of wind. That the permitting this air to escape and mix with the atmosphere is usually offensive to the company from the fetid smell that accompanies it. That all well-bred people therefore, to avoid giving such offense, forcibly restrain the efforts of nature to discharge that wind. That so retained contrary to nature, it not only gives frequently great present pain, but occasions future diseases…
Were it not for the odiously offensive smell accompanying such escapes, polite people would probably be under no more restraint in discharging such wind in company than they are in spitting or in blowing their noses. My Prize Question therefore should be, To discover some drug wholesome and not disagreeable, to be mixed with our common food or sauces, that shall render the natural discharges of wind from our bodies, not only inoffensive, but agreeable as perfumes."

Excerpt from Walter Isaacson’s book Benjamin Franklin—An American Life

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