Farts were probably not vilified nor a cause of ridicule until our diet changed drastically in the past couple hundred years. Any population eating a diet with lots of fermentable fibers, be it from meat or plant, would be a population that knows gas. A diet that produces little gas, or intermittent levels of gas with asphyxiating properties, is not a diet that favors good populations of gut microbes. No one cringes and points fingers when a person sneezes, so should it be with the common fart.
A polite person sneezes into the crook of their arm or a tissue clad hand. Random passers-by may say, “Gesundheit,” “Bless you,” or “Mercy!” Our proposal is that farts should elicit the same courtesies from both farter and fartee...
When one feels a fart coming on, it shouldn’t be sphincter-choked out of existence, but it should be let out at a natural pace without worry of odoriferous quality or decibel. A passive observer should, at that juncture, respond in kind with, “Gut bugs!” “Microbes!” or “To fermentation!”
When the stigma of farting is gone, people will be under great pressure to eat a diet that feeds gas degraders and colonocytes, a diet high in fermentables that produce healthy, hearty gas. And, if this day never comes and flatulence remains confined to locked restroom stalls and dingy alleyways, just remember the words of Edward Fitzgerald,
“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, moves on.”
So, fear not the breaking wind...don’t apologize for a fart any more than you’d apologize for a sneeze, just move on. With improved health comes great farts, no longer do we need to fear “silent but deadly” instead, we embrace the “loud and friendly!”
Fart Man of Sheshatshit
The Innu are a group of First Nations, located in northeastern Quebec and southern Labrador. They’ve traditionally lived a life in the far north often living off the land and known far and wide as a healthy, fun-loving people with great respect for Nature. The Innu hold onto some of their pre-Christian beliefs, amongst them a deity known as “Matshishkapeu.”
Matshishkapeu, or “Fart Man,” is the spirit of the bowels who speaks regularly with the Innu. Fart Man is a god of humor and seriousness, imparting much laughter but one of the most powerful gods able to control both man and animal. He is omnipotent, always with you, both inside and out. Matshishkapeu can speak, sing, mimic, and predict the future, according to legend.
The Innu of Sheshatshit, Labrador (yes, really!) refer to Fart Man as Matshishkapeu-utshimau (the boss), tshitshue utshimau (the real boss) or mishta-utshimau (the big boss). Fart Man speaks through the anus of the Innu, but often in muffled, unintelligible sentences or words. It’s usually left to a wise elder to translate. Common messages from Fart Man are:
"Goose"To the gut bugs!
"One, two, three" (Matshishkapeu can count but no higher than five)
"Good, good, good..."
"No, no, no"
"I can go right through" [the wall like a ghost]
"The world is soon going to end my son"