MY piece about flatulence caused a few vibrations.
One reader said he had heard that there was a gravestone in Honley Churchyard with the inscription: “Where ere you be, let your wind blow free, for it is the wind, that killeth thee.”
I don’t know whether this is true or not, but I have no intention of searching the churchyard for proof of its existence or to see if it trapped wind is listed as a cause of death.
It goes without saying that deliberate flatulence can never be excused in mixed company.
Anyone afflicted with such vapours, should find a private place in which to expel them. Unless they are being paid.
For another reader reminded me of the career forged by Le Petomane, the greatest exponent of flatulence of his or any other era, who was a star performer at the Moulin Rouge (above).
Joseph Pujol lived from 1857 to 1945, 88 years during which countless people pulled his finger and he always let his wind blow free.
It is said that his eruptions were not caused by intestinal gasses, but that he had the ability to inhale air and expel it through his bottom.
He was so good at this that he could blow out a candle from several yards away and play O Sole Mio through his rear end. His fame was such that he performed before royal heads of Europe. Which says something about the royal heads of Europe.
He was not alone in being famous for his trump. Henry II had a jester called Roland the Farter in the 13th century, whose skill and popularity earned him a country manor and estate.
And the sentiments of this old rhyme, submitted by someone who wishes to remain anonymous, could certainly reflect the attitude of those long distant times:
A fart can be useful;
It gives the body ease.
It warms the bed in winter,
And suffocates the fleas.
Which, I think, ends this particular debate.