Ben Franklin Fart Essay

He who smelt it, they say, has most certainly dealt it.

"Farting is one of those unmentionables because it reminds people of our animal origins," says flatulence expert Jim Dawson, author of the books "It still has a certain shock value to it." You could fill a textbook with What You Don’t Know about Your Farts.

In Dante’s Divine Comedy, the final line of Inferno chapter 21 reads: ed elli avea del cul fatto trombetta.

Translation: “And he used his butt as a trumpet.” In Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Tale,” the poor student, Nicholas, blows a bean before the parish clerk, Absalom.

The fart is the ugly stepchild of bodily functions. Did you know that last Wednesday was National Pass Gas Day? Most media outlets didn't even acknowledge it, and to be honest, we can't blame them.

The sneeze, the cough, and the hiccup have earned their place in proper society. After all, if prepubescent boys have taught us nothing else, it's that you should never, be the first person to identify a fart.So I suppose if anybody is qualified to be your fart historian, offering you the most comprehensive exploration of historical farts ever assembled, it would be me. It started when Apries sent one of his generals, Amasis, to quash a rebellion among his troops. The guy "pulled back his garment, and cowering down after an indecent manner, turned his breech to the Jews, and spake such words as you might expect upon such a posture." This angered the Jews, the angriest of whom began stoning the soldiers.But the rebels crowned Amasis the new king which, as Mel Brooks would note a millennium and a half later, it's good to be. The Roman leader of Jerusalem, Cumanus (no joke), called in backup and a riot ensued.One of the best reasons to celebrate Independence Day is that it reminds us to ask anew what it means to be truly free.This question is especially important for Westerners, since our region has so often been viewed as the nation’s symbolic repository of liberty.So Apries sent over another dude, a popular advisor named Patarbemis. Most of the dead were Jews killed as they trampled each other trying to escape the Temple, where they crowded when the Roman Army arrived.According to Herodotus, Amasis honked his rectum and told Patarbemis to "carry that back to Apries." It's not known how exactly this message was relayed, but Apries responded by ordering the nose and ears lopped off his messenger. "This was the granddaddy of all fart destruction," Dawson says.Farting has long been associated with freedom from societal constraint, which is why flatulence is so often associated with humor, another form of attack on institutional authority and social conformity.In fact, it has recently been discovered that the oldest joke in recorded history, which appears in cuneiform script on a Sumerian tablet dated to 1900 BCE, is a fart joke.News of this brutality swayed Egyptians against their king, who was eventually torn apart by a mob, and insured the official reign of Amasis from 569 to 525 B. "As far as a direct result of a fart, you can't get bigger than this." In Francois Rabelais' , published in 1532 and widely considered the first fantasy novel, a giant rips one so powerful, it creates actual little people: "But with the fart he blew the earth trembled for twenty-seven miles round, and with the fetid air of it he engendered more than fifty-three thousand little men, misshapen dwarfs." Fans of the book note that it synchronizes perfectly to Pink Floyd’s .In 1607, British Member of Parliament Henry Ludlow farted during a debate about naturalizing the Scots.

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