Column | Breaking news... and wind
My last column’s reference to a report of a Dutch airliner that was diverted due to a passenger’s flagrant flatulence at 30,000 feet received such a resounding response (at least from my big brother) that I’ve decided to devote this entire piece to other newsworthy incidents of a gastrointestinal character. While some readers may find this topic unsuitable for publication, I think it’s time to clear the air (literally), and recognize the power of a good rip and its potential impact on society.
I’ve always been convinced that God has given even the most unimaginative and solemn individuals the ability (deep within) to make others laugh. I mean, what could be funnier in an awkwardly silent situation than the sound of a deflating balloon followed by the pungent aroma of boiled cabbage? Unfortunately, some people (including my wife) have not yet learned to appreciate the organic comedy of ye olde air biscuit. In fact, this most natural of bodily functions has even been known to elicit acts of violence and criminality – and not just toward human nasal passages.
Take, for example, an affidavit obtained by the Miami Herald regarding a Dania Beach, Florida, woman who pulled a knife on a man while waiting in the checkout line at a Dollar General Store, all because someone rang the Taco Bell. While unfair stereotypes propagated by my three daughters might suggest that the male at the business end of the blade was the offending cheese-cutter (and probably someone’s dad), it was actually the knife-wielding woman who cooked up the Jiffy Pop. The man in line nearby simply complained, invoking the wrath of the fragrant female in question.
If only these bargain shoppers could have recaptured that sense of humor often lost after graduation from junior high, everyone could have laughed it off – once they were able to breathe again. Instead, the incident resulted in an aggravated assault charge and a missed opportunity for some comic (and lower-abdominal) relief in the world of discount retail.
In addition to common citizens, our men and women in blue have also been known to fall victim to the scourge of the trouser trumpet. Tony Rizzo of the Kansas City Star recently reported on a police interview that was abruptly halted when a suspect, upon being questioned about his address, leaned to one side of his chair and brashly answered the call of the wild burrito.
Despite the detective’s valiant attempts to proceed, the suspect continued to split the seams of his jail uniform, and the detective was forced to end the interview, apparently in order to evacuate for oxygen treatments. No charges were filed at the time, but the interrogation room has reportedly been repainted.
Officers on the beat must also maintain their sense of calm under pressure, especially when a suspect releases his. In international news, Feargus O’Sullivan of CityLab reported that when a partying citizen in Berlin, Germany, was asked by a group of police officers for his ID, he proceeded to burn the bratwurst in the general direction of the officers - twice.
The rank reveler was eventually slapped with a fine of 900 euros (that’s about $1,000 in Monopoly money) for disrespecting the officers - and their respiratory systems. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed in court, where the judge dismissed the case in ten minutes and invited everyone out for kraut dogs.
As these semi-accurately paraphrased accounts demonstrate, we have a long way to go when it comes to opening our watering eyes to the humorous and odoriferous realities of being human. Amid raging international crises like the conflict in the Middle East, immigration, and “The Masked Singer,” we all could use a little more laughter, even if it’s at the expense of our olfactory nerves.
Now, excuse me while I finish my Nachos BellGrande combo #5. I have a flight to catch.