7.16 One fart is a mistake, two are intentional, three farts means war.

I'm not one to shy away from a good fart joke. George Carlin was one of the most intelligent and insightful comedians that ever stood on a stage, but he included fart jokes because: "Where would a comedy show be without a few fart jokes?" Now, I'm no George Carlin, obviously, but I would like to dive into this territory.

Last week, I went to go see the Shakespeare in High Park performance of All's Well That Ends Well. The show was great, the acting superb and the interpretation of the play wonderful. But I'm not here to write a review of the show.

If you have never been to Shakespeare in High Park, the show takes place in an outdoor auditorium. The auditorium is built into a hill with cement blocks lining the ground for seating. You basically sit on the ground and lean your back against the cement blocks. Not the most comfortable, but hey, how often do you get to be outside on a warm summer night and have Shakespeare performed for you?

Now, this seating arrangement is crucial to the story. Since your legs are scrunched up and your belly squished, it presents the optimum position to let out a fart. Just use your imagination and you'll get it.

About 30 minutes into the show, I hear from behind me what can only be a fart. Loud enough that it could be heard within a five foot radius. I thought, The person behind me farted right next to my head, what is the protocol here? Perhaps it was a mistake and I should just ignore it?

About 60 minutes into the show, another fart. There was no mistaking it, the fart was the exact same duration and audio level. I became very self-conscious because I wondered if people thought this was me. I mean, I know it was the person behind me, I could feel it, but really it could have been anyone within that five foot radius.

About 90 minutes into the show, you guessed it, another fart. Now, I understand that some people have biological problems that result in extreme bouts of flatulence, such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease or gastroenteritis. However, if you are going to a public place, surrounded by people and there is a proximal and minimal distance from where your fart originates and the heads of others, get that shit checked out.

After the third fart, my stomach started its own rumblings. I had just come from a heavy meal and now my squished stomach was grumpy, "Hey, this other person gets to fart, what about me?" My stomach also knew that the floodgate had already been opened, it knew that I knew that everyone around me probably already assumed it was me farting. So, why not just let go of my clenched stomach and let the farts fly?

Because I have self control. Because I know that if I gave in to this person and let go, then another person who was holding it in would let it rip, and another and another. Before you know it, we're in Shakespeare in Fart Park. It would be a sea of one person farting after another. Big ones, silent ones, smelly ones, ones that leave skid marks. It would be like the famous puking scene from Stand By Me:

At the end of the show, I immediately stood up and looked at the person behind me. It's like when you're driving and someone does something stupid such as cutoff other cars across three lanes just so they won't miss their turn. You just want to catch up to them. There's nothing you can do, but you just want to see the face of the person. The farting man had no regret in his eyes, he only smiled as he packed up his things.

I might have stopped a full on stadium-wide fart assault, but he won the war.

Paul Dore