Friday, June 8, 2012

Flatulence For Men – the new must have fragrance.

So I was on the train the other day. It was a pleasant and serene atmosphere with everyone quietly minding their own business. As the train stopped at its various stops the carriage began to fill up and a young man decided to sit next to me. He had not long been seated when a very unfortunate smell pervaded the tranquility. It was a stinker – the kind that makes you want to throw your head out of the nearest window.

Of course everyone in the vicinity began accusing each other with suspicious, but discreet glances. For some reason I felt the need to proclaim my innocence and point out that there was a high probability that the source of the stench was sitting next to me. I refrained. Alas, he didn't and let another sample of his bowel air soundlessly escape.

That got me thinking. Why is it that there is such stigma attached to the passing of wind? It's a perfectly natural occurrence and one which one hundred percent of people participate in. I would like to tentatively propose the following theory.

It smells bad. Simple, but true. But is that enough to account for the social ostracism and humiliation that can occur when you are discovered to be the culprit? Perhaps we are genetically programmed to be repulsed by anything that smells bad. This may be part of a built-in warning system, alerting those who detect a bad odour that whatever has emitted it is 'unclean' and therefore potentially hazardous. This would account for our repulsion to things that offend our olfactory organs, such as: excrement, vomit, or rotting meat. Could it not therefore be that this same warning system equates the whiff of wind with health hazards and thus we seek to be distanced from any potential contamination?

To supplement this hypothesis, it may be helpful to approach the situation from another direction. What if the odour of flatulence was in fact pleasant? People spend considerable money on purchasing perfumes in order to appear attractive and pleasing to others. If then the digestive gases were to produce a pleasant odour would they not become an attractive quality to be celebrated, rather than a repellant which most try to suppress? Those who were particularly blessed in this area would be hailed as olfactory benefactors, spreading their sweetness wherever they go. There would be no shame or humiliation, instead when the scent was sensed, you can imagine a coy smile and acknowledgment that, 'yes indeed, it was I who has brightened your day.' In a world like that, there would be no need for excessive efforts to ensure the  delivery is silent. Instead, a rich and loud pronouncement would be met with closed eyes, smiles of anticipation and deep steady inbreathing.

Perhaps there is a food supplement that could be developed to bring this about. One can imagine it being marketed as Organic perfume or Winfume or even Parpfume. There could be different scents... his and hers, the possibilities are endless!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Camp 2012

There is a certain feeling of accomplishment when the last tent is packed away and the sun begins to set at the end of Camp. It was a good camp, with nothing too terrible going wrong. It contained all the usual ingredients: plenty of rain*, leaky tents, good food, dodgy toilets, a malfunctioning shower, wet feet, all sprinkled with a liberal helping of tiredness and garnished with the occasional sunbeam.

I was the speaker for the younger age group and had to deliver six talks in four days. I thoroughly enjoyed myself (just re-read that and think 'thoroughly' may be an exaggeration, instead, read 'sort of...') and took the children from the beginning of time, through to the Cross of Christ and then we sneaked a peak at the end of time – Jesus' return. I was rather apprehensive about how the talks would be received, but after a destroying a Nasa based inflatable globe, ruining a brand new white t-shirt and wrestling with my cross shaped jigsaw visual aid, it all seems to be worth it. For one child said to me, "The talks were brilliant" and another claimed they were "excellent." Okay, on balance another child said that they were "boring," but if at least two children thought they were brilliant, then they can't have been that bad, for which I thank God and breathe a deep sigh of relief.

So whilst my face is still glowing from the weather's best attempts to strip it of it's skin, my head hurts and I appear to ache all over, at least it seems like it was all worth it.

* I have to confess that the rain on the first night was soooooo bad that I didn't sleep. At all. So the next night I waited for everyone to go to bed before snucking into my car and driving home, to have what can only be described (and I'm borrowing an adjective popular with the kids at camp) as  'epic'. But shhhhh, don't tell anyone :)