In praise of the divine wind

Our body is a finely tuned machine.
Like a trusted butler it operates silently and efficiently, and most of the time we are not even aware of its existence.
But when it starts hiccupping, we need to pause and listen. And like any good manager we need to understand the problem to prevent it from getting worse.

Our body is basically a noiseless machine, but sometimes to get our attention (and everybody else’s around), it can emit some loud utterances.
Our stomach in particular, if not treated respectfully, can get perturbed to the point of “breaking wind”.
Useless to say that the noise and the odor associated with “flatus” can be disturbing and embarrassing.

Gas (flatus) is generated in the stomach and intestines as our body breaks down food and it is considered normal to pass gas from 10 to 20 times per day.
It is not excessive and one just needs to flush timely and judiciously.
Breaking wind is a natural bodily function and preventing our body from using this safety valve can be detrimental to our health.
But in our culture it is rather uncouth to do it so publicly.

Once in a while though, you are encouraged to fart.

A few years ago, I was in the hospital for a rather complicated surgical procedure.
After the operation, and after a few days of indigestible food I became unable to have any bowel movement.
Doctors and nurses became concerned and started to medicate me to facilitate bowel evacuation.
They also started to ask me on a daily basis if I was close to produce the divine wind, precursor of the thaw.
This went on for a few days with the entire medical team rooting for me to fart.
When one morning it finally happened, the shot shook the entire wing of the hospital and the group present in my room erupted in wild applause.
I bowed modestly.

This is about the only time I heard cheers for breaking wind in public.

You might be wondering why I praise farting?
As a defender of the oppressed, I feel compelled to come to the defense of this under-appreciated bodily function; it has often been maligned and the butt of many jokes, but its function is vital for a smooth run of the human machine.

So, do not hastily cast a stone toward somebody who inadvertently broke wind. This person was probably caught between enduring a painfully bloated stomach and releasing a noisy but liberating shot of intestinal gas.

Do not raise a stink over this minor peccadillo!

Alain

 

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