A History Of Flatulence

Definition of Flatulence – flatus expelled through the anus, breaking wind, farting (wikipedia)

Blue Pill or Red Pill?

In the movie Matrix, Morpheus presents Neo with the following proposition:

“You take the blue pill, the story ends.  You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.  You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

I too was presented with a similar choice.

The only difference was my pill was neither blue nor red.


In California, I have a pretty bad reputation because of my gas-passing ability.

In a room full of strangers, my cousin can detect my gas from another’s.  He knows it like the back of his hand.

Another one of my cousin from California, recently told me this, “I miss your farts.”

Really?  Of everything that I am and can do, this is what you remember me by?

Our deep conversations over boba?  Nope.  My infectious laughter?  Nah.  Tearing up the floor with my dance moves?  Never.

In certain people’s mind, I’m just a big, stanky, burst of hot air.

Speaking of the cousin that missed my farts, here’s one of our cherished moments.

My cousin was in his room watching TV.

I walked in sat down and let one out.  (This may sound like a douche bag thing to do, but I seriously didn’t have the urge until I sat down.  Sometimes you don’t feel it, until you’re in a particular position and suddenly the stars are aligned.)

After a couple of seconds, he looked up, pulled his shirt over his nose and said, “Did you fart?”

I was in a very playful mood, so I kept my face straight and said, “No!!!  Did you?”

Now this threw him off.  He’s not sure if he did fart or not.  I mean as far as he could remember he didn’t fart, but he wasn’t 100% confident of that, so that stalled him for awhile.

In the mean time, I thought about the whole situation.  Two people in a room.  One farts, the other one smells it.  It shouldn’t take this long to figure out who did it right?

I couldn’t control myself anymore and started giggling at him.

My cousin caught on and proceeded to bombard me with anything he could get his hands on.


I was in a meeting with three of my co-workers.

It was with two females who also happen to be my superior.

I was presenting them with an idea and halfway through we all hear a squeak from the corner of the room.

It happened to be closest to my co-worker who had the most seniority in the group.

She was at least ten years older than me.

The abrupt sound interrupted my presentation and we were all staring at each other.

The one who dealt it was probably wondering if anyone else heard her fart.  By the silence in the room, she could probably deduce that we did hear it, but was hoping against hope that we didn’t.

Too much time had gone by and somebody needed to say something.

Under normal circumstances, I would’ve quickly put her on blast for letting one out.  “Did you fart?  How could you be so insensitive to your fellow co-workers personal air space!  Don’t you know that your fart stinks!?!”

Since she was my senior and in absolute control of renewing my contract next year, I decided against that.

I just jumped on the next slide and continued where we left off, never telling another soul about the incident.

Until today … :).


I was hanging with some friends at church.  We were driving home from eating out.

Suddenly, the driver locks all the door, rolls up the windows, and proceeds to turn up the heat.

It’s not even cold outside.

We’re all confused looking at each other for an explanation.

Then it hits me and I start screaming.

It slowly hits the rest of the passengers too and they start to scream too.

The drive laughs maniacally .

We pound on the windows and search for the button to open it.

Nothing worked.

The driver had known all this before he decided to fart.


Le Pew In The Pews

The worst place to ever have gas is in church.

Everyone at church looks good and smells good.

You all come together to praise and worship.

Reflecting on sins and forgiveness, blessings and gratitude, prayers and hope.

Never is it appropriate to let one out in church.

And yet it happens.  (Not to me of course.  I would never admit to an act so heinous.)

Of course, the rule is to do it before or after mass.  And if the need arises during, well excuse yourself.

The difficulty arises when you’re stuck in the middle of the pew and you got 10 people to the right of you and 10 people to the left.

A number of things can happen here.

  1. You can hold it in, gamble on the slim chance that it doesn’t build up anymore, with a tense face for the rest of mass.  But if it does build up, you run the risk of not being able to control it and letting it out when you least expect it to … like when you are kneeling down to pray or when someone shakes your hand and squeezes it a little too hard.
  2. Another thing you can gamble on is, the fact that your fart might not smell that bad.  If that’s the case, you can let a little out every ten to fifteen minutes.  Wide intervals between each toot will diminish the potency.
  3. You can excuse yourself, but it gets tricky traversing the long aisle.  People have long legs, coats, and purses all on the ground.  One miss-step and it could spell disaster.  If there’s an accident mid-exit through the pews, then it becomes a hit-and-run.  Leave the premise, never show your face there again, and find another church to go to.

Of course, if you let one out it isn’t necessarily the end of the world.

Perhaps God is testing you.  Will you admit and confess your wrongdoings if you let one out?  If it’s a re-occurring problem, will you seek help?

Maybe God is testing your neighbors.  Maybe he wants you to fart to see how your neighbors will react to you.  Will they forgive you?   Will they turn the other cheek?  Will they respond with unconditional love, despite your fart smelling incredibly foul?

Catch Me If You Can

How does one avoid suspicion after one breaks wind?

The best way to avoid suspicion is to pretend that you are innocent.

First of all, don’t be too defensive if people accuse you.  If you over-react or suddenly become out of character, people will become more suspicious of you.

At the same time, if you’re too quiet and just stare away looking at the fly in the wall, people will also become suspicious of you.  “Why is Thao so quiet all of a sudden.  He is usually very talkative.  He must of done it!”

Also you don’t want to be the first one to speak up, even though you are most likely the first one to smell it.  Let someone else speak up and then you can chime in.  Even though you think it smells horrid, other’s may not think so.  And if no one decides to bring it up, you get a free “get out of jail” card!

The following comments will help you deter suspicion:

  • “Yeah, I smell it too.  Damn it stinks!”  (You sound innocent, because who in their right mind would complain about their own fart?)
  • “John, when did you smell it?”  (Whatever he says, just say that you recently smelt it.  It means that the smell has been spreading from John’s location towards your own location.)
  • “Mary, did you do it?” (Only innocent people accuse other people.  Obviously, you already know that she’s innocent, but by accusing her, it seems like you’re genuinely concerned about who the perpetrator is.  Which is something only an innocent person would do.)

The Usual Suspects

I have no clue why there’s always a big deal about finding out who dealt it.

Hypothetically speaking, if I farted and somehow my friends found out, how does that solve the problem?

If I spilled milk, then yes make me clean up the mess.  But when I let one out, I can’t purify the air for them.  I can’t make things go back to way it once was.

When someone is sick, there’s usually a type of medicine that will help with the sickness.

As far as I know, there’s no such thing for organic, smelly gases in the room.  You can’t go to the pharmacy and buy a bottle with instructions saying, “Take two pills when Thao has let one out and you have trouble breathing.”

Maybe, they want to find out who the culprit is to exact revenge on them in the future.

Well, we all know what happens in wars and gang fights.  You kill my brother, I’ll kill yours.  Blood is shed continuously.

Same would happen if my friend found out it was me.  I fart on you.  You fart on me.  It would just make the world a smellier place.

Why not just nip the bud before it grows out of control?

Unless I’m on the receiving end.

If that’s the case, then I literally want to lock them up into an air-tight room with nothing but beans and other gas-inducing food products for a whole week.

That’ll teach them to fart next to me.

Make A Beeline

I used to teach high school math.

One of the hardest thing to do in a classroom is keep a secret.

Students are keen on any subtle changes in your mood, behavior, and  demeanor.

One day, I was in a particularly good mood and one of my students asked me, “Did you get some last night Mr. Nguyen?” (Rolling my eyes.)

That’s why it’s nearly impossible to hide the fact that you just let one out.

  • If you just stand there, look up, and slowly let one out, they will notice something off.  When the smell hits them, they’ll naturally deduce that you are the culprit.
  • If you run back to your desk and let one out, they’ll eventually run up to seek help.  And when they do, they’ll run smack right into the cloud of terror you just let out.

Bottom line is, there is no safe place in the classroom to let one out.

The reasons why you don’t want your kids ever catching you is you’ll lose all control and credibility within your classroom.

  • Your name will always pop up when a weird smell enters the classroom:  “Mr. Nguyen let another one out.”
  • Students will spread gossip and rumors about your “incident”:  “The reason why I’m failing in Math is because Mr. Nguyen can’t stop cutting the cheese in the classroom.”
  • Students you don’t even know will make “farting” noises as you pass by them in the hallway.

Sadly, I think I’ve spent more time thinking of a solution for this dilemma then I do on my lesson plans.  (Perhaps that is why I’m no longer a teacher.)

Eventually I came up with this solution.

The key is to never be in one spot for too long when you’re letting it out.  If you can walk and pass gas at the same time, you already got this.

This is how it should look like:  while you’re letting it out, you want to be walking from the back of the class to the front, side to side, and even in between the rows of desk.

The goal is to disperse the evidence so it isn’t so concentrated in one area, while also leaving the crime-scene behind you.

This time, if any of you students smell anything, you’ll be long gone and they’ll become suspicious of their neighbors instead of you.

Which is exactly what you want.

The White Pill

I was eating with my friend a while back at Cheesecake Factory.

Both me and my friend ordered an Italian dish with plenty of cheese.

Before the dish came out, my friend slipped me a white pill.

I asked her, “What is this?”

Her, “The pill is called lactaid.  It’s for people who are lactose intolerant.  If you’re lactose intolerant and you eat dairy products, your stomach will get upset, you’ll get gas, and you’ll also have trouble pooping.”

Me, “How do you know I’m lactose intolerant?  Even I don’t know I’m lactose intolerant!”

Her, “Most East Asian adults have it.  Take it and tell me if it helps.”  (About 90% of East Asian Adults have it – article)

Me, “Fine.”

She was right.  I didn’t have any stomach problems for the rest of the day.

I tested out her theory too.  I drank milk one day and stopped the next.  On days that I had dairy products, I did have stomach issues.

Now I have to make a decision.

Do I take the pill and miss out on all future shenanigans involving passing gas.

Or do I forget about the pill and go back to life as I’ve always known it to be.

It was a no brainer.

I went to Costco and bought a bulk supply of lactaids.

Passing Gas Is Natural

My mom found out I was using lactaid, so we had the following conversation together.

Mom, “I talked to my sister (your aunt) and she say’s there’s nothing wrong with farting.  It’s normal and everybody does it.”

Thinking to myself:  I can’t believe we’re having a conversation about farting.  To top it off, she’s using the “everybody does it” excuse on me.  I thought peer pressure only happens in high school.

Me, “True, it’s normal.  Everybody does fart.  With the pills, I still pass gas.  Before it was like several times a day.  Now it’s like once a week.”

Mom, “Well, I guess I just don’t see the point of preventing something that comes natural to us all.”

Me, “I mainly do it for my job.  I go to client’s houses everyday to take pictures.  I can’t be passing gas in everyone’s houses.”

Me, “The homeowners vacuum the house, clean the whole house, burn scented candles, and use air fresheners to give the house a fresh, new smell.  Don’t you think me farting in there will foil their plans?”

Mom, “Agent’s probably wouldn’t want to use your service anymore if you stunk up all their client’s houses.”

Me, “Yes.”

Popular Misconception

You know how every parent thinks their kid is the smartest, prettiest, most athletic kid in the world?

Well for some reason, everyone personally believes that their fart doesn’t smell bad. (Yours truly is part of that group.)

Saw my cousin the other day and we touched base on that topic.

Me, “Hey!  Your mom says that I should just keep on farting.  That there’s no point in remedying the problem, because everyone does it.”

Cousin, “Don’t listen to her.  She farts all the time and when I complain, you know what she says?”

Me, “That it smells good?”

Cousin, “Exactly!  I tell her that it doesn’t smell good.  But she doesn’t believe me, so I asked for my dad’s opinion.  He agreed with me.”

Cousin, “My mom dismisses my complaint with ‘Oh it’s only this one time.'”

Cousin, “But it’s just not that one time.  It’s every single time.  It always smells and for some reason she refuses to admit that!”

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