Can Ladies Fart Their Way to Immortality?
I Don't Want You to Die, Mummy.
I was still trying to comprehend an online article that I’d just finished reading, when my 5 year old daughter threw her arms around my neck and sobbed that she loved me and didn’t want me to die. She had just found out from a friend that everything dies. I had no intention of kicking the bucket for a few decades, but I couldn’t get that concept across to Marie Anne. I ended up giving her a summary of the just-read article, which sent her off with a thoughtful look on her face.
According to the article, our bodies are full of gas. The cracking noise our joints make when we put them under too much pressure is caused by the bursting of Nitrogen gas bubbles. Who knew? And what on earth is nitrogen doing stowing away in our body joints?
The article stipulated that it could be good for our health to smell our own farts, in fact it might be just as good for us if we smell other people’s farts.
It was a ridiculous theory. I don’t know about you, but I find the flatulence odor to be obnoxious, and you would have to bribe me to deliberately smell a fart ...and it would have to be a really hefty bribe.
We Are Full of Gas
Apparently a fart (‘anal exhalation’ for the sophisticated among us) comprises six gases, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide. The hydrogen sulfide contains sulfur, which was once known as brimstone. It is this brimstone which causes the rotten egg smell, and if you consider that farts are supposed to be flammable, perhaps that’s where the expression ‘fire and brimstone’ comes from.
By the way, if you don’t believe that farts are flammable, you can test the theory personally. Wait until you feel the build up of wind ready to be expelled and light a match between your butt cheeks - say a prayer first. As you prepare for the rear flame, contemplate the word ‘arsonist’ - does it sound vaguely familiar?
My husband and I have the perfect partnership. He has no sense of smell and I fart persistently. Think of me as a walking, talking, fart factory. But... I have one redeeming genetic skill - I fart soundlessly.
According to statistics, the average person farts 14 times per day. The statistics don’t mention what poor fool goes around counting farts as a profession, but taking the 14 f.p.d. as a base line, I am an Olympic Gold Medal Farter (OGMF). Because of my ability to emit soundless anal exhalations, hubby has no idea how often, or even when, I fart. And, it is this prowess that makes it possible for me to pass wind in church and wrinkle my nose up in unison with the rest of the congregation as we shake our heads at the disgusting manners some people have.
Believe it or not, setting fire to your fart has a name; it is known as Pyroflatulence. Your bum fart can burn with either a yellow flame, meaning that your flatulence contains lots of hydrogen, or a blue flame, which means you are farting methane. But don’t get upset about the passing of wind itself. Everybody passes wind, from kings to hobos.
Most animals, with the exception of reptiles, pass wind; insects pass wind; fish and whales pass wind. Can you imagine the noise and the smell from a whale’s monstrous butt burp? Think, how many swimmers may have drowned after inhaling whale fart gas. Scientists claim that some whales only pass wind once every 5 years. Even as you wonder what poor sucker got the job of counting whale farts, you may also consider if these 5 yearly farts are the explanation for some inexplicable tsunamis?
Setting fire to butt-holes is normally done by teen or pre-teen boys, trying to prove their manhood, because ladies wouldn’t do such a thing, in fact as far as the world is concerned, ladies do not pass wind. I come from a generation of non-farting women. If we had to pass wind we would flutter our eyelashes, and simper about having to use the washroom and hurry off before letting rip. It is especially difficult in the silence of a hushed church during a sermon. People think that ladies rise slowly in church out of reverence, while what we are really doing is preventing the leakage of gas by carefully tightening our sphincters as we rise.
Today’s generation is more relaxed about the passing of wind, in fact my daughters have farting contests with each other to see who can fart loudest and longest.
Enough of these fascinating facts. According to the article, you pass wind either orally or anally because of the gas in your intestines. Orally can end up causing you Halitosis, whereas anally just blows a large hole in your pants. The gas arrives there because you swallow it as you eat, or because of the bacterial breakdowns during your digestive process. This is why most living creatures burp or fart.
The part of the fart that you will really find interesting is the hydrogen sulfide part. Hydrogen Sulfide is found where there is an oxygen deficiency and as a natural gas it is an ingredient in swamps, sewers, volcanoes, hot springs and crude petroleum. Natural gas itself is almost 100% hydrogen sulfide. The gas is almost immediately fatal in large quantities. In smaller quantities it is beneficial.
It is similar to other ‘good / bad’ systems that occur in nature; think of nitroglycerin which can be an explosive, but is also a heart attack medicine.
Apparently some university discovered that inhaling hydrogen sulfide can help you live longer. I was smiling and shaking my head ‘the things college students will study to get a grant.’ But it was a boring day and the freezing rain was making sure I wouldn’t be going anywhere before the big thaw, and the only other thing in the news was politics. No contest. I kept reading about sewer gas, stink damp, swamp gas, or whatever other colloquial description they wanted to call it.
As mentioned, hydrogen sulfide is to be found where there is no oxygen, which is why it is present in farts, and it is thought to have caused mass extinctions a few million years ago. When you consider the size of a Dinosaur or a Brontosaurus, and how they suddenly died out; could it be that instead of succumbing to an asteroid, they farted themselves to death?
Hydrogen Sulfide has also been found in the Dead Sea, which makes a lot of malodorous sense. And seemingly one of the by-products of petroleum refining is hydrogen sulfide.
The Body’s First Responders
The human body manufactures hydrogen sulfide and treats it like a good, trusted contractor with a job to do. The job? The job is to send signals. Hydrogen Sulfide is a Signal Molecule. What that means is that you might live for an inordinately long time. The signal the molecule sends out is a signal for help - a bodily SOS. if you like.
It will be easier for you to understand this concept if you have visible help, so do you have a cut on your hands or forearms? The only reason I’m stipulating hands and forearms is in case you’re reading this in a public place. After all, you may have a scar on your thigh, but even nowadays hitching your skirt up in Starbucks to check a scar close to your groin, is frowned upon. If you don’t have a cut, visualise one. The cut will have a scab on it, won’t it? How did the scab know to form itself on that injury?
Because the signal molecule asked for help, it dialed a bodily 911 and platoons of platelets and white blood cells - the bodies first responders - came to the rescue.
Think of the scab as your body’s in-house band aid. Under that scab, the body is busy knitting the wound together. It will itch, which is an unfortunate part of the healing process, but try not to pick the scab off; if you do, you will leave a visible scar, whereas if you let it fall off naturally, it means its job is done and there should be nothing left to show there ever was a cut. Sounds easy, doesn’t it, but it is more complicated. The signal molecule doesn’t only send out alerts for first responders, it also arranges for long term care.
The signal nudges a tissue repair network into action, to help with preventing cancers and autism, and perhaps curing diabetes, not to mention delaying old age. The article went on to alleviate any possible court cases by stating that -‘These are all suppositions so far but the research is continuing.’
Could it be True?
That was the essence of the article. I laughed at the absurdity of it all and made to switch off. Then I hesitated; I remembered when I was a teenager and worked in the oil refinery. In those days I used to cycle to my work, and when I got halfway to the refinery I used to breathe more easily. The other girls in the office swore blind that they felt healthier and more relaxed at work, and not, as you would expect, at home. Crude oil processing - good / bad perhaps? Could it have anything to do with H2S?
I switched off and pondered. Over the next few days I did some research into farts, or should I be more genteel and say Hydrogen Sulfide? I found out that hydrogen sulfide is also present in the wine fermentation process. Wine drinking is definitely a less odoriferous cure to ageing than fart smelling. I was weighing the options - old age, death, farts or alcoholism, when Marie Anne came back to see her Mum.
“Mummy,” she said, producing an inhaler. “I’ve been thinking about you dying and I've found a way to stop it happening to you.”
She gave me the inhaler. It was one I’d had prescribed for some earlier breathing problems. The inhaler had an extra sticky label on it. The label had ‘H2S’ written on it in 5 year old’s script.
I was puzzled, but Marie Anne explained her thinking to me.
“If you collect your farts and squeeze them into this inhaler. Then you could sniff it when you needed it, and not just when you went to the washroom to do a number 2.” She giggled as she finished her explanation. “And” she finished excitedly, “It will help you live forever,”
I sighed. How was I going to explain to a loving child that I had decided that rather then become a shriveled up, wizened, 300 year old farting alcoholic, I was just going to kick the bucket the normal way?
I hugged Marie Anne. “Thank you, my little angel. Now I’ll be able to be with you forever and ever.”
“I'm so happy Mummy,”
I smiled to myself. I wondered how long she would be ‘so happy’ in real life?
© 2018 John MacNab