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Superhal
02-03-2011, 05:15 PM
Do they exist in every country, culture and/or language? Is there a single country, anywhere in the world, where the humor of farting does not exist? Do they have to hide in the forest to fart? Are people with irritable bowels caned in public squares?

Indian
02-03-2011, 07:19 PM
Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap.

From BBC. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7536918.stm)

aruvqan
02-03-2011, 07:47 PM
Just asked my eve online buddies, so yes - britain, denmark, sweden, norway, germany and australia responded with fart jokes ... the finn and the pakistani were not on, but i can poll them tomorrow =)

cornflakes
02-03-2011, 08:41 PM
Here is The Fart War (http://www.sfu.ca/~fankbone/r/fartwar.jpg), a 19th Century painting by Utagawa Kuniyoshi which, along with the Sumerian joke, shows that fart humor transcends both space and time.

Duckster
02-03-2011, 09:40 PM
Malawi moves to ban farting

Malawi's government has confirmed reports that it intends to outlaw breaking wind in public. The African nation's justice ministry says the proposed legislation is part of a wider campaign to "mould responsible and disciplined citizens". Local media is questioning how the proposed law will be enforced when it is so easy to blame the offence on others.
- BBC
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/04/3130120.htm

pravnik
02-03-2011, 10:05 PM
Chaucer certainly thought they were hilarious - the Miller's Tale involves a man expecting a kiss getting a fart in the face, and the Summoner's Tale has a friar reaching for a contribution getting his hand farted on, as well as an ingenious solution to the problem of how to divide a fart by twelve. Dante also gets humorously farted on by the demonic Malebranche in the Inferno.

Washoe
02-03-2011, 10:14 PM
I should preface this by mentioning that Bedouins of this time period considered farting in public to be the greatest possible social disgrace committable:

The tragic tale of Abu Hasan. (http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/fart.html#historicfart)

Brownie points for anybody who can tell me in what science fiction book I first read this. Was it one of the Riverworld books? I’m almost certain that it was, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

Paul in Qatar
02-03-2011, 10:20 PM
ope, never ran into a fart joke in Arabic? Anyone familiar with Hebrew culture?

ethelbert
02-04-2011, 09:31 AM
One of my favorite columns from the Master (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/363/did-a-french-vaudeville-star-once-specialize-in-trained-flatulence), in case you haven't read it.

Nava
02-04-2011, 09:37 AM
I can't recall any specific Spanish fart jokes right now; growing up, schatological humor was known in my family as "caca, culo, pedo, pis" (poop, bum, fart, pee) - little kids think it's jolly good fun simply to say the words, no more elaboration is needed. A duo which focused on songs for kids had a hit in the 80s called "caca, culo, pedo, pis" which IIRC was about how fun it is to say those words and watch the grown-ups freak out.

Floater
02-04-2011, 11:38 AM
The tragic tale of Abu Hasan. (http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/fart.html#historicfart)
Thank you! I have heard of that story but never read it. I have, though, read a similar story that ended something like:

"Wasn't there a carpet weaver's shop in that corner once upon a time?"

"Yes, but it burned down a long time ago, I think it was five years, three months and ten days after Ali farted in the market place."

Morgenstern
02-04-2011, 11:44 AM
I don't remember where I saw this first, but my love for church music (http://www.sillyjokes.co.uk/games/farting-nun.html) has never been the same.

cwthree
02-04-2011, 02:20 PM
Thank you! I have heard of that story but never read it. I have, though, read a similar story that ended something like:

"Wasn't there a carpet weaver's shop in that corner once upon a time?"

"Yes, but it burned down a long time ago, I think it was five years, three months and ten days after Ali farted in the market place."

As I heard it, the farter is a farmer or other rustic sort called Hamad, and he's a guest at the wedding. The punchline goes something like this:


Hamad went to the graveyard, wondering who might have passed on in the many years that he had been away. He saw a grave with the name of his closest friend. This shocked him, for when he left his friend had been a young man. He went to the man who tended the graveyard, and asked, "The man whose grave is over there, can you tell me, when did he die?"

The attendant thought for a moment, smiled, and said, "Oh yes, Sir, I can tell you. It was exactly twelve years, four months, and ten days after Hamad's fart!"

mbh
02-05-2011, 07:40 AM
I am currently reading The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night

http://www.amazon.com/Book-Thousand-Nights-One-Night/dp/0415045436/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1296912947&sr=1-1

It's Arabian Nights, but not the bowdlerized version we usually give to kids. It has all of the sex, violence, racism, sexism, and dirty jokes left in. And yes, there are a few fart jokes.

don't ask
02-05-2011, 08:15 AM
No.

In space no one can hear you fart.

WarmNPrickly
02-05-2011, 08:57 AM
It's not considered funny in Malawi (http://www.afrik-news.com/article18831.html).

Superhal
02-05-2011, 03:08 PM
In space no one can hear you fart.

Sure (http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j128/chiefjayson/fart_in_space_suit.jpg) you (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=565017&highlight=fart+propulsion) can (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=503796&highlight=fart+propulsion).

A Man A Plan A Canal
02-05-2011, 08:38 PM
Shakespeare did (at least) one too: Macbeth, Act I Scene 3. Check it out, Lines 11 and 13 below. The witches (each in their turn) delivers the line, and the actor (each in her turn) lifts up a buttcheek and...pfffft! Get it? The farts will propel the Second Witch, in her sieve, sailing to cause trouble for the sailor's wife's husband, who's captain ("master") of a vessel named the Tiger. AMAPAC

First Witch
1 Where hast thou been, sister?

Second Witch
2 Killing swine.

Third Witch
3 Sister, where thou?

First Witch
4 A sailor's wife had chestnuts in her lap,
5 And munch'd, and munch'd, and munch'd. "Give me!" quoth I:
6 "Aroint thee, witch!" the rump-fed ronyon cries.
7 Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' the Tiger:
8 But in a sieve I'll thither sail,
9 And, like a rat without a tail,
10 I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do.

Second Witch
11 I'll give thee a wind.

First Witch
12 Thou'rt kind.

Third Witch
13 And I another.

First Witch
14 I myself have all the other,
15 And the very ports they blow,
16 All the quarters that they know
17 I' the shipman's card.
18 I will drain him dry as hay:
19 Sleep shall neither night nor day
20 Hang upon his penthouse lid;
21 He shall live a man forbid:
22 Weary se'nnights nine times nine
23 Shall he dwindle, peak and pine:
24 Though his bark cannot be lost,
25 Yet it shall be tempest-toss'd.
26 Look what I have.

cochrane
02-05-2011, 08:55 PM
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/04/3130120.htm

Local media is questioning how the proposed law will be enforced when it is so easy to blame the offence on others.

He who smelt it, dealt it?

Waffle Decider
02-05-2011, 10:22 PM
I can't think of any Chinese fart joke off hand. This is not to say school boys don't find farting and other bodily functions amusing under the right circumstances, of course. However, I don't think it is nearly as common as in English culture.

Elendil's Heir
02-07-2011, 09:38 AM
...Brownie points for anybody who can tell me in what science fiction book I first read this. Was it one of the Riverworld books? I’m almost certain that it was, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

Not sf, but Salman Rushdie told a version of it in The Satanic Verses.

And I remember an old English variant in which a bowing nobleman farted in front of Queen Elizabeth I, and at once fled the palace in mortification. Many years later, after living as a virtual recluse, he thought, "Surely everyone will have forgotten by now," and returned to court.

The Queen greeted him by saying, "My lord, welcome back! I had quite forgot the fart."

Reno Nevada
02-07-2011, 01:37 PM
Brownie points for anybody who can tell me in what science fiction book I first read this. Was it one of the Riverworld books? I’m almost certain that it was, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

That is indeed from Riverworld, the first novel of the eponymous serial. Richard Burton relates it around a campfire one night.

CalMeacham
02-07-2011, 01:48 PM
That is indeed from Riverworld, the first novel of the eponymous serial. Richard Burton relates it around a campfire one night.

And, of course, Burton would have known of it from The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night (as mbh relates). And Farmer probably knew of it and of Burton because of that book.


I find it intriguing that of all the stories in the 1001 nights, this is one of the very few to make it into the Penguin collection Tales from the Arabian Nights (and into its audio edition, as well). *



Nitpick -- the first novel is only "eponymous" because it names the world "Riverworld". The title of the first novel is To Your Scattered Bodies Go. Farmer did write a short story entitled "Riverworld" (It's in the collection Riverworld and other stories), but it has nothing to do with the Burton/Twain main story thread.





*and the editors of the Penguin edition hate the Burton translation, by the way