Friday, September 25, 2009

Natural gas

A geologist at the safari guesthouse tells me that the Earth’s atmosphere once consisted of noxious gases such as methane and ammonia. In effect, our planet was engulfed in a gigantic fart cloud.

“It’s a good thing no one lit a match,” I remark.

“There was no one around to light a match,” he says. “The only living creatures were micro-organisms in the ocean.”

“Just how long ago was this?” I ask through narrowed eyes.

“A billion years or so,” he answers. “And the gases wouldn’t have been combustible, you’ve got your chemistry wrong.”

I wonder silently how the hell he knows what happened a billion years ago. Even someone who had lived that long would have forgotten about it by now. There are very few humans who can remember the Chimpanzees’ Tea Party at London Zoo, which was discontinued in 1972. And his assertion that farty gases are not ignitable is certainly wrong – I have evidence which proves that they are.

A correspondent recently alerted me to a
home video made by some college students. The opening scenes, in which a number of malicious hoodlums fart on the faces of their sleeping roommates, are not germane. I apologise for drawing attention to the behaviour of these humanoid skunks, whose lowly character is manifested in the hideous squeaky noises of their emissions. Farts like that are suggestive of a cowardly, sneaky nature. An honest, gorilla-like fart makes a low, rumbling noise.

Towards the end of the video, a couple of young ladies make an appearance and fart rather sweetly. After that, we get to the evidence. In a spirit of scientific inquiry, several fellows apply the naked flame to their flatulence. In each case, the fart burns with hues familiar to anyone who owns a gas cooker. It is the characteristic flame of the combustion of methane, which progresses according to the following chemical reaction:

CH4 + 2O2 = CO2 + 2H2O

Yes, Gorilla Bananas knows his chemistry. Apologies for showing off like this, but after mentioning the geologist’s ill-informed remark I needed to set the record straight. If he is reading this, I hope he is feeling sheepish.

Now the fascinating thing about methane is that it has no smell – the poo-ish odour of the fart is caused by hydrogen sulphide, which is useless as a fuel (although very effective in stink bombs). If someone could find a simple method of separating the flatus into its component gases, college boys and other enthusiasts could develop a thriving cottage industry. As the saying goes, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.

The last thing I want to say about farts concerns a pathetic incident involving the Austrian police. It began when a 19-year-old lad called Hansi Sporer broke wind audibly at a music festival. Unfortunately for him, a pair of passing police officers heard the fart and took umbrage, apparently believing it had been discharged specifically to greet their arrival. They then slapped a fine of 50 euros on the boy, complaining that they had been “humiliated”. Did you ever hear of such a pair of sissies? Heaven help the Austrian police if all it takes to break their spirit is a fart. If Hitler were in a grave (rather than scattered in various pieces around Russia), he would surely be turning over in it.

Labels: , , ,

Not that I know anything about farting personally, but if I did, I certainly wouldn't let somebody put a lighter near my ass. I'd be scared my jeans would catch on fire. I assume these ladies must have been having a few cocktails.
Your geologist friend was correct unfortunately - there was almost no oxygen in the atmosphere back then.

Ah, your chemistry musings have taken me right back to university days. Lots of farting then too....
Anyone who speaks confidently about goings-on older than a week is to be discounted, Mr. Bananas. Your geologist acquaintance's pronouncement had provided the perfect cue for an honest gorilla fart. I'm sorry you missed it.
Quite disturbing. I thought this farting business was no longer amusing. To think, I spend so much time trying to be witty with written words when all along all I needed to do was make a video tape about flatulence.
P.S. - I do indeed have a daughter.
Either Gorilla's knowledge of chemistry or of the Chimpanzees’ Tea Party at London Zoo are most impressive.

But conflated together they are a!

I personally have never farted in my life...
You can show of your chemistry an time you'd like. I quite enjoyed it=)
If gorilla farts are rumblers, then I know a lot of boys who are part gorilla...
Peach Tart: Possibly, but many girls take pride in being able to outdo boys in their grossness. I believe it has something to do with feminism.

Red Squirrel: Hah! I wondered which chemistry buff would notice that point!

Rimi: And I only wish I could fart on cue to be able to deliver such a response. Even the Austrian boy admits it was pure chance that he guffed at the very moment the police arrived.

Ms Owo: Did you watch the fart video from start to finish? What did you think of the girl farts? I thought they were more feminine than the boy farts.

Ms Cow: The Chimpanzees' Party was of a different era, Ms Cow. Back then, people were only interested in apes if they behaved like humans and made silly faces. Today, we are admired for our knowledge of inorganic chemistry.

Mutley: I assume you remove your excess gases using a catheter, which is slightly more enjoyable than colonic irrigation.

Auri: Thank you, Auri, I'll right down more chemical equations when the opportunity arises.

Sally: Some humans do share our finer qualities. It's because we're distant cousins.
GMB has been agitating on behalf of the chimpanzees since their working conditions were drastically worsened by the cutting of the daily tea break. If you have been to the zoo recently you will notice that they display their bottoms between 4 and 4.15 p.m. in a symbolic but silent work to rule action. This is yet another example of the gradual erosion of workers' rights by the crypto Thatcherite establishment represented by the Mandelsonian Brownite clique within the zoo's politburo, I call upon all zoo animals worldwide to rise up and defy this neo Orwellian two-legged fascist dictatorship with an organized action to embarrass the anti-animal rights elite with their snouts in the trough at Pittsburgh ....
(signed: Scrumpy)
I am soo very tempted to try out what they're doing in the picture :p
Actually scratch that! After watching the video and seeing that guy's arse almost engulfed in flames, i think i'll pass.
When lighting farts it is important to keep a pair of tight underpants or jeans on, these act as a flame arrester and will prevent serious injury should the ignited gas try to enter the body.
Oh, my God! That last guy nearly ended up in the hospital looking like Freddy Krueger.
It gives a whole new meaning to "baby light my fire".

Btw, the girls farts were less
trumpety but I wouldn't call them sweet. A fart is a fart. Better open a window :)
So, I guess fart blossom could be a term of endearment.
Did you know 'fart' is actually short for Frequency Actuated Rectal Tremor?

The lighter is an interesting alternative for wax strips. Strangely seem less intimidating as well, because at least you get to laugh while doing it.
Lady Daphne: The chimps' tea party was forced labour, not a tea break. And I won't hear a word against Mandy, he's the best-groomed politician since Madame Mao.

Sabrina: Please try it, Saby! It'll be quite safe if you wear asbestos knickers!

Jobrag: Thanks for the safety advice, you can never be too careful when igniting a fart.

Donut girl: I sure the girls' farts didn't smell sweet, but the way they emitted them was quite charming. Did you know there was a book called How to Fart Like a Lady?

Sally: Fart blossom? I never knew it was a term of any kind. Does it grow on trees or bushes?

Borah: I didn't know that, Deb, because "fart" is actually an ancient Saxon word. Acronyms hadn't been invented when the Saxons were breaking wind.
WOW Mr Bananas, I bet they could make a nice fart orchestra with their tenor and mezzosoprano farts. Oh but I've heard Pink Floyd already did that in the 70s...
Yeah, the bacteria hadn't yet pumped our atmosphere full of deliciously oxidative oxygen yet, which is why lightning could strike and fiery balls of death from above could strike the earth's surface without lighting the whole thing on fire.

However, billions of years later? Yeah, we'd have been toast.
I warned SB before we ever married that "I stay with gas". She tried to 'work up one' to get me back recently. Psft! me, it was one weak-ass fart. But, she tried.

seems Ms Peach Tart is being a lil' naive about her flatulence AND about girls in general.
I didn't know that. Um, Is this a hint? I'm really a lady! Oh, who am I kidding...
Haven't done that since my student days.

And I don't know why.

Right, I'm getting a lighter on the way home.

And a curry.
My friend Wislen and I rather ruined a double date with two Polish girls by bringing along two bottles of vodka (yes, the Russian stuff) and a Blues Brothers video, then showed our appreciation for their pork'n'sauerkraut cuisine by igniting our trews all night.

Still, he's still married to one and dated the other for a year before seeking asylum in Mother Russia.
Sorry, that should be "I dated the other..."

Wislen was a card, but two Polish girls is more than the non-Slavonic psyche can take.
joan rivers knows what was going on a billion years ago because she was there. i'm convinced of it.
Leni: Chimpanzees did it long before Pink Floyd, Leni. You need to have good sphincter control to fart out a tune. We gorillas can't do the high notes.

Mjenks: Indeed, it's fascinating to think we animals breathe plant farts. One man's fart is another man's perfume.

Blase: Maybe your good lady needs to make a few changes to her diet. Would you like her to blast you at close range?

Donut girl: I don't know anything about the gaseous content of your digestive tract, Ms Donut.
But I think it's worth looking into the possibility that a woman can fart attractively.

The Jules: I don't know why curries are suitable. I thought they gave you the shits rather than the farts.

Mr Boyo: Maybe they saw the potential for lower heating bills in your rectal bunsen burners. I don't approve of double-dating. It encourages each pair of friends to compare notes about their partner's bedroom performance.

Kara: You're not being cheeky about her, are you? She's a goddess in the Congo and I did a tribute post about her last summer.
I love it when you talk chemistry to me
Well done, good sir. I'll admit, I checked the balance of the equation. I doubted you and apologize for that. You are master of all things fart.
I think it's funny an ape called a guy sheepish.
Is it wrong that I am honestly happy in now knowing officially what makes farts smell? I feel like I have done something truly educational on my Sunday evening. Thank you, Gorilla Sir!
A true lady never passes gas. She just explodes when she gets very old. So don't stand too close to the Queen.
Missed you!
Is it really? Who am I, trying to get smart with you!
"And I won't hear a word against Mandy, he's the best-groomed politician since Madame Mao."

I now have a vivid picture permanently etched into my skull of Tse Dung picking nits out of his fourth wife's pudenda. This really won't do.

Please stick to discussing chemistry, where you are charming, erudite, and provably correct.

I would sooner trust my wallet to Mr Mandelson than allow my sanity to come within range of a gorilla's historical musings.
Nursemyra: Hah! I'll recite the periodic table to you one day, Nursie!

Sassy girl: Well thank you, Ms Sassy, it's nice to have one's expertise appreciated.

Hermione: Certainly it's not wrong, it shows you have an inquiring and intelligent mind. I am glad to have stimulated it.

Beverly: Hello Beverly, I missed you too! I will now live in fear of the exploding dowager!

Borah: Be as smart as you like, Deb, I enjoy clever quips.

Dr Loser: Thank you for your kind remarks about my knowledge of chemistry, but I disapprove of Mr Mandelson being the butt of your cheek. You may say what you like about Mao and his spouses, I have no allegiance to them.
I've never paid too much attention to science, and science can't be history if nobody was there to witness it, can it?
I myself am guilty of the aforementioned practice. I did it once at my 18th birthday party to impress my pals. Impress it did. However, it also left a scorch mark on my corduroys.
I'm sure that no one has ever before combined a chemistry lesson, flatulence, and Hitler with such amazing aplomb as you have done. I say yay to my favorite gorilla.
Emerson: Wasn't there something called "scientific football"? It may have been invented by the Germans.

Jeff Hickmott: Careful safety planning is essential for these stunts. Try farting through a piece of gauze next time.

Lola: And I say yay-hay-way to you, Lola!
Collection bottles with valves that open only in one direction (to prevent the collected gases from escaping), for every one?

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Follow my blog with Bloglovin