Tag Archives: flatulence

Mind Your Language Or Everyone Else Will!


imagesBeans, beans, the musical fruit

The more you eat, the more you toot,

The more you toot, the better you’ll feel,

So let’s eat beans for every meal!

If you grew up in the fifties the word fart was a dirty word, the word toot was not. I guess the rules went something like this. Because you can make a musical instrument toot, that is an OK word to use in public. Until the adults in your life start saying things like “You might as well fart your own horn, because nobody else is going to do it for you.” you had better not say the word fart, (but toot is OK). Still, toot isn’t half the word you need to describe what your big brother can do with a tuba when the minister and his wife come by for a visit. All the beans in all the chili in Chicoutami couldn’t let rip with a better evening’s entertainment than the sounds coming from his room when he has just the right audience listening to him practice. It would make anyone question whether the dictionary’s description of the tuba as a “bassinstrument was a spelling mistake. It gave The Jolly Dutchman, his latest  favourite, a really bad reputation.

Of course, the very logic of a child requires that he use every forbidden word his little ears have ever heard, and with as much frequency as he can muster. Otherwise, he is never going to become an adult. So learning to talk is going to be a lot like how he learns to do everything else.

“No! No Jimmy! No stairs! Mummy will carry you up.” is how it all begins, with lots and lots of “no-nos”. But little Jimmy won’t ever forget the day that he finally sneaks off and crawls up those stairs. After Mummy runs a big figure eight around the tables in the kitchen and dining room, bending over and pulling out the chairs, she runs upstairs herself . She’s so surprised, excited and thrilled to find him headed straight for the toilet bowl, where he knows that he will soon  be able to stand up and splash water onto his face  just like he sees Daddy do at the higher one right next to it every morning. She swoops him up in a big hug, and he thinks to himself “My Mummy never wants me to do these new things, like grabbing my spoon, or climbing up and down the stairs at first, but she is always so happy when I finally do. She’s a strange one, my mum!”

“No! No Jimmy! No bad words!”

“Hmmm. Just like everything else I want to learn to do, I think Mummy wants to say my words for me too! But I’m a big boy now! I can walk, and climb the stairs, and even wash my face if I want to, and Mummy is always so-o happy when I show off what I can do. F – – -”

“Jim! Get in here right away! This kid just said ‘Fart’! Who taught him that? It must have been someone on your side of the family! That Chicoutimi* bunch! They just have no class!”

* My apologies to any of you who are from Chicoutimi. I’m sure you are no more flatulent, nor do you celebrate your flatulence in song, story (or congratulatory remark when called for) any more frequently than the rest of Canada. Nor, have I ever been to Chicoutimi, Quebec and therefore I have no substantiating evidence of there being a flatulence problem there, I have however been down wind from Hull, Quebec and I cannot say the same. I have been told that your sulphurous vapours are the result of a paper mill in your town, and therefore you are forgiven.Trying to break down too much fibre is notorious for causing that problem. Maybe you just need a little song to lighten things up a bit.

Hull!  Hull!  You stinky old town!

Don’t let your odor get you down!

With Dr. Oz pushing for beans in our diet

Why take all the blame. Now you can deny it!

Making Scents Of It All


Recently, while waiting in line to pick up a prescription, next to the shelf laden with Gas-X, Beano, and their generic equivalents, I began to ponder some of life’s ironies. It’s never the 120 cubic inches of flatulence, scientists tell us our family members each produce every day, that brings us to emergency rooms at 4:00 A.M. Rather, it’s what we choose to do about it.
Just ahead of me, the pharmacist unboxed and placed an orange and a blue plastic inhaler (or puffer), and a green nasal-spray applicator (or spritzer) on the counter. A boy, standing by his mother reached out and happily arranged them into a line, like a short colorful train. Then he caught the man’s words “Two sprays into each of his nostrils with this one” and he looked up in fear at his mother— the spell broken.
I too, am sometimes on the same orange, blue, and green regimen as the child, and today I have come for a refill prescription on one of them. This really isn’t much of a coincidence though, given the fact that asthma and other related breathing problems are so prevalent these days. The only things that seem to be selling faster than medicinal puffers and spritzers are the non-medicinal ones that moms and dads routinely force their kids to breathe… those omnipresent room deodorizers!
The anti-smoking lobby has won us the right to breathe clean air, uncontaminated by the chemical cocktail found in cigarette smoke, but what kind of air pollution do you think all those sprays, scented-oil outlet-plug-ins, and motion triggered puff-of-fragrance dispensers are pumping into your living space?
How long before you all wake up and smell the coffee, folks? I wouldn’t be surprised if that was physically impossible for many, what with olfactory glands so thoroughly anesthetized by the constant use of fraudulent chemical scents. Real smells hardly waken the senses anymore!
In my former business, I was in and out of a large number of houses every week. But less and less frequently did a home actually smell like a home— a comforting place, redolent with that rich mixture of smells associated with normal everyday living. A leather chair, grass-stained garden gloves, lemonade, Ivory soap, and toast—  these things tell a person that this place is a home, not a rose garden, a field of lavender, or an orange grove.
I will freely admit that, for the first five minutes, the heady fragrance in a chemically enhanced room can be rather exhilarating for me. It sometimes triggers a memory of that first kiss under the lilac bush, or a wagon ride through an apple orchard with two toddlers in tow. Then, suddenly, my nose is burning! A disoriented bee has left his bloom and buzzed up my left nostril! My throat is closing up as I choke on one of the farmer’s apples! Back to reality and a frantic search for my blue puffer!
Why have home scent products proliferated to such a breath-taking assortment? The ad agencies are capitalizing, yet again, on the crunched-for-time working woman’s deepest fear. Her “achievable level-of-clean” isn’t what she thinks her mom expects of her. And not just her own mom, but every one of those TV ad moms too. She has every cleaning product they have ever suggested under the kitchen sink —perhaps awaiting her retirement years. Frustrated by her lack of time to use them, she deludes herself into believing that that little voice-of-her-mother, which she constantly hears in her head, is actually saying, “You know what sweetie? It sure does smell clean in here! And you know what I always say, ‘If it smells clean, it is clean!’”
It’s clear that this is the message in one of those classic commercials. A mom enters her kid’s room. Dirty clothes, garbage, and discarded food containers are scattered everywhere. Images of sweaty gym bags and sports equipment flicker across the screen. So, what does this stressed out mom do? Hire a maid? Enlist the services of a mover? Hire an exterminator? Tell the kid to clean up his own darn room? Of course not! She inhales deeply of the wonderful mood altering substance she has conveniently brought in with her after she gives the room a nice big shot of  chemical spray. Then she smiles, turns, and leaves. It apparently helps her to forget all about the potential for mould, mildew, ants, mice and lost gerbils reproducing in her home. In just a few quick and easy sprays, all is right with the world. If it isn’t, and she is having any anxieties keeping her awake at night, she can just anesthetize herself and all of her offspring too, with a nice lengthy  finger-numbing spray application of the latest product all throughout the house— “Soothing Lavender Sleep in a Can” apparently.
What I’d like to know is— why doesn’t anyone ever open their windows anymore if household odors are such a major problem? Are we so worried about smog, about home invasions, about eaves-dropping neighbors, that we won’t take the risk, and breathe some real air every now and then?
Scientists, who study smells and their psychological impact, tell us that tangerine is a cheering scent; chamomile, vanilla and jasmine soothe tension, and lavender and verbena ease depression. I’d be happy just to walk through my front door, after a hard day’s work, and smell the ham and cabbage dinner of my childhood, or the garlic, onion, and paprika smells of my dear old grandma Mum’s kitchen. That would, without a doubt, cheer me, soothe me and ease my depression!