“Come and worship with us at our church on Easter Sunday, Apr 21, 2019,” I invite my neighbor Tom, 92, an ornery widower and recluse, few on the block ever see, let alone talk to. It is through an extraordinary circumstance to be reported in the next post that I got to be on speaking terms with him. “We expect the sanctuary to fill up with as many as 500 people.”
“How long is the service going to last?” Tom asks.
“A couple of hours because of the Easter play and music,” I answer expectantly.
“To breathe 5 gallons of fart?” he demands.
Getting over the puzzlement I rally, “It’s a big church, 50 feet wide, 100 feet deep, and 40 feet high, almost like being outdoors. Five gallons, 10, a drop in the ocean. But are you sure it would be that much?”
“One farts a pint or 16 ounces in 24 hours, which makes nearly 3 tablespoons in 2 hours. Multiply that by 500.”
“But worshippers would be on their best behavior and …”
“Bacteria don’t teach manners to the gas they generate in the gut. How do you fart in church?”
The utter frankness and directness of the question, not asked except perhaps by my doctor, stuns me at first but soon disarms me.
“Slowly in small puffs, timing with the blast of the organ, lest even the most carefully modulated squeeze of the rectal sphincter should vocalize by accident.”
“Let out loud and clear, as Benjamin Franklin bids in his 1781 essay, Fart Proudly,” he thunders.
“To be shunned forever like a leper?” I scream.
“Sneaks and cheats, these holier-than-thou Christians, strutting around and preaching honesty, decency, and decorum, only to turn viciously on the truly honest among them and eat them alive like cannibals! They are responsible for the decay of morality in America. Have you heard your pastor fart loud and clear?”
“Well, I haven’t paid attention exactly…” I mumble.
“He is the worst of the lot, not having to bother to regulate his sphincter like the sneaks out there in the pews but just as sneaky, taking advantage of his exalted position up at the altar, out of earshot, close to the organ to boot, cocksure that nobody hears his anal music. I tell you what. I’ll join your church the moment your pastor farts and burps loud into the microphone as he begins his sermon. Yes, burping is just as integral to the health of our God-given gut.”
“That would be a turning point in Christian ministry, perhaps more epochal than even the Reformation, but our pastor or any other ordained minister is no Martin Luther. I have an idea, though. Since this is such a radical, momentous departure, on the same order of magnitude as termination of political correctness, the role should fall on someone with proven leadership in such matters like Trump (see Donald, Champion of Political Incorrectness, Mandate the First Name Basis Across the Board by Executive Order One!, 9-11-2015, and Lighten Up, America, and Follow The Donald, George Washington of New America, 9-27-2015, typakmusings.com). Typically, he should open all his public speeches, say, the State of the Union message at the House, with a fart and burp duet, accompany the delivery with a medley of farts and burps, and close with a fanfare of the same. All his cabinet members will copy, lest they get fired, and so will others in time, Supreme Court justices, Senators and Representatives, then cardinals, bishops, pastors, the whole country, the moral imperative of honesty finally sinking in. I’ll compose the letter, hoping you’ll get it delivered. I understand you have a direct line of communication to Donald.”
“Yeah, but your blog will serve the purpose better.”
Has he been lying about his White House connection? No, he wouldn’t, not at his age, about such a triviality. I acquiesce, taking his refusal to be the herald as a compliment.