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Farts are a Matter of Chaucer


three animals on a grassy slope

Last Updated on August 31, 2022 by ADMIN-TOM

Cows do it.
Pigs do it.
Even men in silly wigs do it,
let’s do it, let’s gas it off.

If farting’s good enough for Geoffrey Chaucer (he used the word in his writing) then it’s good enough for me. A fart is a fart, though in England in 1632, they were a little more polite, as this quote indicates. “To send forth as wind from the anus.”

There, I’ve written it, let’s make it so.

Though farting isn’t recognised as a medical condition, passing wind, flatulence, excess gas and a slight case of wind in the willows is acceptable. Okay, I made the last one up… well, actually, I use it sometimes when I’m trying to be polite.

The problem is flatulence is something very few talk about in polite conversation. Well, I’m afraid it isn’t something I’m going to sweep under the carpet. Because I have a problem with farting which seems to have been brought on by my current chemotherapy schedule. The side effects of chemo are well known, but one in particular has a quite flowery description, which does not extend to its olfactory, i.e., sense of smell, equivalent.

Chemotherapy may alter the normal bacterial flora present in the intestines. This may affect digestion, sometimes causing abdominal pain, cramping or flatulence (gas).

Well, it’s certainly altered my normal bacterial flow. My Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma is treatable and quite low level compared to that which some experience. But the chemo is a six-month course and after two months of sending forth as wind from the anus I’m wondering if it can get any worse. Because the problem is, dear reader, I seem to be losing control of the aforementioned anus and the wind in the willows is wafting around as and when it feels the need to expose all and sundry to the harsh realities of human biology any time of day or night. And there is very little I can do about it. I already take medication to settle my stomach and I can vouch for that working under normal conditions.

So, like many of my compatriots in the world of flatulence, we have no recourse but to either shut ourselves away until the malaise passes. Or we hide our misdemeanours in plain view, by blaming someone else for the smell. I take a more cynical approach. I’ve lost my sense of smell as well, so I’m not taking part in the ‘who did that’ guessing game.

Copyright Tom Kane © August 2022

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