As a little girl growing up under the moral umbrella of the Catholic Church, I was taught that God was perfect. Man was created in His own image, and was placed in the utopia of the Garden of Eden. It wasn’t until Eve bit from the forbidden apple in that lush cultivation that man fell victim to “original sin”, the first flaw he would ever encounter, and one that would plague every man, woman and child from that point forward, whether they liked it or not. This perfect image of God has remained in tact for generations. I guess I have no basis to disagree since I’ve never seen “God” face to face. However, it occurred to me that perhaps God left out one very important ability when he designed us mere mortals, an ability that would have prevented countless arguments over generations, maybe even civilizations. You ask, “What could God have possibly given us that could have prevented universal disagreements, perhaps fist fights and civil conflicts?”.
How many times have you been walking down the aisles of a grocery store, simply minding your own business, when it hits you: the invisible vapor left by some guilty party who loaded up on way too much cabbage the night before, leaving you choking in the wake? What about the infamous floater abandoned by the previous rider of an elevator you’d just boarded? We musicians, who have spent months on end on a tour bus, know how utterly frustrating it can be when a repetitive stench finds us, leaving no trail from which to trace it. Anger flares from the many nostrils being pinched together in an effort to avoid inhaling the offensive methane gases encroaching upon our space. “Who did it?” is always the first question that creeps from seat backs all around us. Always what follows is the unison “Not me!” from every direction.
Well, all of this disruption could have been prevented if only man was graced with the ability to…fart in color!
I hesitate a bit here: Would it be an “ability”? To use the word “ability” implies a certain level of competence. Yet, would competence be an integral characteristic? I suppose it could be. What if we began our young lives only applying color faintly to our airy discretions? The paler, the younger, for example. The deepest hues reserved for those among us seasoned with years and numerous, consumptive adventures. It could also be a “talent”, which would be implicative of an “aptitude”, like the “talent” to work in pastels or to write haikus. I suppose that could be the case if some people mastered the qualities of the ingestive process, including the finest triggers of their respective intakes. Color vibrancy would be indicative of the food connoisseur, for example: the more colorful, the closer to the ‘master’ label. Whether an ability or a talent, farting in color would surely eliminate (That’s “punny”!) the guesswork of identifying the depositor, and could perhaps take some of the taboo out of the act itself: If everyone did it, who’d care?! And chapter four of that fart book my brothers and I were going to write one day, the chapter entitled, “To Claim or to Blame”, would be eliminated!
Let’s imagine NYC’s Time Square for a moment: thousands of people traipse through this corridor every hour. NYC is well known for its variety of scents, which can change from the smells of freshly roasting chestnuts to the pungency of homeless human urine, all in the span of exactly one yard! It’s quite remarkable, really. In fact, in such a place, flatulence really isn’t an issue because bodily gases are often confused or buried within the next odor sneaking around the corner. But let’s add another dimension to the passing of gas – the dimension of sight. Imagine a snapshot of Times Square, filled with hundreds of people at “x” o’clock in the afternoon. Of course, we’d see the figures of countless men, women and children bustling about, trapped in a still frame for our inspection (and amusement, perhaps). No big deal. Then we look a little closer, as we zoom into those colorful wafts, frozen about mid-thigh level, in the vast panoramic. What are those?! Oh yeah…They’re farts! Some are enormous results of the previous night’s kimchee. While some are the tiny remnants of broccoli, a forced ingestion by the young pedestrian, guilted into eating his veggies by his mother the night before, because some poor child was starving somewhere. Look a little closer, and the vibrant, expansive trail that shadows a red-faced, middle-aged gentleman would tell us that a little too much time was spent with his unfiltered microbrews of late. And depending on the month, the same photo may appear more colorful depending upon the season in which it was taken. Oh, the possibilities are endless!
Sporting events would become beautiful, yet odiferous, phenomenons! “J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!” wouldn’t just be a green and white cheer from two-dimensional fans! Take the effects of preliminary tailgate parties, add in the various ages (if we’re going with that as a strength predictor), and the result is pure rainbows – and weeping…just weeping…that even Salvador Dali could not capably or fully embrace! And let’s not forget the plumes exiting the rear ends of our favorite players, both in the huddle and on the line. A kaleidoscope constantly on the move. Beauty for 3 hours straight – all around us! And in the cold, football air, the colors linger just a little longer as they fail to ride the air upwards in the lack of heat.
The SBD (“Silent, But Deadly”) would be eliminated – the executor, unable to hide!
Swimming pools – well, what can I say?! A boiling pot of bubbly technicolor!
And airplanes? O – M – G!!!!! The entire cabin would be filled with color – and odor! The result, sadly, may be just black, all around!
Everyone would have a tail that appeared and reappeared as dictated by the gastric system’s ingredients. Imagine trying to shoot a movie with such pesky trails trying to make their cameos throughout – a director’s nightmare!
No, celebrities would not be immune. This would be a pleasant reminder that we are all the same. Yet, just like breathing, if we all farted in color, perhaps farts wouldn’t be such a big deal. Of course they’d always be subject to their offensive qualities, which would preserve a little bit of their intrusiveness. And that’s okay – They’d remain just a little bit special like that!
So the next time you’re in a crowd of people, just imagine the possibilities! Let your mind go, and just allow yourself to giggle out loud. Yes, perhaps God could have shown us a little more light-heartedness by innately giving us this trait. Since He did not, we are forced to use that wonderful sense of creativity He did give us, to merely wonder…Color is beautiful. But, in light of reality, farts are not so beautiful – Keep on covering up, my friends. Never admit to that stench which can always be blamed on the dog, the baby, or the invisible duck that lives under the recliner! Oh, the world that could have been…