Dotty LaFou, the suburban sage, is here to solve your problems. This week, a new couple is a risk by inadvertent gas attacks in the middle of the night.



Dear Dotty,

I’ve recently become serious about a girl but the other night when she was sound asleep, she let rip an explosive fart. She did it again last night. She didn’t stir, but I was jolted awake. We haven’t reached that point in our relationship where farting in front of the other is kind of okay. Should I say something or just keep quiet about it?

Tim, Melbourne


Darling Tim,

This is a delicate one. Back in my grandmother’s day, ladies certainly did not fart. Ever! Why, the very idea was simply preposterous. One time when we were small, my sister Euphonia and I were at Grandmama’s house when Euphonia scrunched up her eyes and expelled what our father used to call a “backdoor sneeze” – you see it wasn’t Euphonia’s first time passing wind and dear Daddy was partial to euphemisms, quite odd considering he was a biologist. He made sure we understood bodily processes yet insisted we refer to incidents of flatulence as “boom booms”, “bottom burps” and that sort of thing.

But that day poor Euphonia was on the receiving end of Grandmama’s particular brand of disapproval. She sat us down and in stentorian tones said ladies should never break wind. Even if it meant internal explosions and extreme discomfort, even if the prime minister himself actually ordered us to expel gas – we were never to do it. Never. She had certainly never done it, or so she told us, and we weren’t to either. Euphonia and I knew from Daddy that farting is a natural response to the buildup of gas in the digestive tract, but truth be told Grandmama was a little scary and we were as timid as mice. What’s that? Surely you weren’t timid Dotty, I hear you exclaim! Yes, I may be brimming with confidence today but it wasn’t always so, darling. It wasn’t until I started working as a meter maid on the Gold Coast with my best friend Stacy-Marie that I grew into the self-assured and ultimately perceptive woman I am today. I learned a great deal from Stacy-Marie. As we’re talking about farting, I should tell you that she would occasionally break wind as we walked from car to car. It never fazed her. Such a free spirit.

I notice the same carefree attitude in my teenage nephew Byron. He’s your typical slovenly male adolescent and refers to breaking wind as “dropping a honker” or “under thunder” or “firing the retro rocket”. Such colourful phrases, you can tell he learned a lot from his grandfather. Mind you, darling, you’d be hard pressed to smell one of Byron’s efforts over the combination of his earthy body odour and cheap spray-on scent.

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But enough about Byron. Let’s talk about your particular problem Tim, my darling. You’re on the horns of a dilemma, there’s no two ways about it. Mention your lady love’s gassy expulsions too soon and you risk damaging the fragile new formed buds of your hopefully rosy relationship. Leave it too long and your nighttime serenity will be forever disrupted which will have the effect of instilling resentment against this otherwise lovely girl. Look my angel, here’s an idea. The next time your sweetheart sings the sphincter song in her sleep you must leap out of bed gasping as if you’ve just heard a loud explosion – that part will be easy because it’s true.

Then shake her awake crying out, “You farted, you farted, you must truly love me. Oh this makes me so happy. A wise woman once told me that once you’ve passed wind in the other’s presence, you’ve also passed an important relationship milestone.” Of course, if you do it properly darling, by now your girlfriend will be crying tears of joy and all will be well.

But if that doesn’t work – and there is a real chance she may take umbrage at the foregoing – I’m told there’s such a thing as “flatulence pants”, carbon-lined trousers that allow the smells to be absorbed once they’re emitted. Goodness, wouldn’t these be a positively perfect gift for Byron? Oh, I must call Euphonia immediately to tell her about this marvellous product. As for you, darling Tim, I have a strong feeling your problem will work itself out because there’s simply something in the air. I’m sure you smell it too.

Glad to have been of help. Ta ta for now.


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