One of these unsung skills is the ability to fart at will. St. Augustine of Hippo, in his work The City of God reported that some men "have such command of their bowels, that they can break wind continuously at will, so as to produce the effect of singing". He thought that the loss of this charming ability originated with the first sin of Adam and Eve. That was an expensive apple!
This form of entertainment was mentioned by Rabelais, among others. Also, Joseph Pujol, a popular entertainer at the Folies Bergère, was known as Le Petomane. He thrilled audiences with his ability to play tuneful flatuses! Benjamin Franklin] wrote a work entitled Fart Proudly, so we have an early example of support for this art form among the Founding Fathers. Well, probably not that old crank, John Adams.
Which leads to some questions:
Suppose a Presidential candidate farted during a debate? Would that adversely affect his showing, or would it forge a common bond with the listeners?
Or suppose a preacher was enjoy a flatus while in the pulpit. Would there be an odor of sanctity from it?
If you are on a date, is it okay to fart on the first date? How much commited must you be to have this latitude?
Should not one of those arcane feminine skills imparted so that the possessor would seem more "ladylike" include being able to fart publicly without notice? Clearly, our golfer is somewhat behind the curve on this one?
Dogs do it, as this children's book memorializes:
There are even regional differences as to acceptability. For example, Matthew Richter, a yound man residing in Seattle, in a moment of excitement, accidently let loose a flatus while in the Public Market. Everyone froze; no one said anything.
Poor Matthew was mortified. He realized that he committed a monumental faux pas. So he immediately abandoned his life in Seattle, and went off into exile in darkest Idaho, or was it Illinois? One of those "I" states that polite people don't mention. There, he lived in anonymity and lived a life satisfactory except for his secret shame.
Finally, after twenty-five years, he returned to Seattle. He figured that, by this time, everyone would have forgotten his monumental blunder. So this middle-aged Matthew, returning under an assumed name, happened to be in one of the Starbucks' near Elliott Bay.
While enjoying his cappuchino, he overheard the barista talking about how old she was:
"I was born on the day, and in the very hour, that Matthew Richter let fly his fart!"
And that is why there is the well-known Seattle Freeze.