I’d say you’ve had enough.
— from Blazing Saddles
Why is it most of the time we need someone else to tell us when enough is enough?
First, some context. This quote is from Blazing Saddles, a Mel Brooks film. It is said to be the first movie fart scene ever!
Whether it is or not, I don’t know. What I do know is this:
♦ it is my husband’s absolute favourite line and scene (above all else, including Monty Python)
♦ I have never seen the movie in its entirety; however, I have watched this particular scene about forty times, give or take. I hasten to add this was not 100% voluntary; my husband had control of the remote and kept rewinding it. I suppose I could have left the room.
♦ the scene revolves around a group of cowboys having a feed of beans. There is a good minute or more of butt lifting, grimacing faces and farting sounds, then someone requests some more beans. Another character lobs up, sniffs the air, waves his hat around and utters said favourite quote.
On YouTube there are approximately six likes to every dislike for this particular scene. Personally, I don’t get what is wrong with the thumbs-down crew.
Well-placed flatulence is funny! End of story. Who needs that amount of seriousness in their lives that they cannot laugh at a fart? Laughter is the best medicine; and farts are laughable — often offensive, but instant humour on a stick.
Some of the most sophisticated people I know are flatulent, and find it funny:
My next-door neighbour when I was a kid was always impeccably dressed. She played bingo twice a week. Her house was always immaculate. She talked with that slight ‘plum’ in her voice.
One day my father and I heard raucous laughter from her kitchen. We went to investigate, standing outside, looking in through the window. My neighbour and her friend were gripping the edge of the sink, silent one minute, roaring the next. Tears were streaming from their eyes. To my father’s querying gaze, my neighbour called, ‘Don’t come in darling. We are having a farting contest and it isn’t too pleasant right now.’
I caught a teaching colleague years ago, under the stairwell next to her classroom. Again, she was always impeccably dressed, well-spoken and ruled her class with an iron rod. When I asked her what she was doing, ‘I felt the need for a huge fart. I couldn’t do it in the classroom could I? Just waiting for it to escape so it doesn’t follow me back in.’ She gave her posterior a dramatic shake, ‘Better out than in,’ then, winking, ‘Why do you think I have had this classroom for so many years?’
Yes. Farts are funny and they are not the sole realm of the lower class at all.
In my neighbour’s case, enough was enough when there was nothing left; for my colleague there is no questioning a necessity.
My daughter is clearly not carved the same as my husband and I. She finds this behaviour abhorrent. She is constantly rolling her eyes and saying, ‘Stop!’ Which in our family, I have to say, just makes it worse.
Sometimes the more you try to tell someone to stop something, the less likely they are to actually do so. It becomes a bit of a game, especially with young children and child-like adults.
It is frustrating though when you see someone who is out of control; they won’t allow you to help, and don’t have the will to stop themselves. Big picture things: drugs, alcohol, risky behaviour.
But, even the small things — like listening to your body when it’s tired or injured — are so important to self-monitor and gain control over.
It is such an important trait and skill to develop; the ability to look at yourself, assess what’s going on and act accordingly. Stop if you need to. It’s about self-preservation.
And, enjoy a good fart every now and then. In moderation, in the right place. My father used to say a good fart was cleansing for the soul. He must have had the cleanest soul ever.