29 April 2007


It was last Friday morning. Year 11 pupils (aged 15/16) were sitting in the main school hall. I was at the side of the hall next to my form group. I was ticking them off on the register while also giving out a sheaf of letters - bending over my bag which was on a plastic chair in front of me.

At the front the dippy deputy head woman with her Wurzel Gummidge hairstyle was talking self-indulgently about her recent trip to the Somme battlefield in northern France. She had taken pictures of the graveyard where Sheffield lads were buried - after dying for what? - probably nothing.

It was at the most moving point in her talk - as she held up a laminated photo of the Sheffield memorial stone in a wooded glade - that I let out a triumphant fart - or as Shakespeare might have written - a "sennet" blast. This fart was in the key of C major and it was, I swear, totally involuntary. It seemed to resound around the cavernous school hall.
Near to me, the terrible twosome - Sara and Keeley, understood immediately what had happened and who was responsible and so did the Year 11 nancy boy to my right. All three of them started to giggle as I pursed my lips and looked nonchalantly up at the ceiling.
Haystack Hair at the front interrupted her spiel to declare that in no other year group had pupils giggled during her assembly and if the people who were finding her assembly so amusing wished to leave the hall then they were welcome to do so! I just couldn't bring myself to raise my hand and say "Mrs Gummidge - I am afraid that it is my fault! You see I let out a fart that was like a trumpet blast - must have something to do with the leftover curry my wife brought back from her work night out last evening!"

Farting - we all do it and yet throughout the ages this natural activity has caused embarrassment, laughter, shame, annoyance, punishment, false accusation, over-dramatisation, scrunched up facial expressions. What I say is this - Let the farting continue! Kate Moss, The Queen, Hillary Clinton and The Archbishop of Canterbury - they all fart like the rest of us... WAS THAT YOU?


  1. I remember my headteacher fating in class when we were in primary school, then going round and opening all the windows with one of those hook things on the end of sticks. Do you still have them in schools?

  2. thatb shoudl, of course read 'farting in class' ... Sorry, sir!

  3. Wonerful - we have a maths teacher who uses the lift and always farts in it. If you want to find him you follow your nose. Doesn't help that he's a ginger and welsh as well!!!

  4. yes, but here in NORTH Yorkshire we stopped farting in school assemblies at age 8 YP. It's not big and it's not clever. Go and wait outside the head's office and don't eat any baked beans on the way.

  5. M&M - I believe that Noah took the last remaining window sticks on his Ark! How old are you? Fating sounds like a nice word - passing wind without sound - what ladies tend to do!
    SECRETARY - Are you like that secretary Davina in "Waterloo Road"? If so you can listen to my farts any time!
    ARTHUR - The headteacher is a sophisticated woman but I think she would enjoy the idea of paddling my backside. In the end it wouldn't seem like punishment at all. And re North Yorkshire - i have observed how it is mainly filled with old farts anyway!

  6. Anonymous1:27 pm

    A colleague of my Dad once sent kids to the head's office because they farted. How ridiculous is that?

  7. I'm with Arthur, YP - it's not big OR clever! Funny? Oh, well.....maybe.

  8. What is thing about Blogs and Flatulence these days? I mean really folks... have we all bean eating baked beans? :-)


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