Thursday, June 05, 2008

Death by Farting? A MythBusters Investigation

Whenever my boyfriend and I go on vacation, we spend one night in our hotel room vegging out and eating pizza. When we’re sitting in the travel agent’s office, this is how we justify spending $2,000 on a trip. “Well, we’ll only allow ourselves one really nice dinner out and one of the nights we’ll stay in and order pizza so it won’t be that expensive.” The logic is flawed but it’s ours.

This is how we ended up eating Pizza Hut and watching American TV in our hotel room in Aruba a few months back. I was flipping through the channels when I happened upon the Discovery Channel's MythBusters where – and you know I wouldn’t lie to you – a pasty man named Adam was sitting in a bathtub farting. They were busting the following myth: You can die from the fumes of your own flatulence. Really? This is seriously something that people worry about – whether or not you can fart yourself to death?

“Jesus Christ, are you seeing this?!” I cried.

“Am I seeing what?” Nick called from the balcony. I didn’t answer because I’d actually been addressing Jesus Christ, who I fully expected to hurl down a humanity-destroying thunderbolt at the news that watching a man passing gas underwater now passes as entertainment. I'm imagining a scenario in which Shakespeare is begging God to reincarnate him so that he can come back to earth and create more magnificent works only to have Him reply, "Sorry Shakespeare, but bathtub farting is the theater of the new millennium."

By now I was totally put off my pizza, as you can imagine. But back to Adam who’s been busy farting in a cold bathtub. He now has a tube attached to his ass, which is capturing his gaseous emissions in a Flatulence Containment Unit, but he’s not making things happen.

"I wasted a really good one at six o' clock this morning,” Adam laments. Vom!

They finally collect enough gas and then, in a sequence so disgusting that I can’t even get into it, a lab determines which foods contributed to the smell of Adam’s fart. I have to change the channel and watch Family Guy for a few minutes. It's that bad. By the time I switch back they have set up their resident crash test dummy, Buster, in a small poorly ventilated room and are slowly filling his quarters with gases like carbon dioxide, based on the levels in which they manifested in Adam's "flatus." All the while they are monitoring Buster’s “vitals" and eventually determine that no one can produce enough flatulence to kill themselves.

“What the hell does that prove?” I thought. “They realize that Buster isn’t actually real, right?” Again, flawed logic. Now if they’d locked Adam in the room and let us watch as they filled the air with his fart to see if it killed him, that would’ve been quality programming. Someone give me a network.


J said...

I saw that episode... you clearly weren't catching them at their best (their worst? yes, very possibly).

But they do have some good segments, like blowing up cement trucks and trying to duplicate the Hindenburg disaster. It's worth suffering through some of the bad eposides to watch the good ones.

Anonymous said...

Your vacation mentality isn't so different from mine. Last vacation, in order to offset the cost of paying $3-400 per meal at a couple of really nice restaurants, I spent a significant part of my vacation eating lots of super-cheap street food. Luckily, it was all very tasty, as well as being local cuisine. I also stocked up on fruit from the free hotel breakfasts and skipped lunches.

Anonymous said...

so with all that pizza munching, do u and yer bf decide to try out the farting experiment between the 2 of yoose? sounds like great fun in a cozy little hotel room!! pizza's always an excellent creator of odoriferous human gas expulsions!

Noelle Hancock said...

Ew. No.

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

You are a FOO FOO Girl. Everyone poops and also everyone breaks wind. You’re soon to experience being in a room with someone who breaks wind and you will think your going to die! But thanks to Myth busters you know now that you wont die!

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