Friday, April 01, 2005

Top Trumps: Bottom woe

Top Trumps

There is nothing so funny as an inappropriate fart. Pumping one out at a funeral is guaranteed to bring the house down, as would answering "Do you take this woman...?" with a resounding trump of epic proportions. You'll be a hero. Trust me.

However, now that I've come to think of it, two minutes' silence for a much-loved Princess of All Our Hearts might find you swinging slowly on the end of a rope.

If you can find a way of amplifying your bottom burps, so much the better. Set up your own radio station. Graft a loudspeaker to your chuff. The louder the better. My grandparents used to own a small wicker footstool, which we found acted as a natural amplifier for guffery. Visits to their place were often punctuated by mad dashes to the stool and some of the most frightening perps ever transmitted by the human bottom. The best ones would come out several octaves higher than was natural.

"FreeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEp!" it went. "FreeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEp!"

Those long winter evenings used to fly by.

However, the very fact that we were in a drawing room in Northern Ireland somewhat limited the audience to a deaf former shipbuilder and his utterly disgusted wife. We could do better. Much better.

So, why not school assembly? Four hundred kids sitting cross-legged on wooden floor, with a headmaster reading from his Big Book of School Assembly Ideas. Just as Mr George had all our heads bowed for the Lord's Prayer, I accidentally quacked one out.

"Our Father, who art..."


Did I say quacked? More like "thundered", and the wood floor made it ten times worse as it vibrated through the very foundations of the building, emerging in the boiler room to echo forth throughout the school hall in all its rampant glory.


Eight out of ten. Nine, tops if you include the waft that followed.

For about half a second I was immensely proud of my arse.

But then, cue 400 kids turning round and staring at me, and a ripple of laughter that soon evolved into raucous hoots and the angry shouting of enraged teachers. Hell to pay.

I spent a whole week under the thumb of my elders, undertaking crap break-time jobs as punishment for my arse's blasphemy, and my future in the priesthood was dashed on the cruel, cruel rocks of the unexpected pump.

Worse, there were unfounded rumours going round the playground that my spectacular trump was followed by the spoilage of a follow through. My reputation was utterly ruined.

Now, an adult who has put aside childish things, I would never, ever do such a thing in an important meeting or family situation. Strike me down and call me a liar if I do.

"You'll be on air as soon as the news finishes", said the nice person from Radio Five at the other end of the phone line as my moment of weblog-related glory approached.

"....until the word 'Greenland' is almost entirely hidden. And that is the end of the news on Five Live."


"And now - weblogs..."

Oh, spoons. Silent but deadly.

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