Friday, August 25, 2006

When it comes to humor our president is a real gas

Daily Times Herald Columnist

There's really no other way to put this.

We have a president who finds flatulence jokes funny. He even makes them - the fart jokes, that is.

This is spectacularly disturbing as most high-school educated Americans know there are two types of people in the world: those who think farts are knee-slapping, hee-hawing fun and those who have left second grade on the merits, not through social promotion.

One of the easiest ways to judge someone, to spot a mouth-breathing loser who still watches cartoons and drinks Fanta cola in his 40s, is by whether they think farting is in any sense funny.

If you are over the age of 8 and still find a fart anything but what it is - an annoying release of human waste to be endured not announced with Cheshire grins and fraternity fanfare - the government should superglue a prophylactic on you. You should not be allowed to reproduce, much less be appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court to lead a world of 6 billion people.

In other words, the president should have a more advanced sense of humor than Larry the Cable Guy or any number of first-graders who just reported for class in Carroll, Iowa, this week.

But alas, this is not the case.

"We're learning that the first frat boy loves flatulence jokes," reports U.S. News & World Report in its Aug. 28 edition. "A top insider let that slip when explaining why President Bush is paranoid around women, always worried about his behavior. But he's a funny, earthy guy who, for example, can't get enough of fart jokes."

To make matters worse, Bush reportedly enjoys "cutting a few" when meeting new aides.

That's not exactly the way to inspire Mount Rushmore respect for the office.

I doubt George Washington whipped out his wooden teeth in front of Alexander Hamilton to break the ice.

At least Clinton and Monica were engaged in adult behavior.

Take the partisanship out of this for a second. Who would you rather have making a decision about wars and the economy?

(A) Someone who just received the Lewinsky treatment or (B) A dude who couldn't stop laughing because he just emitted some bean steam from his rear in the Oval Office.

Or look at this way: If someone came into your office for a job interview and let some gas fly - and then made some sophomoric joke about said episode - would you hire him?

I'd like to hear more from President Bush on this. Perhaps he could help me figure out something I've been wondering about since I left second grade. What's so funny about a fart?

On the humor scale, how is farting any different than taking a leak? When I go into restrooms in airports or sports arenas I don't see a bunch of guys standing over urinals laughing at the fact they're releasing spent fuel from their bodies.

People who find amusement-park fun in farts are 99 percent of the time the same guys who take photos of their No. 2 bowel movements, put them on their cell phones and show them to friends in the aforementioned fraternity houses.

Now, of course, some people will be quick to say, that W.'s affection for farts is endearing, that it's further evidence of his brush-clearing everyman appeal, that John Kerry and Al Gore are so stiff that their farting patterns are rare, sort of like lunar eclipses.

But there is nothing remotely redeeming about a president of the United States making sport out of individual exports of natural gas.

Remember the morning of 9/11, when Bush was in a Florida classroom reading "My Pet Goat" to grade-schoolers, a public-relations event he continued for seven minutes after being informed that we were under attack.

We in the non-fart-joking demographic just thought Bush was dazed and confused at the enormity of the problem in front of him.

In reality he probably felt some gas building and wanted to wait long enough to fart in front of the kids and get a great laugh to add some levity to the day as the towers were falling.

Bush's gross taste for bathroom-stall humor is further evidence that this president should be spending his nights making bad baseball trades, blowing family sweetened oil deals and going to movies like "Snakes on a Plane," not deciding where to send America's sons and daughters to lose their lives.

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