The classic dilemma: Should I fart or hold it in?

To most, it doesn’t even seem like much of a dilemma. If the opportunity to fart presents itself, just let it rip, right? Even if you are in a metal tube packed with other people 30,000 feet in the sky, just do it. Make them smell your stench. Destroy them all. *Insert evil laughter*

Unless you’re an evil serial killer who enjoys watching everyone around you suffer, you understand there’s some situations you just don’t want to fart. Maybe you’re on a first date and not quite ready to show the other person you’re a disgusting swamp monster. Maybe you’re at church or at a funeral. Or maybe you just don’t want to hot box the conference room packed with coworkers because hearing Debra give her quarterly updates already stinks enough.

Holding it in can be the civilized and polite thing to do, but does being a good samaritan come at a cost? Does holding in a fart cause your body harm?

Not completely. Science shows us that 1 of 2 things can happen when you hold in a fart.

The first symptom is extreme bloating and an onslaught of gut noises. These noises can become incredibly embarrassing as they evolve from a slight grumble to a howling whale call. Not only is it embarrassing, it now draws attention to yourself, so when the inevitable occurs, everyone will know it was you. Notice here we say “the inevitable” because the body knows what it wants and it’s going to fight you until it gets its way.  Meaning, as gas continues to build up, the body will continue to push until the fart is finally released.

Here in lies the problem. The longer you wait, the more gas that builds up, and this increases the chances that your farts will be louder and stinkier. The stench comes from all the Nitrogen gases that don’t get absorbed by the body, so the longer you wait, the stronger this stinky nitrogen bomb becomes. Similarly, the more you wait, the more stronger the pressure becomes on your anal sphincter. Once the pressure reaches a certain point, it will force the sphincter into submission and release at a much louder volume than it would have originally made. At this point, your goal of concealing the fart is long gone.

The second symptom that can occur has to do with the body getting its way. If you won’t let the gas come out your bottom hole, it may rise up through your esophagus and release itself in the form of a foul smelling burp or bad breath. Let’s face it, neither your date, coworkers, or priest will appreciate that.

So, to recap: No, holding in a fart will not kill you, but it could come back to bite you later on, and that just stinks.

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Silent Riot