Saturday, July 28, 2007
Land of the Rising Gas
by Kevin Burns
Few people stop to think much about it when they fart. Unless it happens on a crowded elevator,then everyone thinks about it.
You may not have pondered the fact that there are over 400 different kinds of gas in one human fart, and Japanese of course are no exception. Japanese routinely let them rip to the tune of 80 million litres of fart gas every day of the year. I haven`t even included hot air bags like Tokyo Governor Ishihara either! If all the people in the world could be synchronized via the internet to buff on cue, they would emit 4.2 billion litres of butt gas, and that would fill 3.5 Tokyo Domes. Not a pretty picture I know. Just think of the Dome`s maintenance staff!
I have often thought that my friend Doug`s expellations were particularly putrid, but no! According to research, Japanese young women expel especially smelly ones these days due to constipation. Half of the young women of Japan are afflicted. Doctors point to dieting as the culprit in this case. Dieting leads to a loss of muscle tissue in general, and loose stomach muscles in particular, which in turn leads to constipation, and farts that would make even Doug blush!
Help you gasp! I`m dating a Japanese woman, what should I do? Is there anything that can be done, Kev? Unfortunately, I am at a loss and it isn`t only dieting that make some elevators smell like Kawasaki. It is also because the Western diet has found popularity among Japanese palets. Simply put, Japanese are eating more meat.
Indeed, the fast paced lifestyle of Japan leads to increased stress, and worsens one`s intestinal condition. Perhaps because of this busy lifestyle, people don`t have as much time to exercise. Without regular exercise, we aren`t regular, and our bowels don`t move smoothly (extend and shrink well--as one Tokyo doctor, a proctologist I presume, was quoted as saying).
One shocking part of the study revealed that if you try to prevent a fart, it will actually get you in more trouble and could affect your love life! If you refuse to fluff one (as my Uncle Stan used to say), then the gas is absorbed into your blood and travels to your lungs. Then it comes out of your mouth, smelling just as terrible. Let one rip before you exchange lips with your special someone I like to say. It is a shame when couples break up over mouth farts. It wasn`t that garlic your partner ate the night before.
This problem isn`t purely a Japanese one of course, it also takes place in space. After a fatal accident involving Apollo 1, NASA was forced to re-evaluate their safety measures. The accident involved gas and some at NASA suggested that even one fart might have caused the calamity. They started their analysis at that point. Finding that farts contain methane, they proved that farts can burn. Herman, my boy scout buddy regularly proved that on camp outs, but that`s another story.
NASA analysed many farts and found that some do not include methane. It depended on what the farter had eaten. Eating carbohydrates tends to produce a methane based fart, while eating meat or space food that is meat based, produces an expellation that is methane free or low in methane. This tends to cause the fartee (or recipient of the fart) to do a severe space gag, and possibly knock one of the controls out of whack. This of course could lead to a serious accident.
The drawback to all of these findings was, that low carbohydrate space food doesn`t produce the dreaded methane fart, but does produce a fart like Doug`s. In space, no one can hear you fart! But they can sure as hell smell a fart after some gaseous Neil Armstrong has had his ration of low carb space food. It stinks up the whole lunar module man! No wonder few astronauts ever opted for a second mission and everyone wanted to go for a space walk! Japanese astronaut Mamoru Mouri, who served on the Space Shuttle remarked that when someone farts in space it doesn`t dissipate, "...it becum rump of gasu travelling through space shuttle. Sometime it strike fellow astronaut nose. Honto ni kusai!" (It smells just terrible,") he related. "It often happen in shuttle, but feeling is mutual," he finalized.
So there you have it, let`s be careful out there; and as my father saw on a Scottish grave stone:
"Aire we be, let wind blow free."
by Kevin Burns at great personal risk
(Researched by T. Yamaki under much duress. *Ms. Yamaki has shown no side effects, so far, from this research.)
About The Author
Kevin Burns is a writer and entrepreneur living in Japan. When not editing his guide: http://www.travel-central-japan.com He can be found teaching at his English school http://www.eikaiwa1.com or managing the family store: http://www.import-food-japan.com Where he constantly wonders who cut the cheese?