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A Doctor Writes #487

Updated: Mar 18, 2020

As a doctor, I am often asked: Is trapped wind good for the environment? Such questions - lying as they do at the interface between body, technology and the environment - are not always easy to answer. Inevitably different patient experiences, histories and geographies would suggest variable and often unique cost/benefit outcomes though as a general rule, the further a sufferer lives from a wind farm the more likely trapped wind is to benefit the global ecosystem.

Scientific studies suggest that human flatulence [aka farts, guffs, trumps, pumps and "Christ on a stick did you just drop one"] is made up of a complex mixture of gases some of which have proven greenhouse effects. Unlike the humble cow - which discharges almost pure methane [a fact well known to Professor Thrupiece enthusiasts familiar with his youthful experiments in rocket fuel production [HERE]] - humanly manufactured gasses naturally expelled can be of very diverse chemical composition with no constant or even predictable specific gravity - hence the range from dense and heavy to light and upwardly-mobile. Much depends of course on the individual's diet and we can say that a "fart" [let's call a spade a spade] originating in a serial curry-eater with three pints of Tiger in his or her tank is more likely to remain in the atmosphere at a low level and will be prone to settling quite quickly [not unlike microscopic lead particles in petroleum]. Lettuce-eaters tend to emit gases that rise rapidly and dissipate easily - this is not to say that they cannot be "silent but deadly" - but it does mean that their power to drive a heavy turbine is diminished in comparison with their heavier-duty cousins and so, theoretically at least, their smaller carbon-footprint impact is offset by their low angle of friction, hence, mechanical inefficiency. In short, they couldn't rustle a feather let alone power a 50-watt bulb.

Di Apper was one of several local farmers who helped Professor Thrupiece trap bovine wind in an attempt to manufacture high quantities of rocket fuel. A happy bi-product of the experiments was the discovery that bull's wind had a heavier specific gravity than cow's and was more likely to make human eyes water. This in turn encouraged research into tear-duct milking and almost zero-fat custard.

For individuals suffering from intermittent trapped wind, recommendations include taking steps to alleviate stress symptoms through a regime of bending and stretching. Those with a constant or more persistent condition should contact a professional [eg The Dorset Gas Board or DorsetElectricity] to see if they are eligible for a grant to be fitted with an abdominal catheter and connection to the national grid.

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