Friday, May 02, 2008

Fart Free Portsmouth


Police Chief Charles Horner

Farting has been treated humorously by writers down through the centuries. The Greek playwright Aristophanes treated the subject hilariously in The Knight, Benjamin Franklin did the same in a satirical letter to the “Royal Academy of Farting,” and Mark Twain wrote a coarse skit about royal family farting in the time of Queen Anne in a previously suppressed work that now goes by the abbreviated title “1601.” But farting has gotten out of hand in America. In fact, it has become a national crisis.

The crisis has reached all the way to the oval office. President Bush is known among close associates to be an indefatigable farter and lover of flatulent humor. “Frat Boy,” it should be noted, is an anagram of “Fart Boy.” In the 26 Aug. 2006 U.S. News & World Report, Paul Bedard reported that Dubya can’t get enough of farting and fart jokes. “The president is also known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides . . .” Fraternity initiations can be downright vicious, but the initiations young Bush aides had to go through constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The first six months, recruits had to go through what was called “snoot camp.” When Bush spoke at a political rally in the field house at Shawnee State U., a smell lingered for months high in the rafters among the proud banners of the Lady Bears’ past titles. There is no doubt if the president himself ever again farted in the precincts of Portsmouth, Chief Horner would do his duty. Being a graduate of the School of Hard Knocks, Chief Horner is not a a Frat Boy and does not find farting funny . He would not hesitate to give the Commander in Chief himself a citation should he be detected letting loose again within Portsmouth’s city limits.

Once Bush leaves office, expect a flood of tell-all/smell-all memoirs from long-suffering ex-Bush aids about the ordeal of having to work within smelling distance of what was known to insiders as “ the offal orifice.” There is little doubt historians will conclude President Bush presided over the fartingest presidency in the history of the republic. The unfairness of the criticisms of Vice President Cheney for retreating to a hidden bunker and establishing a government within a government may be more evident to posterity than it is now. Bush is likely to be remembered by posterity as “the posterior president.”

But the days of treating farting lightly are at last thankfully coming to an end. Ohio is becoming recognized as a national leader in the anti-farting movement. No other state can match the Buckeye state’s intestinal fortitude when it comes to the fight against farting. The Fart Free Ohio organization is a model for the rest of the country. Its stirring call to action can be read on its website, “Yes, it is now time to take back clean air by the total elimination of flatulence in public places in Ohio. It is the purpose of this website to provide information to you so we can fight the righteous fight against fart.” The organization proposes that in a “Fartless Ohio,” some bars and restaurants could be required to have farting and non-farting sections. Businesses could be designated as either farting or non-farting.

Portsmouth has an embarrassing reputation as the drug capital of the tri-state area. But now it is being recognized for something positive: it is becoming the Fart Free capital of the tri-state area. The champion of the Fart Free movement in Portsmouth is Police Chief Charles Horner who launched the crusade for a Fart-Free Portsmouth on April 28, 2008, when he gave a stern warning to a retired Christian minister and recovering colon cancer patient who farted at a meeting of the Portsmouth City Council. Rev. X, let’s call him, had not only farted at the council meeting but he did so in the proximity of Portsmouth’s first lady, the mayor’s wife, who was in attendance. Horner threatened to throw the retired minister out of the Municipal building if he ever farted there again. If he is willing to take on the Commander in Chief, why would Horner hesitate to take on a retired minister with a medical condition?

The Portsmouth Daily Times did not report on the breaking farting story, no doubt because of its policy of protecting the citizens of Portsmouth from the unpleasant facts of life. Two reporters who violated that policy were fired, and Sam Piatt was hired to replace them. The farting blowup was first revealed not by the Daily Times but on Moe’s Forum, a link to which is provided here.

Chief Horner has done more to protect Portsmouth’s first family than the Secret Service has to protect the Bush family, or Scotland Yard has to protect the royal family. Who is he protecting them from? He is protecting them from a group of old-farts whom he has publicly denounced as “domestic terrorists.” The prevalence of flatulence among senior citizens is one of our country’s most odiferous public menaces. Confining their terrorism up to now to their web sites, where they blow a lot of hot air about corrupt and incompetent public officials, Portsmouth’s domestic terrorists have now taken to farting in public meetings. To Chief Horner, this represents a new and dangerous threat to public safety. The prospect of hordes of senior citizens farting in public is a scenario right out of a nightmarish video game. The creation of a new Defartment Department within the Portsmouth Police Department is not a new layer of bureaucracy, as critics claim, but an indispensable weapon in the war on domestic terrorism. At present, the chief priority of the Defartment Department is videotaping those who attend council meetings for any sign of flatulence. With the tapes as evidence, Horner hopes to build air-tight cases against anyone farting in council chambers.

Chief Horner knows that the Portsmouth Municipal Building, in which the council chambers are located, is so decrepit that it would not take more than a half a dozen coordinated elderly farts to bring down the structure. That is why Horner is recommending that the renovations of the Marting building include reinforced anti-fart panels to strengthen the 125-year-old building’s ability to withstand a coordinated fart attack. Fart detectors will be installed at the entrance of the renovated City Center, and the high cost of the new technology will be defrayed by grants from the Dept. of Homeland Security. Fart detectors will become as common in Portsmouth as surveillance cameras now are in the chambers of the City Council. With another grant from Homeland Security, a trio of dogs are being trained, one to detect drugs, a second to detect explosives, and a third to detect farts. Why can’t one dog be taught to detect all three? That's what the budget hawk but mathematically challenged city councilman David Malone wants to know. Wouldn’t one dog be more cost effective? As Chief Horner explained at a closed door meeting of the Defartment Department, which is exempt from Ohio’s Sunshine laws, the sensory overload was too much for any one dog to handle. “Not even Rin-Tin-Tin could have handled the job,” Horner said.

Speaking of old dogs, Horner is working on a plan to subject senior citizens to annual emissions tests, similar to motor vehicles. The ACLU will no doubt come to the defense of farters’ civil rights, but Horner points out that Portsmouth has the highest number of old farts, per capita, than any other city in Ohio, and only St. Petersburg Florida is recognized as a more fertile breeding ground for domestic terrorists. By the time his campaign is completed, Horner hopes a sign will be placed at the city limits announcing, “Welcome to Portsmouth: Ohio’s First Fart Free City.” When the time comes for Horner to hang up his badge, a grateful citizenry may be able to say of him, as was said of the Father of Our Country: “First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Farts of his Countrymen.”