‘Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries’ There’s no taunting like a French taunting

I’ve applied for a bunch of Australian public service jobs, to pay the bills, support my family, but I loath myself for doing so.

I should just write.

Or taunt French people.

One of my applications got promoted to the next level, where I was required to complete a one-hour test to demonstrate fluency – I cannot make this up – in logical, verbal and numerical elements.

I probably failed, and that’s why the best and brightest get promoted upwards.

John Wilson of The Canberra Times writes that Monty Python were never accused of holding back from crude humour. One of their more memorable lines – “I fart in your general direction” – uttered by the Insulting Frenchman, fits this bill. Yet their scenes are often divorced from reality, skirting outside the bounds of the possible.

However you say it – flatulence, bum sneezes, letting one rip or plain old farting – it is (usually) an involuntary act that is met with embarrassment. This is particularly true in the office, where it certainly is not met with the triumphant gloating of the Insulting Frenchman.

So it may surprise some readers to learn that intentional farts are in fact frequently cited as sources of workplace grievances and evidence of bullying. Not only are accusations levelled that a colleague farted in their general direction, it is often the case that someone farted in their specific direction.

The rest of the story has the smelly details.

My five daughters all made fart jokes, until they reached puberty. Then it’s just embarrassing.

So, I’m savoring every moment of daughter Sorenne peeling one off in the morning and proudly proclaiming, ‘Excuse me, I farted.’