a peek inside the fishbowl

06 Oct, 2006

A note from Ms. Tooty Mcfartypants

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

The topic, of um, passing wind, is rather delicate is some circles. Last night’s bean soup inspired me to give it some further thought.

This is one of those issues that require some discussion before two people decide to have children. Like co-sleeping, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, it deserves to be talked about. You need to know where your partner stands on the issue of these misdirected burps otherwise you might spend a lifetime arguing, pretending, or leaving the room. Since children are to be in the picture, some agreement is required upfront. Right?

I think people are divided on the issue and generally fall into two camps:

1) Tooters and enablers. If you’re a tooter you’re the type of person who is likely to laugh at herself. You might even be the type of person who tends to exclaim things like “whoa, that was a big one!” or “better go get my emissions checked” or “hey, how did that duck get in here?” You might even raise a cheek when you feel one knocking at the door.

If you’re an enabler you laugh at others and don’t think poorly of them when someone lets out a squiffer, big or small.

2) Secret tooters.

The jig is up! We all know everyone is a tooter, it’s just whether they embrace it or not.

I had to laugh when I read this (from here):

“On average, a person produces about half a liter of fart gas per day, distributed over an average of about fourteen daily farts. Whereas it may be difficult for you to determine your daily flatus volume, you can certainly keep track of your daily numerical fart count. You might try this as a science fair project: Keep a journal of everything you eat and a count of your farts.  You might make a note of the potency of their odor as well. See if you can discover a relationship between what you eat, how much you fart, and how much they smell.”

Haha. Yeah. Right. Keep a journal and submit it as a class project! Your teacher will be thrilled!

The Secret Tooter lives in denial and finds the whole process rather revolting. Secret Tooters might show their distaste in any number of ways, including eyeball rolling, complaining loudly (“WHO THE HECK LET THAT ONE GO??”) or automatically reaching for the can of air freshener in their fanny packs.

So what if a Secret Tooter marries an Enabler? Is there any way to compromise on the issue? Does the Secret Tooter promise not to scold if the Enabler promises not to let one go in the movie theatre? Does the Secret Tooter buy special gas-absorbing chair pads as Christmas gifts for the Enablers in their lives? Are there fart-free zones in their homes?

I’d like to clear the air and state outright that in our immediate family we have a tendency to point and snicker when someone toots. (Note I have mostly shyed away from the word “fart” here because, well, I would just rather call it a toot and we’ve always done so in our family. If someone in our family is on a roll they are immediately dubbed with the special title of Tootenstein.)

When I was young we talked about “cutting the cheese,” and it was often yelled in schoolyard in an accusatory fashion, as in “HEY, who cut the cheese!” If you were the guilty party you had no choice but to return with a quick “you smelt it, you dealt it.” And you had to say it in a haughty know-it-all voice or everyone would know the truth.

I wonder, which side are you on, and how do you deal with the tooters in your lives? Anonymous comments are welcome. I don’t want to force anyone out of the closet over this one (stuffy as it might be in there).

Over to you.

13 Responses to "A note from Ms. Tooty Mcfartypants"

1 | CC

October 6th, 2006 at 1:03 pm


You are hilarious!!!! I was laughing out loud like a crazy person when I read this post. I can’t believe your family says “Tootenstein” because we do too, along with many many others. My 3 year old daughter loves to say “who cut the cheese cause I smell the breeze” even in public, totally embarrassing. Even my 17 month old daughter thinks passing gas (burping and farting) is hysterical and doesn’t hold back. Cute post, thanks for the laugh.

2 | Chantal

October 6th, 2006 at 3:59 pm


I tend to be a bit on the Silent side (I think that will shock people who know me), but my ENTIRE family is extremely proud of their gas. They learned from their Tooter Father. Our smallest and most delicate girl, Meghan, is also our loudest!

3 | crunchy carpets

October 7th, 2006 at 1:10 pm


We just blame the dog

4 | Suebob

October 9th, 2006 at 5:53 pm


I posted about this the other day. I admitted my Tootenstein status. As I get older, it gets worse. I fear I am going to be one hell of an embarrassing old lady.

5 | a peek inside the fish bowl

October 10th, 2006 at 9:45 am


[…] It seems as though my readership is comprised almost entirely of Secret Tooters (see post of Oct 6 if you’re not sure what I’m taking about). Hmm. I never would have guessed so many of you are holding it in like that. Oh man. That can’t be very healthy. […]

6 | Marla

October 10th, 2006 at 1:08 pm


Sorry I’m late chiming in – but in my family, we’re loud and proud. And he who denied it, supplied it.

7 | Kristina

October 11th, 2006 at 12:53 am


I’m late too, but here’s my two toots (haha): my family is pretty much comprised of enablers as well. Also, my husband tends to blame the cats quite a bit. I always retort (rather indignantly, on behalf of the cats, you understand) “How could you blame something so VILE on that cute, fluffy little kitty?!” And then he laughs and laughs…

8 | Jennifer

October 11th, 2006 at 4:17 pm


Too funny – I had a discussion about this with a friend the other day – what was acceptable – you see my husband is a silent tooter and exploded one day at an ill-timed toot from my 12 year old son. Things have calmed down now and we’ve compromised on a rule – not at the table – but that only makes it really funny when someone rushes to the nearby powder room – peers out and lets it rip.

9 | a peek inside the fish bowl

November 12th, 2006 at 10:49 pm


[…] The ever so lovely and charming Chantal nominated my post:  A note from Ms. Tooty Mcfartypants for the October ROFL award. Thank you Chantal! I’m pleased that stories about my family’s noxious gasses are hitting the big time.  […]

10 | IzzyMom » Blog Archive » Epidemic of Wet Pants Sweeps Blogging World!

November 14th, 2006 at 9:52 am


[…] Epidemic of Wet Pants Sweeps Blogging World! Prepare to giggle, chuckle, chortle, snort beverages out your nose and possibly wet your pants but PLEASE REMEMBER…we cannot be responsible for damaged keyboards or ruined clothing. You are strongly advised you put your protective gear on before you start reading! Cristina and I give you the winners of the October ROFL Awards! Mommy off the Record awards Kevin Charnas Soul Gardening awarded Mama Tulip* Crankmama awarded Moobs Between Diapers and Dishes awarded Mexico Movies Ravin’ Picture Maven and Life, the Universe and Everything awarded Hulushki Scribbit awarded Dandelion Mama Hello Insomnia awarded Anne Nahm A Beautiful Mess awarded Victorian Rhapsody And Dirty Dishes Radioactive Girl awarded Chicky Chicky Baby InsParenting awarded Mommy off the Record Hell Broke Loose Today awarded Zube Girl Bub and Pie awarded Momish Stolen Moments awarded Sweatpantsmom The Pink Diary awarded Memoirs of a Feline Empress in Exile Slackermommy awarded Momish Maniacal Days awarded Kevin Charnas Momish awarded 8 Centimeters Deluded Oh the Joys awarded Kevin Charnas Bread Crumbs in the Butter awarded a peek inside the fishbowl Sarah and the Goon Squad awarded I’m Doing the Best I Can MOMBAT awarded Crankmama Jennster awarded Kevin Charnas *As you may know, Mama Tulip is taking a blogging break right now, but that doesn’t mean she can’t still win an award! Thanks to everyone who participated! […]

11 | Kristi

November 14th, 2006 at 7:59 pm


In this family, we claim them.

Congrats on the ROFL!

12 | domestic_slackstress

November 19th, 2006 at 2:58 pm


Is it bad when your children are all tooters? They toot loudly then act like it never happened. My husband prefers to toot and shove my head under the covers to suffer in his toxic gale cloud. Congrats on the ROFL award.

13 | A note from Ms. Tooty Mcfartypants at a peek inside the fishbowl

July 22nd, 2008 at 7:07 am


[…] You smelt it, you dealt it. Filed under Misc. life | […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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