Pull My Finger


In my opinion, farts and fart jokes are just plain funny.  It doesn’t matter what age you are or how refined you think you are, when someone says “pull my finger!” you’re going to laugh.  Comedian Louis C.K. recently stated, “You don’t have to be smart to laugh at farts, but you have to be stupid not to.”  Just think of all the funny names for farts: break wind, booty bomb, mating call of the barking spider to name a few.  And the actions you can do WITH farts: Crop dusting, chuck wagon, Dutch oven!  The entertainment never stops.

I grew up in a house where we just let ‘em rip!  It was a source of pride to be able to bust out a good one and clear a room.  My dad first initiated me into the “stepping on a frog” club when I just a little kid and from then on he used every chance he could to fart around me.  Dancing, farting–it was all intertwined in my family.  It was not unusual for the dinner table cacophony to be accompanied by the sounds of the gluteal tuba.  One of my FAVORITE family memories is from a vacation in Cape Cod with my aunt, uncle and cousins sitting around after many beans were consumed acting out the fart scene from Blazing Saddles.  If you can picture four grown adults and four kids sitting around laughing so hard that they have tears streaming down their faces, you get the idea.  The scene was reenacted many times at family gatherings after that.


Of course, these one gun salutes happened while in the comfort of our own home or at least when we were surrounded by close family.  We didn’t often bring our juvenile humor out in the world, unless you count the times that my dad and I would be browsing the video store (remember them?) and he would cut the cheese loudly and say in mock disgust “Kriste! Control yourself!” and quickly walk away.  I was never really embarrassed by this; just annoyed that he beat me to it.

When you have a young child in the house, there comes a time when everything potty related becomes freaking hysterical.  Farts are especially funny.  Farting ON someone?  Brings down the house.  “Pull my finger” has been around longer in my house than the knock-knock joke.  I told my daughter that my mom used to call farting “letting Fred out”, as in “Who let Fred out?” and she thought that was hilarious.  Her favorite toy lately?  A whoopee cushion she got at a birthday party.  “Mommy, sit right here!”  That never gets old.  We have yet to teach her how to make farting noises with her armpit—who needs that when you’ve got plenty of the real thing?

Next week, Zoey starts kindergarten and becomes a member of a more civilized world.  It occurred to me this weekend, while we were enjoying a lunch of rice and refried beans, that I have to teach her about the phrase “There’s a time and place for everything”.  I am pretty sure I was going to have to teach her about that anyway, but who would have expected that farting would be the impetus?

Who cut the cheese?  Oh right.  Me!
Who cut the cheese? Oh right. Me!

Part of me is sad about this.  In my own sick way, farting is part of the magic of childhood.  It SHOULD be funny.  It IS funny.  But I don’t want to be responsible for the therapy sessions later in life.  You know, the ones that start with “My mom never told me it wasn’t proper to fart in public and it ruined my life!”  Yeah, my brain went there.  The good news is that there will be plenty of time at home for butt sneezing and the hilarity that ensues.  Well, that’s good news unless you want to come over to my house and visit.  Maybe you should call first…

15 comments on “Pull My Finger”

  1. I keep trying to convince my family how lucky they are to have the free entertainment from me,I mean I am like a brass band in itself! On the other side of it it is hard not to laugh at the kindergarteners while they “butt sneeze” on the carpet..from now on I will say “Bless you”..
    If I can live through my brother I think I can handle anything…
    “Better out than in I always say”-Shrek

    1. Stacy! Brass Band!!! OMG that’s funny. Now that your kids are teenagers they must love that! How did we survive our childhoods with our brothers and dads??? Oh yeah and let’s not forget our cousins!

  2. You know I find farting hilarious. How could I not, growing up with your father! My problem though, is when one of my second graders farts (and it happens at least once a day), I have to either ignore it, or at least diffuse the bedlam that could ensue if I dare to laugh out loud! (P.S. Inside, I am cracking up). I usually have to smile slightly and say something like, “O.K., let’s try to let it go”, meanwhile they are all looking at each other and trying not to giggle TOO much 🙂 By the way, I think I’ll be calling it, butt sneezing from now on.

    1. Aunt Nancy, how could I have not realized how traumatized you must have been by my gassy daddy as a child! I’ll be dying laughing thinking of you calling it but sneezing to your second graders. They are going to love you (even more!)

  3. Oh, I love this. Everything related to the bathroom is HYTERICAL in our house. The poop, pee, toot, gas, fart, stinky butt conversations could go on forever and ever!

    1. Thanks Sarah- Isn’t it funny that as adults we forget how funny bathroom humor is, and then we have kids. Almost like they give us permission to laugh at our farts again! Although I never reall stopped. True story.

  4. I’m so happy to know that there are other families like mine! We find farting hilarious and my 1 year old nephew is no different. My grandfather used to say, “better an empty apartment than an unruly tenant!” Thank you for sharing…was an enjoyable read.

    1. Glad my tootie family can make you feel like part of a community Elizabeth! A tootie community! And I LOVE your grandfather’s saying! Totally had my husband and I in tears last night as we read your comment!

  5. Hahaha! I will be sharing this with the gaseous men in my life for sure! My mother was very prim & proper and never farted (in fact, I have no evidence that she ever pooped, either). So when I would express myself anally in front of my children, and they said, “Ewwww! Mom!” I would point out that it was better to have a fun, farting mother than an uptight, gas-suppressing crank. A great teachable moment.

    My father’s expression for when the little guys farted was, “Oops! Someone shot a bunny!” I thought that was hilarious and very appropriately cute for toddler grandsons & their little tushies. It was also one of his few moments of not being completely gross and crude.

    My college roommate’s brother used to fart in a jar, put the lid on it, and then bring the jar to her room to unleash it at her. Now that is creative.

    Here’s my question: why do humans, all of whom pass wind and defecate, etc., pretend that we don’t? Why is it so embarrassing? Why can we do it at home but not at work? Who are we kidding when we act as though we never do these things? Also, why do humans make noise when they cut the cheese and dogs & cats don’t? Do you think Queen Elizabeth ever farts? I’ll bet Prince Phillip does — hence his penchant for wearing kilts.

    Maybe Kriste, with her Ph.D. in Pharting, has the answers!

    1. Randi you just brought back a great memory of my cousin who used to cup his hands and fart into them and then throw it at you while shouting “Cup o’fart! Cup o’fart!” Good times.
      As far as our bathroom pretending, I’m not sure why. Maybe we all need a refresher of “Everybody Poops”.
      My dog (RIP) totally used to bust ass with loud noises. Scared himself usually! LOL He’d run across the room, trying to get away from his own ass!

  6. Hahahahahahah! Barking spider is my favorite. Also- “stepped on a duck”. Are you familiar with the “doorknob” game?? Where when someone farts you punch their arm over and over saying “doorknob! doorknob!” until they manage to touch a doorknob?? Or is that just part of my life because I had a brother…

  7. OMG, I am laughing like a dope over here. Isn’t it funny how kids find farts so funny SO EARLY in life??!!! My kids have been laughing about farts since before they could talk.

    Love this statement: ‘ “My mom never told me it wasn’t proper to fart in public and it ruined my life!” Yeah, my brain went there.’

    You’re the best!

    1. Thanks Vivian! I totally picture it like the “flash forwards” in the movie Parenthood. They say write about what you know and boy do I know about this!

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