The Fart Chart
I don't remember exactly when Gordon invented the Fart Chart, but I do remember when the Fart Chart got our whole class in a lot of trouble. The Fart Chart was a list that Gordon kept with every kid's name in the class on it. Throughout the school day, whenever anyone passed wind, Gordon would take out the list and put a checkmark next to the kid's name. At the end of each week, kids would stop Gordon and ask him how many points they had accumulated. Naturally, it turned into a contest to see who would be the first to reach 100. If our teacher, Mrs. Hoagsbrith, noticed the increase in gas in the classroom, she didn't let on, and Gordon was very careful to keep the Fart Chart hidden.
It was the beginning of the second week of what had become known as the Great Farting Contest when things started getting out of hand. Over the weekend, someone discovered that eating large quantities of beans greatly increased the amount of times a person farted. This news spread through the class like wildfire, and I'm sure many parents were puzzled by their kids' sudden request for beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some kids went as far as eating beans for snacks. By the middle of the week, we all sounded like giant bull frogs calling out to each other in the swamp. No sooner would one kid stop then another would start up. Mrs. Hoagsbrith pretended not to notice, but a fan appeared on her desk one day and she kept the windows wide open. She looked very relieved when the bell rang at the end of the day.
The next morning, all the kids gathered around Gordon while he read out the scores on the Fart Chart.
"It's going to be close," he announced. "Ten of you are at an even 90, and most of the class is already over 80. If everyone gives it 100 per cent effort, we should have a winner by lunch time."
The bell rang and we all hurried into line, each of us eager to give it our best effort and be crowned the Farting Champion. We filed into our classroom and saw that we had a substitute teacher. (Apparently Mrs. Hoagsbrith was at home with a headache.) Being a substitute teacher is hard work at the best of times, but being a substitute teacher in our classroom during a farting contest is extremely challenging. This poor teacher never even made it until noon. By 9:15, the fan was on full-blast. By 9:30, the windows were wide open. At 10:00, she pulled a large bottle of aspirin out of her purse and swallowed several pills. She stared at the class in frustration as we all sat quietly in our seats, straining with the effort to become the Farting Champion.
| The morning wore on, and still there was no champion. Some of the kids were even starting to look a little green themselves and the classroom reeked.|
At recess, Gordon announced that four kids were tied at 99 farts each. The next one to pass gas would be the Farting Champion. The bell rang and we entered our classroom. We were surprised to see the principal, Mr. Evans, standing at the front of the room.
"Your substitute teacher wasn't feeling well and she had to go home," he informed us. "So until another teacher can be found, I will be taking over." And then it happened.
A loud, long fart erupted from the back of the classroom. We all turned around to see who it was, and then the whole class erupted in cheering and shouting. Kids banged on their desks.
"YOU'RE THE NEW CHAMPION!" cried Gordon, forgetting to keep the Fart Chart hidden in his excitement. He raised his pencil to draw the last checkmark, when the paper was snatched out of his hands by Mr. Evans. Instantly the class was silent.
"What is the meaning of this?" demanded the principal, scanning the chart. Meekly, Gordon explained that it was a Fart Chart, and that everyone in the class was competing to be the new Farting Champion.
"No wonder your teachers keep going home sick!" said the principal. "Look at these figures! Gordon, you've never gotten 92 in anything at school in your life!"
Because everyone's name in the class was on the list, the whole class was in a whole lot of trouble. We were accused of making teachers sick on purpose, and all of our parents received a letter explaining what we had done. We were all given the task of writing a 500 word essay on the human body, explaining how the digestive system works. We also had to write letters to both Mrs. Hoagsbrith and the substitute teacher apologizing for making them sick. We didn't really mind though. The first annual Farting Champion had been crowned. Next year, we would just have to be sneakier!
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