Letting some of it trickle out while trying to soak it all in

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I don’t know if you know this, but toddlers aren’t bothered by toot smells. It’s not that they don’t know they’re there. At dinner tonight I asked for some Gorgonzola. “I want some,” Ingrid asked nicely. I broke off a piece with my fork and Ingrid popped the musty chunk into her mouth. She started to giggle and said, “It kinda smells like a little toot.” So, if they can smell it, why doesn’t it bother them?

Think about how picky infants and toddlers can be about tastes, and taste is mostly smell, but when pappa rips a fruity one, or mamma hisses out a wet-cardboard walrus burp Ingrid just goes on playing. It really is the best of all possible worlds for her. She gets to laugh at the sound, experience the smell but not be bothered by it, and laugh at those who seem to be suffering from the haze. 

So is disgust at flatulence a learned response? That seems pretty radical, I mean it's a flavor that seems natural to dislike, but on the other hand it's a scent that we have been around for a long time (evolutionarily speaking). Could go either way, but I bet that we learn to wrinkle our noses when the guy in the elevator squeaks one out on the first floor. I bet the disgust wouldn't have occurred to us if we hadn't seen other people responding so negatively to every fart, toot, and flattle. 

Free your minds. Breath it all in. Oh yeah. . . doorknob.

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