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FABULOUS

Judge John Hodgman on Gassy Siblings

Annie writes: My boyfriend complains often about his sister’s loud burping. But he has a sensitive gut and produces frequent, loud farts. I do …

Annie writes: My boyfriend complains often about his sister’s loud burping. But he has a sensitive gut and produces frequent, loud farts. I do not condemn either action, as they are normal and natural. But when I confronted my boyfriend about his hypocrisy, he claimed that burps are grosser than farts, which are contained by clothing or bedsheets.

I see no happy outcome for you involving yourself in this dispute. It is, to paraphrase Michael Corleone, between the siblings, Kay. You and I will never understand or end it. But I can at least rule empirically that your boyfriend is wrong: Farts are grosser than burps. That’s the law. And while it’s a shameful truth that bed flatulence happens, I worry that your boyfriend is essentially announcing his intention to torment you. Be wary, and maybe also double check that your boyfriend isn’t secretly 13 years old.

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