Excerpt from the current WIP:
General Weaving nods. “Of course, of course. Please, take a seat around my chair. I will tell you all I know.”
We gather in the sitting chairs around his elegant one as General Weaving plops into place. He lets out a weary sigh, of both tension and relief, before looking to the three of us.
“Triumphant Three,” he announces. “I have a great deal of information to present to you. But first, I have to start with a question.”
“Go on,” I say.
“Why are farts so funny?” General Weaving asks. There’s a heavy pause, a still silence in the room for several moments, before I respond.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I ask. “Is everything in existence about butts and poop and farts and balls? You really are a version of Will because…”
General Weaving holds a hand up to halt me. “Rial instructed me to begin our conversation this way. It is how it must play out.”
“Do you have like, two hours, man?” Will asks. “Cause my mental list is already fifty items deep.”
“This Rial guy sounds…wacky,” Clare observes. “Dimension traveling, philosophy….farts…he’s got a wide range of thoughts and interests.”
“Yes,” General Weaving responds. “Rial traverses many realities. His essence experiences a great deal simultaneously. He has insights we can barely comprehend.”
“Insights about farts?” I ask.
General Weaving nods.
“I guess I’ll give it a shot,” Clare offers.
“Be my guest,” I say, crossing my arms.
“So why do we find farts funny?” General Weaving asks.
“Because they’re random,” Clare answers. “Unexpected. It’s funny even if they are foul.”
“Ah,” General Weaving says, nodding his head. “Random is funny then. What do you mean by random? Certainly, farts can released upon command.”
As if written by a cosmic script, Will lets loose a rancid fart, squeaking out from between his ass cheeks in a shrill yet thunderous fashion. He giggles like an moron before looking around for high fives that are never to come.
“I said random, you idiot,” Clare says, holding her nose and shooting him a glare. “It’s just gross when we know it’s coming. Wait…” she pauses, staring off into thought. “Yeah, that’s it.”
“Go on,” General Weaving encourages, seeming to know where this is going.
“Farts are most funny when they are unexpected. When they’re accidental,” Clare explains. “Like if someone is in public, or they ruin a dinner or embarrass somehow. It’s unpredictable and hilarious.”
“Why?” General Weaving asks, reading from the script in his mind.
“Because…” Clare begins. “Because the nature of a fart pulls us out of our illusions.”
“Like smelling salts?” Will asks, squeaking out another blast.
“No,” Clare says. “The illusion that we’re…in control. Think of it,” she posits. “We live in our civilized society, with rules, and manners, and protocols. We establish these, we practically worship them, but we can’t escape the biological. At any time, our carefully laid plans, our committed to rituals, can blow up in the form of a biological stinkbomb. A gross fart is an absurd reminder of our place in the world. We imagine and create so much, yet we have biological constraints.”
“That’s why dicks, vaginas, and buttholes are the subject of awkward and immature jokes,” I jump in. “Because they are the reminder of how the biological rules over us, despite the deep and complex nature of our souls.”
“Exactly!” Clare says. “The biological knocks us off our high horses. Reduces us to what we’ve always actually been. It’s funny when it happens to someone else because of this and horrifying when it happens to us.”
“So I’m being like, philosophical and thoughtful when I let loose a blast?” Will asks.
“No, you’re being a jackass,” I counter. “But what Clare is saying makes sense. It’s the same reason why people make jokes about death and have a dark senses of humor. We want others to acknowledge the inherent hopelessness that comes with being trapped in the biological, but we also want to have a moment of control. An instance of power, and what better way to do that than by…”
“Making a joke,” Clare finishes. “Mockery instills a false sense of power and superiority, even if for a moment.”
“Excellent, purely excellent,” General Weaving says, clapping. “The three of you are even sharper and more astute than I imagined. The fate of the universe is certainly in good hands.”