Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Man dies in his sleep from breathing in his own farts.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 1997]
Origins: In August 1996 this story was included in a "Darwin Awards" mailing, marking its first appearance on the Internet.
Disabuse yourself of any notion that such a death occurred. Not only don't any bona fide news accounts detailing this bucket-kicking exist, but it isn't even really plausible that someone would die in such a
In other words, this was all just a made-up story. That it circulates as a "This is true!" shocker shouldn't be taken as proof of anything other than the sender's gullibility.
From a folklorist's point of view, a far better tale is the venerable "Fart in the Dark" legend. In that story, the gaseous emissions of the victim don't kill her, though she fervently wishes they had (anything to be spared the embarrassment of the moment!).
Barbara "gas masked" Mikkelson
Last updated: 17 March 2007
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