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Eau de Flatulence
by Michael C. Keith

After years of experimentation and research, Marvin Gupp finally realized his lifelong goal. He had created a product like no other––a product he was certain would be welcomed universally, since it addressed one of the most common problems facing humankind. With his formula in hand, he dashed off to the patent office to register it. The clerk reviewed Gupp’s application with a combination of amusement and bewilderment

“This is something you have developed and wish to patent, sir?”

“Yes, that’s why I’m here. Is there a problem?”

“Then you’re not joking?”

“Why would I be joking about a breakthrough as extraordinary as this one?”

“Well, it is extraordinary, I’ll admit that, but . . .”

“Can you think of any innovation that deals with something more relevant and distressing to people?”

“Ah . . . well, now that you mention it, I guess . . .”

“Haven’t you yourself been embarrassed by this bodily function?”

“Admittedly, it is something that can ruin a business meeting or social gathering.”

“Indeed, everyone finds it disgusting at its most malodorous. It can destroy amorous liaisons and solemn occasions.”

“True, but are you sure this particular result is what you wish to produce with your invention?”

“Certainly. Can you think of a more popular alternative?

“Perhaps the scent of flowers or perfume . . .?”

“Oh, there’s nothing even close to the world’s love of this aroma.”

“So, you wish to patent a product that converts the smell of farts to that of bacon?”

“Exactly! Who doesn’t enjoy the whiff of bacon?”