Saturday, September 18, 2010

Blowing a Raspberry

“Take a butcher’s at my china over there. He lost his titfer, is copping it from his trouble and strife so he’s going to the rubbity for a few. It’s a load of pony if you ask me.”


Take a butcher’s hook (look) at my china plate (mate) over there. He lost his tit for that (hat),is copping it from his trouble and strife (wife) so he’s going to the rubbity dub (pub) for a few. It’s a load of pony and trap (crap) if you ask me.”

It might sound like something out of The Bill or The Sweeney but the above are some of the better known examples of cockney rhyming slang. Incidentally, there are various possibilities and explanations for how the police in England came to be referred to as “The Old Bill”, or “The Bill” for short. They are examined at the UK police website at:

The Sweeney (I loved that show) is itself a shortening of rhyming slang and illustrates a point made above, that some rhyming slang becomes shortened to one word. The Sweeney is short for Sweeney Todd, meaning The Flying Squad, a division of the Old Bill.

Which is a long winded (ha ha) way of explaining that blowing someone a raspberry is a shortening of the rhyming slang raspberry tart, which means “fart”. Blowing a raspberry is to mock, jeer etc by making a noise of breaking wind.

Unlike my trouble and strife, who thinks that a movie is lowered in tone by a good fart joke or scene, my boys and I have wiped tears away watching the windy scenes in various movies.

Indeed, there are websites that list the best raspberry tart scenes.

Here is my list, not in any particular order:

Blazing Saddles: the pic that popularised the movie fart scene. Who can forget the flatulence symphony as Taggart’s men sit down to their evening meal of beans.

Shrek: a way of catching fish not previously featured in film. If you are invited to a meal at Mr & Mrs Shrek’s, heed the advice of the dinner guest in War of the Roses: “I wouldn’t have the fish”.

Airplane: Leslie Nielsen as the doctor gives the symptoms of food poisoning, each acted out by Peter Graves (Captain Over), the last being uncontrolled flatulence. Surely you’re not serious? Yes, I am, and don’t call me Shirley.

Dances With Wolves: Lt Dunbar (Kevin Costner) is taken to his posting on the prairie by Timmons, a gross figure delivering supplies by wagon. As Dunbar sketches the night stars in his notebook, Timmons delivers a resounding raspberry and tells Dunbar “Put that in your book”. It is reminiscent of an occasion when Merv Hughes was bowling to Hansie Cronje in South Africa and getting hit for fours and sixes. Letting one rip next to Cronje, he said to him “Try hitting that for six”.

Dumb and Dumber: two for the price of one! Harry in the bathroom and Lloyd lighting a gas fire to entertain the crowd in his daydream about Mary. And don’t you just love the scene at the wildlife fund raising function for the last breeding pair of snow owls, where Lloyd kills the female with the cork while opening a bottle of champagne.

Naked Gun: Leslie Nielsen again, the time as the farter, not the fartee. As Lt Frank Drebbin going to the bathroom whilst still having a microphone switched on, we and the country hearing it on TV are treated to a collection of bodily sounds.

• The Nutty Professor: Dinner at the Krumps. Not one of my faves but included for completeness.

Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery: not only a fart joke (bubbles in the water during a spa), but also a poem: “Pardon me for being rude, it was not me it was my food, it just popped up to say hello, but now it's gone back down below.” A fart joke and poetry. Now that’s class.

Finding Nemo: What? A fart joke in the quintessential kid’s film?? Yes, the TV was on whilst I was working at my desk and Finding Nemo was playing. Hence my awareness of the movie. Honest. There is a scene where Marlin and Dory are avoiding sharks in the minefield and a sunken WW2 submarine. One mine explodes which then causes them all to explode, on the ocean bottom. Way above, two seagulls are floating/sitting on the water surface. A bubble from the explosions pops next to the male gull, “Plop”. The female takes a disgusted look at him, says “Nice” and flies off. It cracked me up because it was so unexpected in Finding Nemo.

Rocket Man: I like this movie but have not been able to rent or buy it anywhere. The fart joke comes when the mission captain (the bad guy in Die Hard 2), whilst exploring the surface of Mars, has to share the same breathing apparatus connected to the spacesuit of geek Fred Z Randall. Funny as a fart in a spacesuit. Only this time it is.

I know there are other movies with fart scenes but the above are favourites and/or classics. Her are some of the others.

Scary Movie (various)
South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut!
Beavis and Butthead Do America
Shaun of the Dead
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Step Brothers
Last Action Hero
Spies Like Us
Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle
Police Academy 5
American Pie
Hot Shots
Rain Man
The Heartbreak Kid

Someone has even gone to the trouble of putting together a 2 minute video of the 20 classic fart scenes from the movies:
So there you have it. What started off as simply an origin item on blowing a raspberry turned into a much longer item on movie farts. Is it any wonder that the awards for the worst in movies (film, acting, directing, screenwriting and songwriting), intended as a counterpoint to the Oscars, are known as the Golden Raspberries, or Razzies for short. They are presented one day before the Oscars.

Hope you enjoyed it. If not, then I fart in your general direction, your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

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