Note: The following column is about gas and indigestion. Stop reading now if: A.) You don’t ever pass gas … or … B.) You are offended by reading about farts.

Foxholes have not been the same since the “Fart Maniac” passed. He was at his peak around 1890. When he first discovered his raw and unique talent, he shared it with his fellow grunts in the French military.

Le Pétomane was the stage name for “fartiste” Joseph Pulol, who become famous, yes, famous, for his ability to both inhale and exhale, both vapors and liquids, in and out of his backside, often with astounding results.

Don’t laugh; this guy was the talk of the town and apparently a lead talent in Moulin Rouge, the saucy French review. I went to Moulin Rouge on my one and only trip to Paris, and I can promise you they need someone like Pulol to make that show go.

Like my young daughter said after seeing the show, “If you’ve seen one pair of breasts, you’ve seen them all.” I don’t know about that, but the show could certainly use a show-stopper like the unstoppable Pulol.

Le Pétomane had enviable control and could supposedly blow out a candle from several feet away. He was also known to toot the popular tunes of the day on a ocarina, which he played through a bit of rubber hose inserted in his anus (no other way to say that). For those of you not into musical history, the ocarina is an ancient wind instrument featuring four to 12 air holes for creating different pitches and melodies.

Before you scoff at this display of magnificent muscle-control madness, consider that his audiences constituted of the who’s who of the day, including the renowned Sigmund Freud and Edward, Prince of Wales.

Pulol was also said to have been an expert animal imitator, which we can only assume included the wood duck and several species of trumpeting elephants and periderms.

Next time you are looking for an edgy play for just the right set of skilled actors consider doing “The Fartiste,” which was awarded Best Musical at the 2006 New York International Fringe Festival.

See? I’m not just blowing hot air. This guy was the real deal.

Please don’t think that I have a fart fetish. I am often appalled by the expellations of others, and will often be seen running for the exits when a stranger’s strange smells arise.

In his “Complete Book of Survival and Manners,” JP Donleavy writes that you should never admit to farting, even when there are only two of you present. As a rule I follow this advice, but strangely, I am never bothered by the fustiness of my own fumigations, only the fanfare of my fellow man (and dogs).

Visits to my mom’s senior living facility with their enclosed spaces and rich, fattening foods, has had me ruminating about fumigating.

Kimberly Kubicke has a YouTube video called “Why Farts are a Bad Sign.” It goes right to the heart of the matter as she talks frankly about farting.

“Each person passes between 500 and 1,500 milliliters (more than a quarter gallon) of gas per day compressed in about 10 to 20 farts … farts have been clocked at a speed of 10 feet per second, and about 1.15 million farts happen each second on earth,” she says.

The truth will set you free.

Kubicke goes on to explain that these fun farts are actually a sign of rotting food in our digestive tracts. She says that we often have weak digestion or we lack the right enzymes or that the 1.5 trillion organisms in our gut flora might be unhappy with what or how fast we are eating. Poor diets with lots of junk food can also tax the system and cause pungent repercussions.

So what’s the solution? If we want to actually improve our health and fight local climate change, we can slow down with our eating. Chew slowly. Don’t talk while masticating. Avoid guzzling carbonated drinks with dinner because what goes in must come out.

I have been exploring new gastrointestinal-challenging foodstuffs like Mung beans, falafel and exotic fermented cabbages and raisins. These foods are said to be good for me but can, on rare occasion, cause odiferous orchestrations.

Good news for those living with someone with an overactive orifice: New research from the University at Exeter indicates that gas contains a potentially beneficial compound. So by breathing deep in the gathering gloom under the covers of a homemade Dutch oven, you could actually be staving off diabetes, heart disease, heart failure and stroke.

There really is a silver lining to every cloud.

I have no talent for rectal recitals, and I am in no danger of auditioning for “The Voice” anytime soon, but I am considering trying out for one of the local talent shows as I develop my sound.

Steve Skinner would like to borrow someone’s ocarina … for practicing. Reach him at