Thanks to a slow news day, we ended up deep in the fæx (see our featured story about the Bristol Stool Scale). To clear the air, and to move on to our regular topics, we might just as well cover the famous flatulence scale from the Merck Manual (originally published in its 14th Edition):
Flatulence, which can cause great psychosocial distress, is unofficially described according to its salient characteristics:
(1) the “slider” (crowded elevator type) , which is released slowly and noiselessly, sometimes with devastating effect;
(2) the open sphincter, or “pooh” type, which is said to be of higher temperature and more aromatic;
(3) the staccato or drumbeat type, pleasantly passed in privacy; and
(4) the “bark” type (described in a personal communication) is characterized by a sharp exclamatory eruption that effectively interrupts (and often concludes) conversation. Aromaticity is not a prominent feature. Rarely, this usually distressing symptom has been turned to advantage, as with a Frenchman referred to as “Le Petomane,” who became affluent as an effluent performer who played tunes with the gas from his rectum on the Moulin Rouge stage.
More from the Merck Manual: Gas-Related Complaints