Tuesday, September 05, 2006

How to stop a parody

I spent all of Labor Day weekend working till the wee hours of the morning. This takes a toll on one's mind and body. Understandably, at around 4AM on Monday morning, I heard a very discernable "CRACK" as my psyche broke free from its foundation. So the heck with professionalism or good taste...

I was surfing around just now and came across this "How to" article on WikiHow: How to Stop Swearing. I started reading it and realized it'd be a much better article if it were on another topic....

(That's right, the Newb has sunk to this level. =P )

How to Stop Swearing Farting

Swearing Farting can easily become a habit and is generally a bad habit. It is reinforced by the company we keep, the people we are trying to identify with (e.g. the "in-crowd"), parental examples and workplace behaviour. Parents must be extra careful to curb farting tendencies as they are the first and principal cause of farting children. If you don't want people to get the wrong impression of you and you are tired of farting instead of speaking clearly, then this is a short guide to helping you to think about why you fart and how you might be able to curb the habit. Steps:

  1. Recognize that you have a problem. Farting is a habit. A habit is always difficult to break, so the first thing that you need to do is recognize that you have a problem with farting. If every second word is #!% this and !^#% that, then you have a problem. If you think the only cool way to reply to a friend, parent, teacher or co-worker is with an expletive, then you have a problem. If you don't know how to speak comfortably without farting, then you have a problem.
  2. Understand why you fart. Is it because you hang around with co-workers in a job nobody much enjoys and farting is a way of toughing it out? Is it because the cool crowd uses it as virtually the only way to speak? Is it because you are practicing defiance against a parent, teacher or significant other? Is it because you are angry, sad or afraid and can't express yourself more clearly (e.g. when something goes wrong shopping, driving, playing or at work, etc.)?
  3. Know why you want to stop farting. This isn't trite - you really must want to stop the habit in order to challenge it. If you are half-hearted or only doing it for a lark, you won't stop. You really must want to stop. Think about all the reasons why life will be better if you do stop. That is the best way to find the motivation to want to stop. Write them down if it helps.
  4. Make a commitment with yourself to stop. It's easier said than done, as it requires concerted effort and constant self-feedback. Be goal-oriented and choose a period of time during which you will try not to fart. Write down the following:

    • Why you think you fart(e.g., the triggers, the reasons)
    • Why you want to stop farting(e.g., better communication, better job prospects, better relationships with other people, brighter outlook on life, etc.)
    • Triggers you know will set you off (e.g., anger, certain company you keep, activities, music, TV programs, supermarket queues, weather, etc)
    • Ways you think you can either avoid or lessen these triggers (e.g., don't drive in icy weather, don't listen to music with expletives peppered through it, don't rise to bite back at your parents/spouse when they nag you, tell your friends you've had it with farting, etc).
  5. Express yourself better. Civilised and respectful conversation is not a farting contest. You owe it to yourself to find the vast array of other wonderful words your language provides to fill up your conversations. If you don't, you are limiting your own ability to clearly and accurately express your feelings and thoughts to other human beings and ultimately, you will be less accepted and understood by those around you. When you find yourself about to fart, make it a point to find another word or phrase that will better convey the same emotion or message. Find alternate words to substitute in place of expletives and discipline to use those instead.
  6. Accept responsibility. Only you alone can stop the farting. Be prepared for some people to feel threatened by your stand. Tell them that it is a personal decision to better yourself and that they aren't being asked to stop doing anything. Still, you're setting a good example to them in the long run and some may be so impressed they'll copy. For those who disdain you for it, consider how much you really need their friendship; friends are supposed to be supportive.
  7. Enlist support. Ask for the help of non-farting/infrequently farting friends and family (including spouse). Tell them you realize you have a problem and that you need to change. Make sure you pick non-judgmental helpers, though; you only want gentle reminders, not lectures or score-keeping. They may also have advice to offer on helping you to stop.
  8. Punish yourself. Every time you fart, put money in a fart jar for charity. This is a great idea for work where farting co-workers can all be encouraged to stop by placing money in the fart jar. Be careful not to let people think this is a good thing, though, and choosing to put money in the jar! Make a pact to move on from the lapse and get better. You could choose instead to call it "The beer jar," or "Friday night fun."
  9. Reward yourself. When you go for a day, a week or similar time space, reward yourself with something - a CD, some clothing, a movie, a day free from chores.
  10. Persevere. Farting won't stop overnight - if it has become a habit, it is second nature for you to respond this way. Don't beat yourself up about lapses. Like dieting, you simply stop doing the bad thing and start over again from that moment. It isn't fatal and it doesn't mean you'll never stop. It just means you are easing out of the old habit slowly and you're encountering a few hitches along the way. Keep trying!


Anonymous said...

ohh pooky...fart jokes? Dear dear, it really has been a hard month on you, hasn't it? :)

I have to say, there's something very cruel about the concept of a "fart jar." On the one hand, there's the financial incentive to stop. On the other, widows and orphans who depend on my flatulence will, over the course of 21 days, go hungry and be cast out into the street. Yes, I will be a better person for it...but at what cost I ask you? At what cost? I'm sorry, I just can't do it. They're depending on me and my burrito supreme to keep a roof over their heads and food in their tummys. So please, think of the widows and orphans...and pull my finger.

Ken said...

Here's a special message from the Foreign Aid Relief Trustees:

For the price of a burrito supreme, you too can save these poor widows and orphans. Please, have a heart...