Nobody had ever offered me a farting elephant before. Not a real elephant. I wouldn’t know where to keep one of those, though perhaps it would keep the bears out of our garbage cans, which would be nice. No, this was a toy farting elephant, a “Phartephant,” which, the PR person who offered it to me promised is “hilarious fun.”
Oh how I love hilarious fun. It’s my favorite kind of fun.
Normally, I delete these type of e-mails, but this time, I e-mailed back:
So let me be clear: I asked for and got a free farting elephant toy, and now I am writing about it. I am not being paid to write this blog entry, but Norman Phartephant (why not “Gussy Gasephant?” Just sayin’.) is worth $24.95 (but just $21.95 for a limited time only.) And so, I sat in my car and squeezed Norman’s tail, and he did indeed fart eight different ways. Once, he apologized, which, says the press release, makes it “a great toy product to help teach children about bodily functions and how to respond.” Luckily, he never asked me to pull his finger, though really, I’m sure that elephants don’t have fingers.
When I picked up the package at the post office, the box was festooned with a large bright green sticker that pretty much announced to the entire team of people who handle my mail that there was a farting elephant inside. I don’t think they’ve been quite so jealous since a Guitar Hero showed up for me. (Note to the FTC: That was free too, and now I have mentioned in it writing.)
The press release that accompanied Norman promised, “Squeeze his tail to hear one of 8 different gassy noises!” Which warrants the exclamation point because other farting toys don’t have such variety, I suppose.
When the kids came home from school that afternoon, I let them play with Norman. They squeezed his tail numerous times and giggled a lot before heading outside to play — without the toy. The next day, I brought Norman along during the Cub Scouts carpool, where one kid repeatedly squeezed Norman’s tail for the entire 14-minute ride home.
The general consensus among the scouts was that the farts could sound “more real,” if they’d just stuck a microphone in “some guy’s pants.” Then there was a lot of discussion about how to logistically pull that off without the gaseous guy finding out. Meanwhile, Norman farted, and a few times, he apologized.
My kids later agreed that Norman’s sound effects aren’t as funny as the ones we discovered in a book I’d bought for a friend last Christmas. (I’d link to it, but I can’t find it anywhere. And I don’t want to text my friend at work to ask, “What was the title of the farting book I gave you?” Well, I do want to do that, but I will refrain.) Best part: The bookstore sales clerk asked, “Did anyone help you find the Fart Book?” Tee hee hee.
And yet, Norman proved entertaining to me as I had him, um, leave messages on my sister-in-law’s home phone while I knew she was away for the weekend. Then I denied it when she asked about it. Tee hee hee.
Norman now sits on the coffee table. Occasionally, the children and their friends squeeze his tail for some hilarious fun before they go back outside to play, while I look forward to when my sister-in-law goes away again.
Until then, I keep checking my mail at the post office, because I have been offered a marshmallow blaster. The press release promises “riotous fun,” which sounds more dangerous than “hilarious fun,” and yet, I am intrigued by the free swag nonetheless. I may even write about it.