US Marines fighting in Afghanistan have been banned from farting in order to avoid upsetting the local population, it has been reported.
The Marine Corps Times has the scoop:
Audible farting has been banned for some Marines downrange [slang roughly meaning 'in the warzone'] because it offends the Afghans ...
So, for all Marines getting ready to go downwind, I mean downrange, be forewarned — you may have to hold it in ... at least until you get back to your hooch where you can loudly crop dust your friends.
Reportedly, farting is a popular competitive sport among the jarheads* – aided perhaps by the carbohydrate-heavy nature of issue rations – and coming on top of prohibitions on other favourite pastimes such as cursing or discussing girls, the trouser-cough crackdown has caused some complaint. For examples readers are directed to the comments on the MCT article, which include a list of terms meaning "fart" which almost rivals Roger Mellie's Profanisaurus. ®
*Use of the term 'jarhead' – referring to the USMC preference for not having any hair on the sides of the head and very little on the top – by outsiders is often seen as insulting, as angry mails responding to previous articles have shown. Perhaps the fact of the author being an 11-year navy man and holder of the Royal Marines' commando qualification might allow it to be excused, under the heading of banter among fellow allied servicemen. If not, too bad.