Writer - Paul Lamar
Mozart farted last night. It was a little one, more of a small breath from his behind than a staccato toot. Like a glissando of air, though noteless. Just a little slide from his butt. No one in the audience could hear, of course. It was during the slow movement of the Sinfonia Concertante, in which he was playing the violin. He probably knew that we’d heard it. First violinists are right there, at his back.
I don’t think even the second stand players heard it. Just Bernard and I.
We didn’t laugh. It has happened before, and he is such an inspiring guy that you would never want to laugh. Once it happened during the fast movement of the Jeunehomme concerto. That I could really hear, and that was a real fart. A punctuated bop. It came out while he was rising slightly off the chair, but again, we could hear it because of where we were sitting, but that movement—in the concerto, I mean—is loud enough to cover any extraneous sound except, of course, for like a gun shot or a piece of falling scenery, like happened one time during “The Magic Flute.”
It never smells. Bernard and I breathe together because of our phrasing, so we would both smell it at the same time if one of Mozart’s farts ever smelled. Who knows why a fart smells anyway? I would say it would depend on what one has eaten. But Mozart eats just about anything he wants, as far as I can tell—pickles, sausage, potatoes, corn, lots of beer—practically everything. And chocolate, lots of chocolate. Never seems to create an odor.
Or if a person is sick, a fart smells. But he doesn’t seem to be sick. He’s a very energetic young man. Maazel tov to him and his wife.
Haydn farts, too, but he’s getting up there, so that’s no surprise. It’s only in rehearsal, actually, and he never apologizes. But why should he? He’s Haydn and in every other respect he has excellent manners, plus he’s simply a huge talent, and has a marvelous sense of humor.
It’s life. Even the great ones fart, and it’s good to remember that when you’re tempted to put them on a pedestal. That does no one any good. We’re all just human beings with bodily functions, and sometimes they just get away from us.
Even my dear wife, Marianne, farts! Sometimes we laugh about it, too, which is the only thing to do when something surprising happens. And she carries it around under her skirts like a little cloud of personality.
Paul Lamar is the oldest (72) of four children, and he's the least funny of the bunch! When he and his partner, Mark, who is also funnier than he is, get together with the family for holidays, no one laughs at what Paul has to say. It's a miracle that he wrote this piece in the first place, but evidently it made editor Ken chortle.