The Flatuosity of Late-Stage Capitalism 

It’s the best and quickest response to the story. 

“I think that’s overblown.” 

And you don’t even know the joke you’ve made until I point it out. 

We’re talking about a reality TV star (how often is it a reality TV star?) 

Who has been hospitalised 

After trying that bit too hard  

With her side-hustle 

Of selling farts in a jar

Even the story online had to add yes, really in brackets after that one. 

For a thousand dollars a time, 

She had been parping them out, 

And stoppering them up, 

Until she had stoppered herself up. 

Too many protein shakes and too much black bean soup, apparently. 

“Intense gas pains,” apparently. 

And you hear the story and you say, “I think that’s overblown”. 

That nearly did for me, that really did. 

So I had to tell Twitter. 

On reflection, though, the real punchline, 

Quite apart from the realisation that practically every trending story of the moment  

Is as substantial as a fart in a jar, 

Was the woman herself, 

When asked how she felt, now her gastric emergency had been resolved. 

“It’s a relief,” she said, 

As if that isn’t the point of flatulence in the first place. 

When late-stage capitalism doesn’t get in the way. 

Mike Hickman (@MikeHicWriter) is a writer from York, England. He has written for Off the Rock Productions (stage and audio), including 2018’s “Not So Funny Now” about Groucho Marx and Erin Fleming. He has recently been published in EllipsisZine, Dwelling Literary, Bandit Fiction, Nymphs, Flash Fiction Magazine, Brown Bag, and Red Fez. The novel is going very well, thank you. At least in his head.

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