Classic Max

The Longest And The Loudest

The longest burp and loudest fart I ever witnessed in real life were by my friend Brett.

Max Olijnyk

Photo of Brett in 1994 by the author 

The longest burp I ever heard in real life was by my friend Brett. We were walking back from the shops drinking cokes, I was talking about something and he tapped me on the elbow to make me shut up. We stopped and he stared into the distance, open-mouthed, waving his hand around a bit like an opera singer. I knew what was coming—Brett always did have a talent for theatrical gas.

The burp started low and reedy – a steady tone rather than an explosion. After about 15 seconds it has raised in pitch by about half an octave, but somehow Brett was metering it out slowly, like the pinched neck of a balloon. He’d rein it in and bring the tone down again, then bring it up a tad just to show off. The control was incredible.

He glanced at me quickly and I shook my head in disbelief, while nodding in encouragement – a confusing gesture to many, but a common occurrence between Brett and me. I could see in his eye that Brett couldn’t believe this was happening and wanted to laugh, but quickly resumed his trancelike gaze, remaining focused and determined to see the burp through. I must emphasise that at no point did he pause or flutter. It was a steady tone the whole way through.

We began walking; gesturing to each other and pretending to talk as if Brett wasn’t burping the longest burp ever burped. I doubled over a couple of times to stop myself from wetting my pants. I do that a lot around Brett—he’s a funny bastard. He was like the devil on my shoulder, the guy who got us both into trouble, but often from acting on ideas I had come up with. But I only came up with the ideas to impress Brett—a chicken and egg scenario.

We were nearly back at his house by the time the burp finally petered out and ended. Brett hadn’t taken a breath for about two minutes, so he was struggling to take in oxygen while tears were streaming down his bright red face. We both fell on the footpath in hysterics. It was unbelievable.

The loudest fart I ever heard in real life was also courtesy of Brett. It was the morning after we had both slept in my bed. Brett had come over for a barbeque the night before, to welcome my mum’s friend Alyssia who was visiting us from England. Alyssia was a 40-something tandoori-orange slapper who worked at the tea shop near where mum used to live in a village near Nottingham. She had a very drawn-out way of speaking which made everything sound like a sexy innuendo. It took me aback at first, but then I realised it was just the way she talked. Or was it? Not one to turn down an opportunity, Brett took Alyssia’s tone quite literally and began actively flirting back—making for quite a bizarre, confusing scene at the barbeque, the only other attendees of which were my mum and myself. “What’s going on?” he asked innocently/excitedly when I managed to get a moment alone with him in the kitchen. “You’re trying to have sex with my mum’s friend is what’s going on!” I replied. He insisted he wasn’t and that I was an idiot, but gave me a sly look and headed back to Alyssia with another drink. Anyway, they didn’t have sex, but Brett ended up staying the night. And since Alyssia was sleeping in the spare room, Brett bunked with me.

When I woke up Brett was still asleep, but somehow awoke the instant I looked at him. A mischievous glint appeared in his eye. Again, I knew what was coming—Brett always did have a talent for theatrical gas. The closest I can come to describing the sound that followed was an approximation of an old car hitting a wall, if the car was actually an animal. A sort of “YEEEEEARGGGGGGT” sound—very shocking, very violent. The fart only lasted a second or so, but the volume was incredible. And it came out of Brett’s bumhole. Our house was old with high ceilings, so the acoustics were great. We both dissolved into fits of laughter, in celebration of a truly impressive achievement. The moment was broken by Alyssia’s sexy, sleepy drawl from the next room. “Maaax? Are you alriiight?” We froze, stared at each other for a moment, realising the fart had woken Alyssia. Then we really let go. Brett even let another one rip in the midst of it all, but it wasn’t quite as loud. They didn’t even smell – the noise had taken all the power, I suppose. Good old Brett.

Max is a Melbourne writer who skates, takes photos, and knows denim better than most people who claim to.

This story first appeared in a photo zine by David Boyson Cooper produced for the Independant Photography Festival. 

Follow Max on Twitter: @maxolijnyk

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