Bagels and Farts, Hold the Dressing

By Bob Gaydos

Mr. Methane

“So you know how some people use religion to say that gay marriage should not be allowed and others say that as long as it doesn’t affect them they don’t care, that it should be an individual choice?”


“OK. So you know how people add dressings — Russian, Italian, ranch — when they eat salads?”


“So how come when I eat my salad with no dressing people look at me funny and tell me I’m weird? Isn’t that my individual choice?”

“Nothing at all?”


(Long pause for effect.) “No … you’re weird. That’s just messed up. A salad with no dressing? Dry? How about oil and vinegar?”

“I hate vinegar. I do put ketchup on my lettuce, though. And it’s tomato ketchup.”

“Eww. That’s disgusting. What’s wrong with you? This sounds like it might stem from some repressed childhood crisis.”

“But it’s tomato ketchup.”

* * *

The two Bobs have been meeting over coffee and buttered, toasted sesame bagels for some time, figuring out what’s wrong with the world, how it easily could be fixed if someone would only let them and agreeing that their sons were going to do whatever the hell they pleased, so it made no sense to worry about them. Although they did.

This particular morning, there was a shortage of weighty topics, though and having exhausted salads without dressing they moved on to dinosaur farts.

“So,” says the Bob who likes dressing on his salad, “I saw this report from the BBC. It says the dinosaurs, in effect, farted themselves into extinction.”


“Yeah. You know how cows produce an incredible amount of methane, which is the scientific name for cow farts, and methane is one of those greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming?”

“Yeah. OK …?”

“Well, some scientists in England figured if cows today produce 50 million to 100 million cubic tons of methane a year, which sounds like a s**tload of methane, the biggest dinosaur species, like the Brachiosaurus, must have created even more.”

“Seriously, they got money to study this instead of why boring soccer games cause riots?”

“Yeah. A bunch of scientists from universities in England and Scotland figured out mathematically that the big dinosaurs that lived about 150 million years ago created about 520 million cubic tons of gas every year, which must have really stunk up the joint. But they say it also made the earth much warmer — 18 degrees hotter — than it is today and that helped melt the ice caps and glug, glug, no more dinosaurs.”

“No s**t?”

“No. And if you remember your biology, those dinosaurs were vegetarians.”


“So it mean they were basically eating salads without dressing and farting themselves to death. A cautionary tale if there ever was one.”

“Eat your bagel.”

“Fine. Wanna hear some good news on the save-the-earth front?”


“OK, so some students and professors from Yale were apparently wandering through the Amazon rain forest on an educational expedition and found fungi that — get this — eat plastic.”

“Get outta here.”

“Really. There’s a paper on it. They gathered up a bunch of plants and snooped around inside them and found a couple of fungi that eat and digest polyurethane. In fact, they don’t need anything else to survive. And you know the greenies keep telling us we’re going to be buried alive in polyurethane. Maybe the fungi can save us.”

“Well, I guess that would be a good thing. But is polyurethane even a plastic?”

“I don’t know. I think so, but that’s not the point. When did you become such a science whiz anyway? The point is, it’s in everything we use and throw away. Maybe the fungi can be used to get rid of some of it. Cool, huh?”

“Yeah, great. But tell me this — what happens after the fungi eat the polyurethane?”

“Whaddyou mean?”

“It’s digestion, right? What do the fungi give off as part of the process? Are they putting more methane into the atmosphere?”

“Jeez, I don’t know. But how much could fungi fart in comparison to cows or dinosaurs? And it probably wouldn’t smell as bad.”

“Yeah, probably not. All right, gotta go. See you next week.”

“Right. Hey, maybe try a little honey mustard dressing on your salad next time, instead of tomato ketchup.”

(Part of the preceding actually happened. The rest was made up, but entirely plausible.)

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7 Responses to “Bagels and Farts, Hold the Dressing”

  1. Emily Theroux Says:

    Whichever of the two Bobs you are (and I think I can answer that question for myself), you’re KILLING me! Dinosaur farts – was that the part you made up? Amazing concept, anyway. My sweet little female dog’s farts are soon going to asphyxiate both of the humans in my house, and that will be the end of the world as we know it. I hope she hurries up and gets this thing in gear before Dec. 21, 2012 rolls around, because being gassed to death by doggie methane, though it sounds extremely unpleasant, is at least a known quantity. I don’t know how the Mayans are planning to kill us off.

  2. BobGaydos Says:

    Actually, all the science stuff is true. The dialogue may be somewhat fictional.

  3. Roseanne Sullivan Says:

    Ok, so I think you’re the Bob who likes salad dressing. And, I also think that.. I wonder how you think of these things? Dinosaurs? Is this your message to vegetarians world wide? Don’t you think it is a little politically incorrect to assume that all vegetarians fart too much just based on one or two dinosaurs?

  4. Emily Theroux Says:

    Amazing! I’m not sure, however, whether I should feel relieved or depressed that a living thing has already adapted to the existence of plastic — especially in the rain forest. How could enough polyurethane have made its way into a place so remote from civilization that the fungi there were the ones to figure out how to dispose of it?

    Plastic was always considered non-biodegradable because microbes didn’t recognize it as food. I guess the fungi beat all the other microbes to the punch. (Maybe scientists should turn a whole bunch of those little suckers loose in the Great Pacific Plastic Vortex and find out if they can swim!)

  5. Bob, the smart one Says:

    It’s TOMATO ketchup. Some people have tomatoes with their salad. I have TOMATO ketchup. What’s the difference?!
    Makes sense to me. Bob

  6. Joe Henry Says:

    I think I know which Bob eats his salad with tomato ketchup; reminds me of something, my hero, Oscar Madison would do. However, it sounds like one and possibly both of you have too much time on your hands and are in need of some supervision.

  7. LeeAgain Says:

    Why is it always TOMATO ketchup? What other kind is there?

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