Mailbag: The Fart Chronicles

My column on Sympatico/MSN last week probably had as big a readership as anything I’ve ever written, barring some front page material during my time at the National Post. According to Matt “the wonder web producer,” the column had more than 200,000 readers over the weekend after Sympatico made it one of the main stories on its home page. Now let’s be clear — I don’t write those headlines, so the bit about a scandal around Tiger Woods was not my doing. But I suspect that headline drew in a ton of readers, many of which were so disappointed to find it was about a toot, and not that the world’s best golfer hadn’t been caught in a clandestine affair with a super model, or maybe simply dumped Hank Haney. So aggrieved by being completely misled, they then decided to write me about the column.

Here’s a selection of the more than 50 emails I received. Let’s start with those I outraged by writing a column about why we’re wasting a lot of time trying to figure out who blasted one on the 18th hole at the Buick Open. I’ll file these under “missed the point.”

Reader Paul says:

I read your article on MSN.  Seems like either you have nothing better to do or your readers have no class and no sense and have nothing better do to.  I did send out a message to MSN about this article.
If you want to write something, then write about somthieng that adds value to people’s lives.  You have gone from journalist to a regular moronic individual who will write aything to fill up th BYTES. 
You should get a life and so should your readers!!!!

I never promise any value in anything I write! My readers know that. Next…

“B Ascott” writes:

If reporting has come down to the level of this “news item” then I for one, will never buy or subscribe to another newspaper or magazine. How low can one go?
Oh for the days when Gentlemen never mentioned, let alone wrote, about such disgustingly trivial things.
 Thanks for nothing

When was this era when people didn’t discuss their flatulence? And most of my critics know that “disgustingly trivial” covers most of my material. What else would I write about?

Helen says:

Why are you so absorbed with schoolboy comments – I think it is pathetic that you are locked into that emotional stage with regard to this article – what a waste of time

A waste of time indeed. That’s five minutes of your life you’re never getting back — maybe spend another hour actually considering what was written next time.

Chad gets right to the point — if your favourite movie is Wayne’s World and you’re stuck in the early 1990s…

Great article…NOT! Another pointless article from a nobody bestselling author who makes criticisms about a person who would gladly take the time to field his questions at a press conference (if they would even allow you in). More importantly, Tiger is directly responsible for enabling you to have a wide enough audience to read your garbage. 
I could go on an on about people like you, but instead I’ll know better not to read anything that makes mention of your name.

Trust me, I say a short prayer to Tiger Woods every time I boot up my computer…

Barry writes:

I know SLOW newsdays can be a pain, but what was that!
Since when does someone ‘dropping a bomb’, rate ANY SORT of comment?????????
If this was you’r attempt at ‘light hearted humor’, I got some advise for you!
Stick to reporting sports events!, AND, leave the ‘light hearted humour’  to someone who is good at it!
As a ‘humourist’, you just don’t CUT IT!

Funnier indeed. I’ve got some “advise” for you as well — please, you’re killing me with all those question marks. One should suffice. That’s a word of professional advice!!!!!

Not everyone hated it though. Here’s some fan mail.

Jan said:

I loved the article, euphemisms and all! What a Hoot, this Toot!
Had a good giggle and for that, I thank you.

That’s what I’m hear for — fart jokes and giggles.

Sarah says:

Robert, just read your piece on sympatico about Tiger and the buick open, my husband and I both had good laugh, enjoyed it from the lineup to the conspiracy theory.
Funny stuff.
Love that you write for golf ontario as well!


Thanks Sarah. I love as well.

Finally, I’ll file this one under “very odd.”  “F George” writes:

Hello Mr. Thompson
I picked you to send this e-mail to because with your notoriety and connections, perhaps you can help it find it’s way to Tiger Woods.  For such a long time I’ve been trying to reach him, without success, to tell him I think he is one of the poorest sports in history. 

Give me a second to pull Tiger’s e-mail out of my address book. Oh, here it is TW@…. Maybe that isn’t such a good idea after all.

From the response to this column, I’m thinking there’s a series of commentaries I could write about bodily functions and golf. Bathroom breaks during a round, morning constitutionals before the first tee, full bladders that had to be relieved. Tons of material here, I tell you.

Until the next fart column, I remain.


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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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