‘I guess people love a good fart joke,’ man says after his letter-to-the-editor goes viral

After the Pendleton (OR) city council amended its nuisance ordinance to ban marijuana odors, Peter Walters suggested in a letter-to-the-editor that the politicians “move on to restricting the other offensive smell that plagues our community: farts.”

He writes in the East Oregonian: “Too often, homeowners and businesses fail to contain farts to their property, forcing the rest of us to put up with the smell. Some habitual farters argue that they need to fart for medical reasons but that doesn’t mean my kids should have to smell their farts. The city council should stop looking the other way and pretending not to notice.”

Walters’ letter has been picked up by the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Oregon Public Broadcasting and other news outlets. His reaction? Walters tells Romenesko readers:

Oh man. It’s been a surreal day. I really just expected it to get some laughs out of my friends and some funny comments on the East Oregonian’s Facebook page. … Yesterday morning it started getting crazy and this morning my phone, facebook, email even work phone have been blowing up. I guess people love a good fart joke!

I write letters to the EO [East Oregonian] every once in a while and I usually try to make them kind of amusing because most letters to the editor are just angry and boring. I’ve put more thought into letters than this one but never have I had a response like this. It’s just crazy to see how excited people are about it.

In the end my real point is that our local government and our local citizens seem to be at odds about this city’s actual priorities: Lingering pot smells or lingering pot holes.

I regret, a little bit, that my broader points have gotten lost in the joke. But if it made people laugh I guess it was all worth it.

* Letter: Farts should be city council’s next order of business (eastoregonian.com)
* Earlier: “I was the band nerd, angry punk-listening kid every high school’s got” (opb.org)