Like Stonehenge and prehistoric cave paintings, we're never going to know who was really responsible for the fart that lit up the YouTube, Twitter, and late-night television this past Monday and Tuesday.
Here are the facts that are indisputable. On Monday US representative Eric Swalwell popped up on MSNBC's Hardball to discuss the Donald Trump impeachment hearings with Chris Matthews. And then, seconds in, it sounds like he farted. Not the kind of squeaker than makes people want to puke in an elevator, but a fucking ripper. The kind of fart that you normally hear from rugby players after a mid-match snack of cabbage and broccoli. Or in the collected films of the Farrelly Brothers. Or from vegans after free-lentil week at the Commercial Drive Food Co-op.
Naturally, Swalwell was quick to deny that it was him. And the same for Matthews, at which point the segment mushroom-clouded into what was quickly dubbed #Fartgate. Last night every talk show in America aired a segment on the slip, the best perhaps coming from Stephen Colbert, who went back in time to unearth brown-gold examples of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Neil Armstrong demonstrating their fart chops. (Either watch the whole thing, or go to 2:51 below).
Meanwhile, seeing how no one's ever going to fess up, MSNBC is now blaming the fart on a coffee cup, claiming that someone moved it across a table mid-segment to produce a sound that's had Jim Carrey in hysterics for the past two days.
The best part? You can now buy a replica of the mug on the company's website. And presumably blame it the next time you start out planning to go the silent but deadly route, and instead end up making a sound that suggests you probably just shit your pants while crop-dusting three full city blocks.