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I looked at the device in my hand and then up at my father. “There’s no picture, it’s just all black,” I said.

“I know, I know, it’s just sound. Go on, press play.” He had a peculiar expression on his face, a curious combo of childlike anticipation and evil genius.

I did as I was told and waited a few seconds before I heard anything. “What is that?” I looked up to see Dad’s face frozen in a teeth-revealing grin. He was laughing through his nose. “Is it an elephant?” Now he was shaking with mirth. “Dad, that’s not a fart, is it? Did you tape yourself farting?”

Only when the 30 seconds of intermittent fart-like noises had finished, did my father let his laughter out, in a great booming staccato of “HA”s. He caught his breath and explained, in a higher than natural pitch: “It was my lotion! It was the last of the bottle, and I was trying to squeeze the last bit out. Doesn’t it sound like a fart?” He lost himself to another bout of laughter.

I started laughing as well, but it wasn’t only the noise that amused me, so much as the extreme delight my father took in hearing it. I was reminded of the new computer Dad brought home when I was in high school. He’d somehow rigged it to make a loud, drawn out belching noise every time a new window was opened.

“I love that you took the time to grab your phone and record that sound,” I said, now laughing as hard as my father. “I’m going to email it to myself.” I began thumbing away on his phone.

Dad’s smile disappeared. “For personal use, right?”

“No, Dad. For everyone. This kind of thing is too funny not to share.” Then, for our own reasons, we both burst out in a fit of laughter.

Here, hear it for yourself. I added some peaceful imagery to the sound. Which somehow makes it even funnier.

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