Earlier today, Claremont health officials closed Honnold Mudd Library due to the detection of high levels of toxic gas. Flatulace—a form of natural gas harbored in the human gut—has long posed a threat to the Claremont Colleges’ main library. The combination of coffee, fibrous matter exuded from the thousands of stale books on every shelf, and tiny sealed windows makes the library a hot spot for Flatulace buildup.
Since the library’s conception in 1952, the building has undergone massive changes in attempt to combat the accumulation of the potent gas. In 1956, less than a decade after the library’s opening, builders had to add on South Wing in attempt reduce overall Flatulace concentration levels via dispersion technique. Builders expanded again in 1970, this time by merging Honnold with an entirely new section, thus creating the dual Honnold Mudd library seen today. However, neither addition resulted in a permanent reduction in Flatulace levels.
Although it remains unproven, many during the time of the library’s first two gas-bearing expansions attributed excessive Flatulace levels to an imbalance in the male-female ratio across the Claremont Colleges. During this time, the library remained almost wholly occupied by men. The library’s original builders thought that Scrippsies would utilize the main library, but in actuality, Scripps students kept mostly to their own, superiorly lit, and just all around better, Dennison library. This meant that at any given time, men alone occupied entire sections and even floors of the Claremont Colleges library. Seeing no need to suppress their gaseous secretions from each other, the library became a space for unrestrained male digestion percussion.
With minimal funding left in the library coffer, the Claremont Colleges were at a loss. It was Claremont McKenna College that offered up a solution. In 1976, CMC opened its front doors to female applicants in the hopes that it would oblige male students to close their back doors in the company of ladies.
Shortly after making the decision to become co-ed, the President of CMC issued this statement: “CMC continues to solve its problems in innovative ways. The decision to allow women to attend the college operates under the well-supported Flirting Sphincter-Seal Theory. This theory assumes that the introduction of females to a quiet and closed environment incentivizes males to hold in their farts without contributing any new Flatulace to the environment due to the simple fact that girls don’t fart. We expect to see a sharp decline in Flatulace levels in the Claremont Colleges library within the year.”
Although the shame of farting within range of the opposite sex did lead to a minor reduction in Flatulace, the theory was largely delegitimized when it became evident that girls do in fact pass gas. Not only that, they do it so skillfully that they are able to fart right under the noses of nearby studiers, leaving behind an amorphous aroma without a single traceable sound.
Additionally, the theory did not anticipate the impacts of students’ use of headphones on Flatulace emissions in the decades to come. Where students once had to hold in their farts due to fear of having their release heard, they could now emit quick, low toots without being audibly detected by fellow studiers sporting headphones.
The Claremont Colleges made one final attempt to further dilute Flatulace concentrations in 1986 by adding a new library space, cleverly named, “New Library” between the Honnold and Mudd sections. The third addition only offset Flatulace levels for several years and was unable to disperse the rising emissions brought about by rapid technological improvements to headphones’ noise-cancelling abilities.
Library officials have long since accepted the imminent shutdown of the library. When asked to comment, Chief of Library Staff, Page Bookerston stated, “Honestly, I’m amazed the library lasted this long, what with Beats headphones making every poof, puff, and flarp go unheard. The fourth floor used to be almost clear of Flatulace, but now thanks to all these noise-cancelling headphones, it’s become a farting free-for-all up there. People just don’t have to clench like they used to. It was only a matter of time before we had to shut this place down.”
Despite recent meetings held by heads of the Claremont Colleges to discuss ways to save the library, an action plan has yet to be put forth. There is hushed talk of inserting large windows that open to the outside on every floor, but this has received heavy pushback from Honnold Mudd traditionalists who wish to maintain the dim, dank atmospheric integrity of the building. Some have suggested tearing down the building and starting over, but public health officials have deemed the venture impossible due to the danger that comes from releasing that much Flatulace into the surrounding environment at one time. The events of the coming weeks will determine whether or not the Claremont Colleges library will reopen or be sealed off permanently.
On a more positive note, the recent light shed on the relationship between Flatulace and headphones in libraries has led Claremont’s intellectual community to discover new heights by posing the question: If someone farts in a library where everyone is wearing headphones, does it make a sound? Much anticipation exists surrounding the upcoming release of Pomona philosophy department’s discourse on the subject, titled On Ass Acoustics and Sensory Realities.
Exposure to Flatulace has been known to cause rapid hand waving near the nose, gagging, and in extreme cases, the mouthing or even audible speech of the phrase “Ugh, who did that?” If you or a classmate experiences similar symptoms in other study areas, contact a local Claremont health official immediately.