OK. So after much deliberation, I’ve decided that now’s the time to commit the Mike Hunt story to paper. It’s about the funniest story I’ve ever heard, let alone told, and the amazing thing is that, although it sounds like a clever joke, everything in the story is true.
Allow me to set the scene a little: It was about twenty years ago. I was running a bar on the outskirts of Folkestone, in a very well-to-do part of town. It attracted many of the successful local businesspeople and entrepreneurs, but was of course staffed by myself and a number of other common-as-muck individuals, though great characters all.
It was a Saturday evening, and Paul and Penny, restaurateurs of one of the best and priciest establishments that side of London, were throwing a posh little barbecue, and I had been invited to attend, along with Ann, one of our loveliest barmaids, and Nat, my boss’s eldest son, once my bar was closed. Nat was young and had just started enjoying getting drunk and into trouble with my friends and me. Ann was a fun, pretty, and likeable young Folkestonian woman with a little bit too much gullibility for her own good. Despite coming from the rougher part of town, she liked to try and give the impression that she was a lady, feigning shock if anyone swore in her presence or mentioned that they had perhaps seen her one evening previously snogging someone else’s boyfriend at a drunken party.
Well, Nat, Ann, and I traipsed up to Paul and Penny’s garden party as soon as we could get the last customers out of the bar. By the time we arrived, the party was in full swing, with Paul and Penny’s friends enjoying what was probably barbecued salmon or the suchlike and certainly copious amounts of Champagne. Feeling welcome but at a bit of a loss as to how to mingle with anything other than the hoi polloi, we decided to take a seat in the grass next to the bonfire, and crack open the cans of cider that we had brought with us while watching Penny pass round the hors d’oeuvres amongst her guests.
After a few short moments of flame-gazing, Nat and I decided it would be great fun to try and get Ann to say rude words by disguising them as the names of people we knew—an old trick that we had already put to good use at Nat’s dad’s disco, getting the DJ to announce over the sound system the names of imaginary people who had taxis waiting for them. Before long, we had Ann declaring things like “Ben Dover? I think I know him!” and “R. Don? Who’s he?” Nat and I were already in hysterics and, on realization of what she was uttering, Ann was giggling away herself by the time one of us brought up the pièce de résistance, a guy we lied about meeting once, the very interesting Mike Hunt.
“Mike Hunt?” repeated Ann, loudly. After a few seconds it dawned on her what she had just pronounced and she immediately fell into a fit of squealing giggles that she feebly attempted to block with mock horror. Nat and I of course thought this was hilarious—not so much because we had made her utter the worst word possible, but because of her reaction. The cider, the joke, the surroundings all sent Nat and I into fits of hysterics, which made Ann squeal even louder.
It was at that moment that one of us, either Nat or I, unable to control our stomach muscles because of the debilitating laughter, let out a fart—not a quiet breaking of wind, but a loud, rip-roaring fart that made the flames of the bonfire ignite higher momentarily, I’m sure. It was loud. Very loud. The other guests at the party stopped what they were doing and looked toward the source of the sound, at the three of us now laughing hysterically beside the fire. And there, standing on the other side of the bonfire, was Penny, looking absolutely horrified that someone would release such a disgusting noise at her garden party. Her mouth had dropped open in dismay.
Now, Ann, who had been laughing loudly herself, hadn’t heard the gaseous evacuation that everyone else had. She was still giggling about having being fooled into saying the worst of all words. But then she noticed everyone staring at us in disbelief, in what seemed like one of those movie moments where the music scratches to a silent halt. What happened next was the icing on the cake for me and Nat—or so we thought.
Ann, now serious, mouth in front of hand as though to push her rude utterance back into her mouth, addressed the onlooking crowd, including Penny, who was still frozen in time from the upset of having someone at her Champagne barbecue fill the air with such a pungent noise!
“Oh no!” Ann exclaimed loudly. “Did you hear me?”
Well, the gasp that expelled from the garden-party guests was clearly audible, not least from Penny herself: “Yes, Ann!” she responded in utter disgust, and shock that such a horrendously loud bottom burp could come from someone who should know how to act like a lady, at least when at her polite-society salmon barbecue. “I think we ALL did!”
Well, on hearing that, Nat and I collapsed into the grass, unable to control our breath, let alone our body movements, at the realisation of what everyone must now be thinking: that Ann—the demure-and-lovely, wouldn’t-even-say-toilet-words Ann—had just interrupted Paul and Penny’s garden party with a humungous expulsion of stomach gases. We couldn’t stand up; we just rolled around on the grass, tears rolling down our cheeks, trying desperately to fight the laughter long enough to explain to Ann what had just happened, but we couldn’t. The look on everyone’s face was priceless. And we were now clear of all blame for the offensive trumpet. It had gone far better than we ever could have dreamed.
We thought we had just witnessed the funniest moment of our lives, and we so wanted to share it with Ann, but couldn’t, as any utterance that even began to explain the situation just set us even deeper into uncontrollable laughter.
Ann, seeing all the party guests now staring wide-eyed at her, and realising that she may have just spoilt Penny’s party, decided she should immediately clear matters up. Not realising that everyone was now convinced she was to blame for that rip-roaring fart of stupendous proportions, Ann took her hands from her mouth once again.
“No! No! It’s not what you think!” she begged loudly. Nat and I looked at each other through the tears of laughter, eyes wide, trying to comprehend what was about to happen. We knew what she was going to say but were incapacitated to stop her.
Ann, in a pleading attempt to clear her name, shouted to her entire, silenced audience: “It was MIKE HUNT!”
The garden-party guests gasped again in loud unison. Ann had paused slightly between the words so as to clarify, but it makes no difference to the listener–try it for yourself and see. Now, as far as the onlookers were concerned, lovely, demure Ann had not only broken loud wind in front of them, but she had then tried to blame it on her nethermost of regions using terminology that even a men’s club comedian would blush at hearing. Those who had just taken an inopportune sip immediately and uncontrollably spat out their Champagne, sending several delicate, bubbly mists into the air in front of them then floating gently down towards their feet.
Nat and I, our terminal breaths already squeezed out several hundred laughs previously, were now in pain—I’m not joking; my lungs wanted air, but my stomach would only tense itself further in order to expel the explosive laughter that was still trying desperately to escape my body. It was agony, and I really thought I was going to die, but die happily, as I was now squealing like a little girl at the thought of what everyone must now be thinking. When I spied Penny, looking like she was about to drop her hors d’oeuvres and Champagne in horror, I couldn’t take it any more. I had to escape these people’s incredulous astonishment and the source of the laughter that threatened to send me off to meet my maker, albeit with a great story to tell.
I tried to run away but my legs couldn’t carry me. Their muscles needed oxygen, and all mine had been expelled through the pained laughter that was still not showing any sign of letting up. I made it, by staggering and rolling, past Penny, only to fall into the bushes that lined the neatly cut lawn. I remember squeezing out “STOP IT!” in a shrill attempt to make the whole situation disappear so that I could breathe again. Nat, I noticed, had fallen into the bonfire and was now rolling on the grass, not to douse the flames on his trousers, but because his body too had refused to cooperate and was mutinying with the laughter pirates that were gaining control.
It seemed like forever before we were able to escape the party, dragging Ann with us as we went, and another eternity to explain to the stupefied Ann just what had transpired. I think it took about two weeks in total. We just couldn’t get the words out without finding ourselves engaged in a life-and-death struggle with our own breath. Ann, unfortunately, was never invited to a polite party again.
So there it is. The Mike Hunt story. It’s absolutely true, and I dare suggest that it might just be one of the funniest stories you’ve ever heard, if not the funniest. I’ve got a lot of mileage out of this one, and even used it to seduce some of the world’s most beautiful women. Use it wisely. With great stories comes great responsibility.