In one of the more pressing news stories of the day, reports surfaced that a woman undergoing laser surgery actually caused a fire by farting. Naturally, the investigative team at The Glenn Beck Program jumped into action.
"It's not every day that you get a story on a fart fire," Glenn reported. "I want to hear from doctors, because I believe it can."
As luck would have it, Dr. MacDowell, a chief surgeon from Nashville, Tennessee, called in to lend his expert opinion.
"Would you say that fartology is in your realm of business? You've been around some sort of fartologist?" Glenn asked.
"Definitely, I have. I consider myself an expert on it, in fact," Dr. MacDowell said.
Dr. MacDowell went on to confirm that, under the right conditions, a patient's gas can absolutely spark a fire.
Read below or watch the clip for answers to these explosive questions:
• Under what conditions did Dr. MacDowell light a fart?
• Does Al Gore need to get involved in this methane gas problem?
• Among Glenn and his co-hosts, who has lit their own farts?
• Is Jeffy correct about why doctors wear masks?
• Why does Dr. MacDowell say the U.S. has the best medical system in the world?
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:
GLENN: All right. I think we have to start with the fart fire. I mean, you don't -- it's not every day that you get a story on a fart fire.
PAT: I don't even think this can happen.
GLENN: I want to here from doctors. Because I believe it can.
PAT: Do you really?
All right. Some -- a woman, where was she?
GLENN: She's having laser surgery on her butt.
PAT: Well, her cervix.
GLENN: All right. So she's having -- it wasn't colon surgery?
GLENN: Well then I don't know if this can happen.
PAT: That's what I'm saying.
GLENN: So, anyway, so she's having laser surgery. And they got the lasers fired up, and she passes gas.
GLENN: And the laser hits the gas, ignites a fire.
GLENN: And it sets --
PAT: Of the -- of the, you know, bed she's laying on, ignite and burns her on the lower torso of her body.
JEFFY: She gets burned.
PAT: Her fart didn't cause a laser fire. Come on.
JEFFY: First of all, it couldn't -- I will say -- I believe that it's possible. But it's not the first time that people have passed gas during surgery, right? I mean, that's why doctors wear masks.
GLENN: Yeah. No, that's not why doctors --
JEFFY: They wear the mask so they don't smell the gas.
GLENN: No, it's not for gas. It's really not.
PAT: It's not.
JEFFY: Why else would you --
GLENN: For germs. But it's a good guess on your part. But it's germs.
JEFFY: Okay. All right. If you say so.
PAT: We need to stop the methane gas releases in order to save the planet. It's the SUVs and the farting during surgery that is causing catastrophic damage to the planet.
GLENN: I mean, so there was a fart fire in the --
PAT: I want to hear from doctors whether that's even possible.
GLENN: Of course, it is. People can light their own farts on fire.
STU: No, they can't.
PAT: Not with a laser.
GLENN: You don't know what kind of --
STU: So, Pat, I want to make sure I understand your nuanced position here: You're saying that the issue with this is not that you can't light farts on fire, it's that you can't light farts on fire with a laser.
PAT: Yeah, with a laser.
STU: You can do it with a lighter?
PAT: Yes, you can. Obviously. Were you ever a teenager? Come on.
JEFFY: Haven't you see the YouTube video? Come on.
STU: I don't click on those typically.
JEFFY: Yeah, neither do I. Neither do I.
GLENN: Lori, do you have fart fire on your screen right now? Do you have a YouTube up of a fart fire?
GLENN: No, you don't? All right. Could you get one?
PAT: She's lying. You know she's lying.
GLENN: Lori who writes for GlennBeck.com is in here. And I'm surprised she didn't have the fart fire up on there, a YouTube video of that, immediately.
STU: So you're saying you can't light farts on fire?
PAT: No question about it. That's a proven fact.
JEFFY: That's a fact.
PAT: That's a proven fact.
GLENN: Okay. Right here. World fart fire. There it is. Look at that. Look at that.
Now, watch. Look at that.
GLENN: That is a --
JEFFY: Yeah, that -- guys have had their hair burned down their backside for years.
PAT: That's sick. That's sick.
STU: I suppose my question then is why wouldn't you believe that a laser during surgery --
GLENN: That's what I don't understand.
PAT: Just --
GLENN: Of course, this happened.
PAT: I don't think that's possible.
PAT: Because it would have happened a thousand times by now --
STU: Maybe it has.
PAT: And not just in Japan. It would have happened all over the world, and we would have heard about it before now.
GLENN: Maybe -- maybe her gas was a little extra --
JEFFY: Yeah. And it was perfectly timed with the time that the laser came on.
PAT: 877-727-BECK. I got to hear from the audience on this.
GLENN: On fart fires.
GLENN: I don't mean to be crude. But seriously, what if her fart was a little more liquidy.
GLENN: That would cause it to go on the sheet and be like a gas fire.
STU: What do you mean you didn't mean for it to be crude? You absolutely --
GLENN: How else do you explain that?
STU: You don't explain it -- that's how you --
GLENN: Okay. Then I'll just be quiet. Then I -- you're trying to shut down my freedom of speech.
PAT: I wish he would have, yes.
GLENN: I am trying to have a real -- a serious explanation on how it could catch the sheets on fire.
STU: I have not -- I have not passed a congressional law limiting what you're saying. You should just stop saying it.
STU: Not a First Amendment.
GLENN: Next it's a boycott.
STU: It's not.
PAT: I would say that would make it less likely. I would think it would have to be more, you know, gaseous.
PAT: Uh-huh. Do we have a doctor?
JEFFY: Yes, we do.
PAT: All right.
GLENN: Dr. McDowell. Doctor. Doctor.
GLENN: You refer to me -- when I say doctor, you say doctor.
CALLER: I am -- I am a doctor.
GLENN: Well, so am I a doctor.
CALLER: Is this Glenn?
GLENN: Yes, this isn't Glenn. This is Dr. Beck. It's professional courtesy, man. Doctor.
CALLER: I have no idea.
PAT: He doesn't understand how this works. When Glenn addresses you as doctor, you address him back as doctor.
GLENN: Let's try this again, if you are indeed a real doctor who doesn't know the etiquette of addressing a doctor. Doctor.
GLENN: Yes! Yes. There you go.
JEFFY: Thank you.
PAT: It wasn't delivered great, but okay.
GLENN: But we'll take it. We'll take.
Okay. So Dr. McDowell. You are a doctor of?
CALLER: Surgery. I'm a surgeon from Nashville, Tennessee.
PAT: You've worked with lasers?
GLENN: Would you say that fartology is in your realm of business? You've been around some sort of fartologist?
CALLER: Definitely I have. I consider myself an expert on it, in fact.
PAT: All right.
GLENN: Excellent. Do you work with lasers?
CALLER: You know, I think "lasers" is a misnomer in our line of work. We really don't use lasers much. I don't really know what they were doing with a laser around an anus. That really doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
I mean, I don't use a lot of lasers around --
PAT: That's one of the best phrases that's ever been uttered on this show. I don't know what they were doing with lasers around an anus.
CALLER: Right. But so -- but the truth is, it very much can happen. And I was telling your screener about a story that happened to me a few years ago. I was a resident. This was probably ten or 15 years ago at Vanderbilt. And I was on trauma call. And a gentleman came in on a Sunday morning with a history that he had been out at a bar on Saturday night here in Nashville and had gotten into a fight and been stabbed in his abdomen. And went home and passed out. And woke up the next morning, and his belly just felt awful. And so he showed up at our emergency department. And we evaluated him and found that he had some unknown injury to his bowels. And so that -- that's a straightforward indication to take him to the operating room and explore his abdomen.
CALLER: And so I had him in the operating room, and I had opened up his abdomen. And I had an electric artery, which is -- can cause a spark. And as soon as I entered his abdominal cavity, a blue flame shot out of his wound. It was the craziest thing. And what had happened was is he had been stabbed and had an injury to his colon, and the methane from his colon had leaked out into his peritoneal cavity and had built up over night.
CALLER: And literally, I lit a fart through his midline incision. It was crazy.
PAT: That's what I'm saying. That needs to stop.
CALLER: So, yes, it can happen. And there were no lasers involved. And it really can happen.
PAT: Wow. It can happen. Wow.
JEFFY: So, Doctor, are you going to deny that that's the reason you wear masks in surgery?
CALLER: Well, there's lots of reasons that we wear masks. It's not like that those masks can control the odor if you enter, you know, some untoward organ. It can --
GLENN: Is there ever --
CALLER: You mainly wear masks for your own -- to make sure that you don't pass your -- your germs on to the patient. So that's the reason why you wear masks.
Thank you, Doctor. Doctor. Oh, my gosh, this guy is not a --
PAT: There you go.
GLENN: Thank you.
Doctor, let me ask you this, has there ever been a time that you open somebody up or you were treating somebody and you thought, "You know what, they never told us about this in medical school. And why the hell am I doing this job?"
CALLER: It happens to me almost weekly, Glenn. I mean, you know, there are just some days where I'm like, "God, why didn't I go to law school. Jeez." But it's --
JEFFY: That's amazing.
CALLER: But the truth is, a lot is said about American medicine in these days. And I think that -- I'm the chief of surgery of my hospital in Nashville. And I have a great deal of faith in what we do. I think our technology is great. The training that our physicians is great. And I think that we have the best medical system in the world. I just hope that we can maintain it.
GLENN: Me too.
CALLER: With the next administration, whoever that may be. I'm praying for one particular candidate. So...
GLENN: I'm praying for all of them.
GLENN: Thank you very much, Doctor.
CALLER: Whatever is needed.
GLENN: Appreciate it. God bless you.
PAT: It's interesting. So it can happen.
JEFFY: There you go.
STU: Wow, there you go. It's a real story.
PAT: It can happen.
GLENN: I can't believe you didn't believe.
PAT: I did not believe.
GLENN: You saw the evidence on YouTube.
PAT: It's amazing. Well, I knew that could happen. But the laser thing --
STU: I honestly did not even know that could happen. It felt like one of those urban myths that you would say when you were a kid because you thought it was funny, to light your farts on fire. And then it would actually -- if you tried to do it, it wouldn't actually happen.
GLENN: See, I have to tell you, I don't know why I knew that was not a myth because I had never met anybody, nor had I tried to light farts on fire.
JEFFY: Please. We're supposed to believe that. Everyone has.
GLENN: I have not.
PAT: You personally have firsthand knowledge of it, don't you?
GLENN: I have never tried to light --
JEFFY: Everyone has burned some hair between --
GLENN: No, I haven't.
GLENN: And I don't know anybody who has, Jeffy, until right now.
PAT: You know somebody. You know somebody.
STU: We, as a national talk show, don't typically take requests, but on Twitter @worldofStu, and someone mentions this. And I think is needs to happen. Tell Pat to say anus like Al Gore.
STU: What was the sentence again?
GLENN: I don't know what that laser around the anus...
PAT: I don't know why they had a laser around an anus.
STU: It's a great point.
GLENN: It really is.
STU: Not enough people have made it.
GLENN: And only from a chief of surgery.
STU: What a weird show.
Featured Image: U.S. Air Force surgeons repair the ruptured achilles tendon of a service member. (Photo Credit: Wiki Commons)