Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Low Down On Raspberry Blowing

It happens to everyone once in a while, for some more often than others. Something or someone gets you all wound up and you think nothing will ever relieve the pressure. There are no pharmaceuticals, no years of professional therapy, no distances you can run or number of jumping jacks you can hop that will effectively provide relief. Enter the ancient art of blowing a raspberry, sometimes called a strawberry or Bronx Cheer (US). This simple act, secretly passed down through the ages, is now being heralded throughout the therapeutic world as a miracle cure for brain cramps.

You can do one too! (Demonstration here.) Place your tongue between your lips and blow. Relaxing both tongue and lips so they vibrate is best. It may take some practice to perfect but what you should end up with is a sound similar to flatulence.

Wikipedia reports that blowing a raspberry comes from the Cockney rhyming slang "raspberry tart," fart. Rhyming slang was particularly used in British comedy to refer to things which would be unacceptable to a polite audience, particularly on television.

"The term "Bronx cheer" is used sarcastically because it is not a cheer; it is used to show disapproval. The term originated as a reference to the sound used by some spectators in Yankee Stadium, located in Bronx, New York City, New York."

The act of blowing the raspberry is thought (by some very smart people) to lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels, raise moods and lessen the number of facial twitches one may experience. But as healing as this act can be, it is something that one should use with a measure of self-control. There are times when one shouldn't blow a raspberry. I have assembled my top four don'ts for your consideration.

Blowing Raspberry Don'ts:
1) Close encounters. When one is a microsecond away from kissing your significant other. Big, big mistake. Not only do you end up spraying your lover from close range, but the ramifications (especially if you are in a... ahem, intimate situation) can lead to bodily harm and to denial of conjugal sharing for many days, weeks or even months.
2) Social gatherings. At a poshy wine and cheese event, when one's mouth is full of chewed up cheese mixed with wine (a fine Vacherin Fribourgeois cheese and a dry, red Cabernet sauvignon, for example). Trust me on this one. Not a pretty sight, especially when standing on a white carpet and/or shaking hands with one's host.
3) Board rooms. If you are in a meeting there are bound to be those in attendance who will not appreciate the healing nature of the act. Reactions can range from a simple snicker to outright guffaws and it's bound to be misinterpreted by the leader of the meeting as a rebut. No matter how much office cred you have, making up for a boardroom tph-h-h-h-h-h-htphffft could take some time.
4) Receiving praise. It almost goes without saying. When someone is giving you an award, telling you how much they want to spend the rest of their life with you or thanking you in some way. Letting loose with a fat, juicy one may not be recognized as the therapy it is. Try to save it for a private place after.

So, put away those pills, cancel your shrink appointments, retire that gaudy spandex outfit and put away those exercise shoes. Blowing the raspberry (with some discretion) will revolutionize your lifestyle, exercise your lower facial muscles and give you a new reason why the front of your shirt is damp. Enjoy!


  1. A lot of things become more clear to me looking at your anatomical drawing of the brain. Somewhere along the line I've lost the key for winding up my brain :)

    1. I lost mine once and found a replacement on eBay...