New California Emissions Standards Outlaw Flatulence SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA- As the hole in the ozone layer grows larger each day, folks down here on earth struggle to find effective ways to curb the production of greenhouse gasses. California legislators, long known for their pioneering environmental standards for automobiles, passed a new law yesterday calling for "personal emissions standards," effectively outlawing farting of any kind. According to the text of the law, all California citizens will undergo an annual emissions test. The test itself is relatively simple: the subject simply flatulates into a disposable plastic bag, the contents of which goes to a gas chromatograph to discern the subject's concentration levels of methane and other green house substances. Those who do not pass the test [scoring 1500 or more parts per billion] will be required to retrofit their colons with special catalytic converters. How does the state plan to enforce the new law? Starting next month, California police officers will be authorized to write tickets to anyone observed engaged in a "gaseous explosion between the buttocks." The fee for this "tailpipe tax" will range from $50 to $150 depending on the severity of the infraction. As always, citizens are free to fight the ticket in court. True to form, Californians are already complaining that the legislation infringes on personal liberties and that the catalytic converters reduce metabolic efficiency. Also troubling is the whistling sound the device makes, perhaps better suited to an episode of Benny Hill. In need of a reaction to the new law, reporters woke Governor Gray Davis from his afternoon nap. "Wha? It's not my fault, whatever it is!" Later that afternoon, a more composed Davis addressed reporters. "Sure, the human body is a relatively minor source of methane," admitted Davis. "Coalbeds and other industrial sites are by far the biggest culprits, but given the current state of the economy and our ravenous energy needs here in the Golden State, we're not about to touch that issue with a ten foot pole." In spite of the fact that legislators stopped short of outlawing the consumption of beans or broccoli, industry experts say the law could halt the recent growth in the specialty bean market.