The Baked Bean Bandit
Illustrated by Gus Gordon
Marty’s amazing talent for flatulence takes him into the fantastic and highly competitive world of World Championship Farting. Can he overcome the odds to defeat the evil champion – El Stinko Diablo?

The Baked Bean Bandit

Simon Mitchell


Chapter 1

They call me Farty Marty. There's a good reason for that - I have an amazing talent for farting. I can do it on cue and I have total control over the type of fart: deep bum-rumblers, hyper-fast machine-gun blasters, or good old silent-but-deadlies. You name it - I can fart it.

One day in music class Ms Lee was trying to get us to play 'Hot Cross Buns' on our recorders. I'm terrible at playing the recorder, but I can fart in tune, so I decided to accompany the class by playing along. It sounded really good, but when everyone breathed in to play the second bar they all started coughing.

Ms Lee wasn't happy. 'Martin!' she yelled. 'Did you have baked beans for breakfast again?'

'Yes, Ms Lee,' I said. I love baked beans. I eat them at least once a day, and I'm pretty sure they're the source of my special powers.

Ms Lee frowned. 'Well, you need to learn to get that backside of yours under control. Go and see the principal!'

Not again! A bunch of girls sniggered as I slunk out of the classroom, and Ms Lee opened a window to air the room.

My flatulence was always getting me into trouble. It's the only thing I'm really good at, though. I can't draw, or do a backwards somersault, or catch a cricket ball. Is it my fault that no one appreciates my only talent?

The principal's secretary peered at me over her glasses. 'Go right in,' she said. 'Mr Papadopoulos is expecting you.'

Expecting me? How did he even know I was coming? Maybe Ms Lee was so angry that she'd already called him from the phone in the music room. This was going to be bad.

My heart sank as I knocked on the principal's door.

'Come in,' boomed a voice.

I pushed open the door and crept nervously inside.

Mr Papadopoulos was sitting at his desk. In a chair opposite him was a thin, grey-haired man dressed in a funny old brown suit and a bowler hat, and holding a shabby brown leather bag on his lap. He gave me a big smile as I walked in.

To my surprise, Mr Papadopoulos was smiling as well. 'Hello, Martin,' he said, standing up to greet me. 'I'd like you to meet an old friend of mine, Mr Windybottom.'

'Pleased to meet you, Marty,' said the grey-haired man, shaking my hand warmly. 'I've heard a lot about you and your special gift.'

Special gift?

'Mr Windybottom is a farting coach,' said Mr Papadopoulos.

'A what?' I said.

'A farting coach, Marty,' said Mr Windybottom. 'I work for World Championship Farting. Perhaps you've heard of it?'

He handed me an official-looking ID card. At the top was a logo: the letters W.C.F. printed over a bum-shaped map of the world. Underneath were his photo and the name Jeremy C. Windybottom, Flatulence Coach.

Too shocked to speak, I shook my head.

'Not to worry,' Mr Windybottom said. 'You can see for yourself soon enough. I'm always on the look-out for new talent, and I'd like to offer you a chance to participate in a farting tournament this afternoon.'

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. All that methane gas must have been doing strange things to my brain. I mean - a farting tournament?

'What do you say, Marty?' said Mr Windybottom. 'Your principal says it's OK with him, and he's already cleared it with your parents.'

I looked at Mr Papadopoulos, who nodded, and then back at Mr Windybottom, who smiled.

This was turning into a really weird day.

'What the heck,' I said. 'I'll do it!'

'Wonderful!' said Mr Windybottom, leaping to his feet. 'Then we have to hurry - the tournament starts in an hour!'


‘This book is a cack!’ – Matthew, age 8

‘Hilarious!’ – David, age 7

‘Absolutely disgusting.’ – Simon’s Grandmother

    Penguin (Aussie Bites)
    Junior Fiction
    ISBN (Paperback)
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