The Wilhelm Technique

It’s time to release a secret. It’s time to make public a private practice.

Would-be librarians the world over, near the end of their studies, take a course nearly always unlisted in course catalogs: a practicum in The Wilhelm Technique, the German method for withholding flatulence.

The technique is named in honor of information science martyr Wilhelm Schroeder, who, in a library in Munich in 1856, held in a frightful volume of flatulence for twelve hours “for the preservation of the rare volumes housed here, and for the comfort of our esteemed patrons,” and subsequently expired.

While many details of this practice are still secret, The Wilhelm Technique is known to include visualization strategies, exercise of undercarriage muscle-groups, deep breathing, and the use of mantras, mirrors, and small burlap bags of potpourri.

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