Pork n’ Beans is Rhetorical!

This is what happened.

The night before class—as the teacher later came to find out—a student ate two cans of Pork n’ Beans. The following day was a noisy and humorous one as this student became an object and subject of entertainment through his deviant behavior regarding public decorum. What I mean is he gassed the class, and it was funny!

This student was counting on the effects of Pork n’ Beans on and through his body to speak and use his voice. Seriously. I am being serious.

In this story, I see something important occurring. Kenneth Burke might say, “Food, eaten and digested, is not rhetorical. But in the meaning of the food there is much rhetoric.” What I mean is that he means what is occurring is an overlooked aspect of rhetoric.
While words or pictures aren’t being used, food becomes like a picture or a word in how it’s used on an audience. And just like words or pictures sometimes the effects on an audience or even ourselves may not be what we bargained for—after all sometimes what we say, show, or even digest just doesn’t work like we thought it would.

Check out this Beano commercial:

This is what I see: these are instructions for us that using beano is a rhetorical move for communicating how a person can control his/her body in public—behave appropriately or say the right things. It is similar to saying “Use flatulate, fart is too informal.” You know, “Use Beano, flatulating is too informal. Seriously.”

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