Ex-lax-clusive: ‘Village Farter’ blows his cover

BY SYDNEY PEREIRA | The “Village Serial Farter” was spotted by this newspaper last weekend, and he’s ready to reveal his identity.

Phil Boucher, a 35-year-old musician, spent Saturday afternoon circling the Washington Square Arch — pranking people, left and right, with a black rubber “Pooter” device.

Locals’ interest in the self-described “Fart Fairy” has really blown up after people began recounting run-ins with him on neigborhood app Next Door, as The Villager reported last month.

Simple but effective: The “Village Serial Farter” ’s “Pooter” device.

Boucher has been pranking unassuming urbanites for nearly a decade — and in New York, specifically, for the last several years. He plays drums in a band, Tribe Society, though right now the band is “dormant,” and for his day job, works for a food-delivery service. While waiting for delivery orders on the job, he spends his time mildly startling people with the farting device, often in Washington Square. Until recently, Boucher chose to remain anonymous, but Tuesday, he debuted a YouTube video of his pranks in the park.

In an interview with The Villager, Boucher described his light-hearted, fake-gas-passing pastime.

V: So, ‘Serial Farter,’ when did you start this particular prank?

S.F.: Nine years ago. … I’ve been here in New York for a little over three. I’ve been doing it intensely for three years.

What other cities have you tooted your ‘Pooter’ in?

I’m in a band and we tour all over the country, every major city — Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston. I’ve been to the 48 continental states, but I have mostly done this in New York and Boston.

So why do you do it? 

Because it’s funny. It’s funny and no one sees it coming. It’s something that can be dropped in out of nowhere. People get a laugh and then you move on with your life. And there’s no need to sign a written letter of consent.

But after nine years, you still find it funny? What makes you enjoy pranking people in the park after so many years, particularly on your Saturday afternoon?

I do it like five days a week. So, I work for a food-delivery service. I walk and deliver food all over the city — 10, 12, 15 miles a day, about five days a week, sometimes a little more, sometimes less. Right now, it’s a nice day, so work is dead for us. The worse the weather, the busier my job is. So, I kill time by being here in the park because this is my favorite spot in the city to do it. Like, right by the Arch here. But normally with most people, I get them when I’m in transit — either going to pick up food or deliver food — and that’s when it’s just a random encounter down the sidewalk. This person just walks past and doesn’t say anything because I’m doing something else. This is just a fun little thing to do on the side.

The “Village Farter,” second from left, seen in an image from his recently released YouTube video, enjoys pranking unassuming pedestrians in Washington Square Park. His favorite thing is “the turn” — the reaction when his startled victims turn around after hearing his “Pooter.”

Has anybody ever gotten angry at you for pranking them? 

Oh, yeah! It’s almost always guys — just to put that out there. And some of them will get right in my face. A couple of them have demanded apologies, which I’ve never given for it, and I never intend to. I’ve been punched once — yes — but he wasn’t scary. He was just an idiot. There was one guy who went off. Once he saw red, he just turned into full-on monster pit bull. I was luckily with 10 or 12 other people, so I had defense in numbers. But if I was by myself, I probably would have been beaten to a pulp by this guy because he was jacked. He was legit scary. Since then, I really have to look people in the eye and make sure that they don’t have that ready-to-flip-off kind of look in their eyes.

Do a lot of people stop and watch you and talk to you about it? 

Every day. In a situation like today — Saturdays in the park — I’m kind of in one spot here in the park, so people can start to watch. When I’m working, I’m in motion and it just happens. The only people that I don’t get are people who are alone. You need someone to have to turn to and laugh with — like, “Did he fart? Did that guy fart?” I don’t even think about getting people who are alone because they’re gonna feel alone and targeted and isolated. I’m trying to keep this positive.

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