Monday, March 19, 2007

What a Load of Manure

By C.L. Beck
© 2007

Every once in a while, I like to post a blog that has nothing to do with writing—well, except for the fact that it's written. So ... for a change of pace, here's one that's just pure fun.


It’s time to think of spring crops and thereby, to ponder manure. But first, let me qualify—pondering animal waste is a guy thing.

I base that opinion on observation. Just go to any feed store and you’ll hear men discussing the merits of manure. Apparently it cures everything from warts to hiccups. And even grows mammoth veggies in the garden.

Speaking of gardens, ours is a cement pad. You probably think I’m kidding, but try to stab a pitchfork in it and you’ll agree. Every year we’d till, add sand, and by the next spring, it’d be hard enough to play basketball on again.

One year, my husband, Russ, mentioned the problem to our neighbor—a farmer who grows a vegetable patch that rivals the Garden of Eden.

“Ya need cow manure. I can give you a truckload,” he said as he whacked a weed with his shovel.

The next day we drove to his farm. Our neighbor had the front-end loader ready and signaled us over to a 300 foot mountain of cow chips. As Russ backed the pickup to it, I shouted to him over the roar of the loader’s engine, “I don’t think we need to get very much, just a small…”

Wham! A load of manure landed in the bed of our truck and I instantly wished I’d thought to close the rear window. Manure dust floated into my hair and eyes, and I started coughing.

When my throat finally opened up, I tried again. “We probably don’t need a lot…”

Wham! Another load dropped into the truck. Then, before I even had a chance to catch my strangulated breath, a third batch landed.

By now, the front end of the truck was slowly lifting off the ground, and I had visions of the epitaph they’d engrave on my headstone: “Here lies C.L. Beck, a ton of manure fell on her neck, her writing career has come to an end, the result of the waste from a cow’s rear end.”

My nasal passages felt like someone had packed a set of long johns up them and my throat was so constricted from the dust that I figured they’d need a crowbar to open it. I managed to nudge Russ and make a slashing motion across my throat. Normally that signal means “stop”, but in this case it had a dual meaning that Russ easily understood.

Our trip home was like something out of “Ma and Pa Kettle”. The rear bumper smacked the asphalt on every pothole, scattering cow pies down the road, while the front tires only touched the pavement once every 50 feet.

When we got to the house, we unloaded the stuff. As we finished, I turned to Russ and said, “We are never getting a load of cow manure for the garden again.”

Russ nodded his head in agreement, leapt over the side of the pickup and as he walked away said, “Yup, you’re right. Next year we’ll get turkey.”

It was a good thing all that manure was beyond arm’s length. I’ve got pretty good aim, and if I could have grabbed a cow chip, I’d have flung it at him.

1 comment:

Triple Nickel said...

I know a lot about manure. You see, at work, my boss flings it all over the place!
This was a really funny blog. Reminds me of some things I've done in my life.
Thanks for a good one.