Friday, September 28, 2007

Worst. Smell. Ever.

The boss and I did a day's worth of test pits with a backhoe at a former turkey farm today. In the course of that, we identified an area of about an acre that appears to be a gigantic turkey burial ground. Dig a couple feet down and you run into a solid layer of half-decomposed turkeys that have been at the 'runny' stage for umpteen years because there's not enough oxygen to make 'em rot-- it's basically black sludge with bones in it.

Anaerobic decomposition FT very major L.

The stink literally made my eyes water. I have been in landfills, sewers, paper mills, bar bathrooms on Sunday morning, and this was hands-down the absolute worst stench I have ever beheld, bar none.

We dug as far as we could go with the backhoe, and there was still turkey sludge at 12' below grade. Area of about an acre, 12' deep....that's a lot of turkey sludge. reported average of 25,000 turkeys per year, supposed average of 1% pre-slaughter mortality per year, say that each turkey carcass is a cubic foot when you throw it into the hole....2,500 cubic feet (lowballing an estimate) per year. That's about 100 cubic yards, or about six triaxial dump truck loads, or a pile the size of a 2-car garage, before the stuff goes runny and packs down. Now figure that the farm's been doing this since the late 1940s.....

And to think my family's bought turkeys there since time out of mind (well, since the 1960s, at any rate). Let's not discuss the 8-12" thick layer of dried turkey excrement on the floors of the coops. Apparently FDA and USDA regs say that you only have to clean out coops once every three years, so that lovely bird you're eating on Thanksgiving Day spent most of its' brief life (six months from hatching to hatchet) living, eating, and sleeping in its' own shit and that of the other 20,000 turkeys crammed into the same barn. Pretty pissed off at the place's owners, since they flat-out lied to me on a number of counts.

I grabbed a few of the dry turkey bones to sell as relics. Bit of gold paint, some glued-on fake jewelry, easy money there.

What am I bid for a metatarsal of St. Dismas? How about a bone from the pinky finger of the Apostle Hermione? Big toe of the Virgin Mary's cleaning lady? (cures genital warts in no time, and helps prevent ingrown hairs)

Judas Iscariot's hangnail?


Come on, I need some money to pay for the Thanksgiving ham....

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