Saturday, June 07, 2008
Relax, it's only Pig Sh*t
I was called home by the contractor to meet an official from the county health department last week.
The good news is: he seemed to be nonplussed by the abundance of dogs here at the farm. The bad news is: he was not nearly alarmed enough about the dark, oozing liquid one of the subcontractors observed leaking into our west basement wall. They were concerned about the possibility the uphill neighbors had cut corners in the building of their septic and lateral fields. The gentleman from the health department assured me it was not runoff from a human waste source, but theorized it was the product of runoff from the neighbor’s hobby pig farming operation a/k/a the 4-H project run amuck. In this case, literally run amuck.
Now there’s a tough one to figure out. Do I prefer to have my neighbor’s waste seeping into the basement or my neighbor’s pig waste seeping into the basement? Hmmm. . .
Seriously. I really had to think about that question. I am sad to say I am somewhat more relieved to discover “Oh, it is only pig sh*t.” This homebuilding thing has lowered my standards considerably.
It reminds me of this time I was working the fish cannery in Alaska. There was a lot of dysfunction associated with the melting pot of summer workers, the long hours, and the really pretty hard work. One day, the very creepy man whose job was to walk around and sharpen our knives had taken a belly full of harassment from two young guys from Fairbanks. He repaid their harassment by walking up to them and nonchalantly spraying mace in their faces. When my friend and I were talking about the incident a few hours later, we were stunned to realize we were talking about the episode with this oddly detached and unconcerned tone. “Oh well, it was only mace. It’s not like it was muriatic acid or he stabbed them or anything.”
I see the look of stunned disbelief reflected on others’ faces when I say, “well, at least it’s only pig sh*t.”
Undeterred by – well, anything, the work on the house has continued. The excavator did a little fancy earthmoving to re-direct the pig farm runoff around the north of the house. Since “it’s only pig sh*t,” this seems to be a suitable response for all parties involved, although I really did harbor a secret hope that the health department, zoning or some other responsible county official would address the issue of the six – 16 pigs residing along my property line.
Posted by Misfit Farms at 11:28 AM