(A story written by Woody our dog)

alan skeoch
July 29, 2017

WOODY, the Skeoch dog, found himself in charge of a major event on July 29, 2017. Let him tell the story;

WOODY, the Skeoch dog, found himself in charge of a major event on July 29, 2017.  Let him tell the story;
Seemed like a normal summer day at our farm. Except that I was the only one around the house when the big truck arrived.  Guess that puts me in charge of decision making.

“Huge truck out front…with a skunk painted on the side along with a new word…SEWAGE.Can I help you?”
“Yes, my name is Joe Clark…came to suck up the sewage from the septic system…Do you know where the lids are”
“Yep, over here, been digging holes here because of the faint smell.”

“Are you going to make a mess?  My owners, Marjorie and Alan Skeoch can take a bit of mess but would hate to see the farm yard blasted to smithereens.”
“No problem Woody…move the teeter totter so I can get the truck close to the house.”
“Sorry, I have paws not hands…you will have to do that.  Consider me the supervisor.  I watch but do not work.”

“Found the lid, Woody, used a bar until I got an echo.  Trick off the trade.  Lots of these septic tanks are hidden…”

“Looks dangerous to me, Joe…could someone fall in that hole and drown?”
“Sure…you be careful.”
“How come it does not stink?”
“Good septic system…not much odour until I start to get the sludge sucked up.”
“Vile looking…black and bubbling…how can you stand the job?”
“Important to have people like me around…keep things safe and healthy.”

“Well Woody, now we are ready to drain the tanks…both sides…the heavy stuff and the light stuff…suck it up with this long vacuum tube.   Easy.”

“Joe, this hole scares me but at the same time the smells are interesting…”

“Here let me give you a hand putting the lid back on.  What was all that black stuff at the bottom?”
“We call it seepage…others call its sludge…ignorant people call it by another name.  Look on the back off our truck for that other name, Woody.:

“What is that written on the back of the truck?”
“Can you not read Woody?”
“I can read, of course but is that the letter “h” which is covered up?”

“Where does this stuff…this #$%^^…go?  Where do you put it, Joe?”
“By law now it has to go to a sewage treatment plant.  In the old days it was just dumped in a convenient isolated sewage lagoon…or spread right on farm fields with no treatment.  Recycled you might say…from human guts to farm fields to food crops and back to the human gut.  A circle if you will.”
“That’s what happened when we used the old back house being the farm house.  Every once in a while we should shovel it out and bury it by the rhubarb patch.  Made rhubarb thrive.”
“A bit dangerous when you get a truckload like this…if we dumped it here it would drown the rhubarb I bet.   And the guck would sit there like mud…lethal mud maybe.  And the stink would make your eyes water, give you headaches even nosebleeds make you run away for a while.  A lot better to treat it at a sewage plant.:
“But what happens after treatment….after the nasty bacteria and viruses are killed?”
“Goes back on farm land….big company has a system…they make the solids back into a slurry and spread it …quietly…on farm fields.  Cheap fertilizer…lost oil nitrogen.”
“Why did you say “spread quietly”?”
“Not everyone wants the sludge near their houses.  Some court cases about the stuff….”
“Court cases?”
“The treated sewage still contains some things that are not nice such as traces of heavy  metals such as cadmium, …poisons.  Dangers have not been proven but there is controversy.  Must be dumped though. Sewage plants have to do something with the stuff.  But a lot of people do not want it in their back yard.”
“People do not want me leaving deposits either…Marjorie picks it up with plastic bags…that goes into landfill.   Alan worries about the plastic bags…feels the earth will soon be covered in plastic which is an overstatement of course.  He makes lots of those great sweeping generalizations but always there is a kernel of truth.”
“Do you want a truckload of the treated sewage?”
“Doubt it.  But it has to go somewhere….but where?”
“Next time you are driving up the Fifth line and you see a lot of big trucks like mine pumping stuff into a large thing that looks like a swimming pool, and farm tractors spraying the stuff on the fields you will be seeing sewage sludge being spread on corn fields.  They do not put up a big sign “Sewage Sludge being spread here” because of the controversy.”

Is it free?”
“Yes…now do you want a load?”
“Nope.  But I understand why some big farmers welcome those trucks.  Saves money…increases profits…and is a solution to a huge problem.  Would you rather the stuff be pumped into hidden lagoons?  Those lagoons are still being used here and there…hidden.”
“I remember when young Andrew walked across the crust of a chicken shit lagoon…and fell through up to his waste.  Kevin pulled him out and dragged him over to Marjorie and Alan who were attending an auction sale on the farm.  Andrew smelled so bad that they stopped the auction. The farm wife took Andrew inside and gave him a good bath.  Lots of laughter. But could have been a disaster if Andrew drowned.  That was a sewage lagoon right behind the farm barn…huge thing.  Nasty.”
“Woody, I have to go now.  Nice help…conversation makes the job better.  I actually like my work.  Important.”
“Is everything OK?  The tank?”
“Yep, but the old McLean tank needs a new lid…and that is a big job as you will see if you paddle on down the road a bit.
“Does that sign on the back of your truck really say “Shit Disturber”?
“Woody…you can read…what a smart dog…”

Would be a great story in a children’s book
– children love stories about anything related to body functions
– and dogs
– the photos would be great
– hate to see these great stories not going further than me & your other friendsOwen
Hi Owen
Thanks for the comment…I send stories to about a dozen people…if I sense they are not read I cut the person as I am probably bothering them.  Glad you read them.    would love to do a book dealing with Ten years in Wilderness but my experience with book publishing is that it becomes a pain in the ass if you get the wrong editor…and of course there is no profit…I can make more money on one movie rental than I can from book that took a year to write…sad…royalties are peanuts…and then there are the people who are offended by the odd swear word which I like putting in the stories.  Hope you send them on to your progeny.  Jim does not get them due to his email … I do not know which is the correct one anymore.  I delivered a bunch of stuff to the Wellington County Museum and was surprised to find out they are familiar with our name in the Archives.  i guess Roy has made a mark.

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