When I was in high school, one of the most lucrative summer jobs – one of the few that didn’t pay minimum wage – was cleaning out chicken manure at the local chicken farms. Chicken manure has a pervasive, nauseating aroma, and there were many debates amongst my 4-H friends as to which smelled worse: chicken or pig manure. While both are foul, chicken usually won.
Thankfully, I never worked in the chicken barns – though I did have a stint as a telemarketer and I worked at a fresh fruit pie bakery. I can make a mean Dutch crust peach pie. The chicken manure job came to mind because while in Condon, Montana we found a job even more distasteful.
We took a hike at the nearby Holland Lake. Beautiful lake, jumping fish, pumping waterfall, aggressive chipmunks – a great hike. When we finished the hike, we made a quick stop at the trailhead pit toilet, which displayed this sign:
We’d never given much thought to pit toilet cleaning before, vaguely thinking it was done with some combination of giant hoses and a vacuum pump. But foreign objects “removed by hand”?!?
Have mercy on the poor soul indeed!