The great pig-shit debacle of 2009
Well, I’m sure that title got everyone’s attention, lol. Let me expand on it, shall I?…
We are trying to get our grass to grow again. It is has that post-Winter, shrivelled look about it. Been watering like crazy.
On Saturday past, Beary and I were in the garden, where we do spend quite a lot of our time. The roses are growing beautifully again and I’m like King Midas counting his gold, only I count my rose-buds. At last count there were +/- 150. Can’t wait for October, when they will be in full bloom.
So I was admiring the roses, Beary was ambling around and chasing butterfly shadows (her favourite pastime) when I was hailed from the other side of the pallisade fence by an Indian gentleman selling compost.
He had three colleagues with him and they launched straight into a detailed sales-pitch, the gist of which was that the magic contained in the sacks of compost would transform my ‘lawn’ into the most luscious, soft, green etc. expanse imaginable.
“How much for a bag?” I asked, even though I didn’t have a chance.
“For you, Madam? R30”
R30 for beautiful grass? What a bargain.
At this stage, Michael came out of the house to see what the commotion was about. He took in the situation with a glance, said, “NO” and went back inside.
This ruffled my feathers a little bit. What was I anyway? The little woman?
“Oh, the boss is cross,” said one of the guys.
So I said that yes, I would love to have a lovely lawn. They had assured me that labur was included, and that I could supervise while they ‘applied’ the sack of compost.
So I went and opened up for them and they very speedily went about ripping open the bag and scattering the dry contents on my grass. Then they starting ripping open another bag.
“Hang on, what are you doing?” I asked, slightly alarmed, like the naive fool that I am.
“Madam, one bag only covers this little bit of the grass.”
“So how many will you need?” I asked, belatedly.
“Madam, we’ll put the empty sacks right here, so you can see how many we used. We won’t cheat you.”
The sales patter was fast and insistent. I was out of my depth. They would not commit to a specific number of bags and I watched with growing concern as thye opened bag after bag.
Eventually, with much difficulty, I managed to put a limit on the number of bags. Six.
Lightning quick, I was offered a discount on the 7th bag so that the grand total would be R200.
This made me feel like even more of a gullible idiot as I realised I probably could have gotten the same discount on ALL the bags. These were Indians. They expected you to barter. They are also the best salesmen in the world. Like I said, I didn’t stand a chance.
Okay, so I had just spent R200 on compost for my grass, which probably would have grown just fine after the first good rains, anyway. And I had been offered free compost by my mom-in-law.
That money was supposed to pay for one of my theory lessons. I’ve been hoarding it all month.
Too late now, I thought. Better just make the best of it.
They threw down the last of the stuff and I nearly had to forcibly restrain them from opening up more bags. I had to say, as firmly as I could, I only have R200, that is all I am paying.
The compost was raked loosely into the ground and then they grabbed my hose-pipe and started watering the whole project. In about 2.5 seconds, the smell hit my nostrils. And under the dusty layer of sand, there appeared the shapes of large turds of every size and description. I hoped fervently that it was cow-shit, but I’m afraid it could have been any species’ defecations.
My money is on pig-shit. It smelt vile.
“Is this stuff safe for dogs?” I asked in alarm.
“Yes, Madam. It is vet-endorsed, safe for all pets. 100% organic. Guaranteed weed-free.”
Well, shit is 100% organic, isn’t it!
Eventually the job was done, they were paid and on their way. And I was left behind. Knee-deep in shit.
It was so bad that when we went out, we could smell our house when we turned the corner into the street on our way back.
I’ve had to give up admiring my roses because I can’t get near them. I put the hose on full power to water them from a safe distance, turds spraying every which way as the water hits them.
And the smell is everywhere. We couldn’t even sleep with the windows open.
The worst of it is that poor Beary has to go out to do her business. She sniffed every inch of the grass when we eventually let her out. I considered leaving her outside for a week until things calm down out there, but that dog was reared in the house and she’d probably die of grief if we had to leave her outside for longer than two hours, lol.
I had to make peace with the fact that she was going to walk in the shit and then come inside again. Luckily we have tiles. And luckily it is not sticking to her paws at all, but just the idea! I actually saw her lying down in the house, lifting one of her back paws to her nose and giving it a delicate sniff. And I swear, a disgusted look crossed that dog’s face as she pushed her paw away from her.
I’m lucky, I guess. Any other dog would have rolled in the stuff.
I feel more than a little sheepish about the whole thing. Michael was right and I was so wrong.
And he’s not even gloating about it.
He just said he’s extremely grateful that it wasn’t him that imported the shit into our garden or he would never have heard the end of it.
Moral of the story? It might be a good idea to occasionally listen to your husband.
It is now Wednesday and the smell is much improved and a lot of the manure has settled into the grass.
The grass which is growing like a plantation, it must be said. It looks strangely…luscious…