To talk about greenish undigested residue is quite disturbing specially if you have smelled it. This residue goes from greenish to blackish over time and the odor stays and increases.
This rich in minerals mix is in other words cow dung. It is the undigested residue of plant matter which has passed through the animal’s gut.
It can be used as fuel or biogas, fertilizer; in some parts in Africa is used as a mosquito repellent. In India is used to line the walls of rustic houses as a cheap thermal insulator for houses. It is used as replacement for firewood. Cow dung is also an optional ingredient in the manufacture of adobe mud brick housing depending on the availability of materials at hand. In America on April 21, 2001, Robert Deevers of Elgin, Oklahoma, set the record for cow chip throwing with a distance of 185 feet 5 inches.
We can keep going on with the ecological treats of the manure, or make comments about an Italian museum dedicated to different variants of the same thing and other details about the function of dung in biodiversity, but I think we get the idea. Dung is kind of useful.
Why I’m writing about that? Well, last weekend I was going around the house when I stopped to watch a program on the TV called Ridiculousness, at the time the program was airing a clip about a man totally asleep. The guy was wearing a hat, the one that looks like a baseball cap, he was seated and complete unaware when a cow was dropping from its behind, lots and lots of greenish undigested residue on his cap and his shoulders.
As part of the audience you were supposed to laugh, at home, people was in total disbelief that the guy didn’t wake up! There were laughs full of irony and surprise.
For me it was intolerable because immediately I remembered one day; a day to remember indeed. My sisters and I were very little between 6 and 8 years old and we were on the task to buy the milk from a stable close to our house.
On those days the city was almost unpopulated, there were vast terrains of maize fields and other kind of plants fields. We were inside the city but it had patches of rural scenery that overtime were going to be extinct. One of those patches was the tiny stable with no more than eight cows that provided us with our daily milk.
At home, Mom pasteurized the milk by slowly heating the milk, stirring frequently to avoid scalding. Then putting it in ice water and stirring again. We loved this milk, specially the cream of milk created at the top of the pan.
It was a lot of fun to go to the stables because crossing the minuscule streets and corners recently paved, or looking to the little houses with their diminutive front gardens was enchanting, we even have selected a house that we called “The Good Witch House” because it had a lot of Victorian decorations; it was all brown and the plants of its garden looked wild without flowers, and not at all manicured as in the other houses.
Off we went the day in question; it was the eldest carrying the 5 liters stainless steel container, my younger sister on a scooter, and me on my adorable red roller skates. I used to do prancing with my skates and that day was not an exception.
When we arrived, the eldest went to buy the milk and we were waiting outside, it was no good to disturb the cows. Everything looked perfect. Mission accomplished.
On our way home a hideous stench was following us! We checked our feet and the culprit was on my then full of greenish undigested residue covered skates. I was pale of disgust and to the verge of getting sick, also my socks were wet, it seemed that basically I had submerged my feet in manure. Sisters started running to the house and told me not to get near them. I was in pain; the good thing is that my Mom helped me to wash away every single speck of that methane smell and else. I don’t remember going back to the stable again.
Nowadays you can buy “Black Kow” in any American home improvement supplies store. This manure is for vegetable gardens, flower beds, lawns and landscapes. Or so the advertisement says; “ Add it to the soil to promote healthy plant growth. It has fertilizer analysis and provides nutrients for your flowers and vegetables.” Does it smell? No; it’s fully composted so it should smell like earth. Thank goodness.
Still, I can’t comprehend how come this guy, on the TV program, didn’t wake up with the wetness, the weight, and the smell of a great amount of manure all over him. Maybe he wanted to go viral with the video, or doesn’t have a sense of smell, or it is so used to the environment that it was oblivious to him. Or he was really, really tired.