Friday, February 1, 2008

Sunday Scribbling - "Foul" - 2/3/08

When I read the prompt, “foul,” I knew it was something I could really sink my teeth into. Several ideas came to mind but I knew there was one story that needed telling. I think you will agree that the following experience graphically defines the adjective “foul”. I only hope my description adequately paints the picture.

Four of us were heading back to England from Paris. I was the driver with my ex-wife, Dawn, Mitch Voiers, and his wife, Pat, as passengers. We had just had a great lunch in Paris and were driving to Calais to catch an evening hydrofoil to Dover.


Since we had time to spare and Calais is only about a three-hour drive from Paris, we decided to venture off the main highway and take a more rural road that I saw on the map. I did not know that secondary roads in northern France are not of the same quality as secondary roads in developed countries. We suddenly found ourselves on a single lane farm road through fields of stuff growing. My agricultural knowledge allows me to identify corn and cotton. Anything else is just stuff growing. Dawn and Pat were quick to point out that some of the fields were lavender. I still don't know how they knew that. Women and their plants.




It was actually quite pretty driving through endless green, lavender, and gold fields on a bright sunny day, until ……………..



We soon came upon a tractor pulling a trailer with a huge tank on it that appeared to be spraying something onto the crops. We had noticed the sweet notes of lavender were soon replaced by an odd aroma, but at 50 miles an hour it had not become too offensive. Often unknown scents emitted from Mitch, but he was usually quick to claim them. As we found ourselves slowing to a speed that didn’t even move the needle on my speedometer and directly behind the trailer, the stench became much more prevalent. Mitch was the first to identify the trailer as a “honey wagon.” We were trapped behind a machine that was spraying human excrement on the shit growing. At that point, the crop had been reduced in my mind from stuff growing to shit growing.


There was no room to turn around, as there were drainage ditches on both sides of the narrow road. I was willing to sacrifice my car's suspension to get away from this unholy farm implement, but when I looked behind I realized there was a nearly identical “honey wagon” about half a mile behind us closing fast as I had stopped to put space between us and Pepe Le Pu (what I later appropriately named the driver).



To make matters worse, Mitch (who I found out had even a weaker stomach than I do) began to add a spew of vomit to the shit cocktail that was being applied to whatever was being cultivated next to the road. This resulted in an epidemic of hurl. I was next and I can tell you that boudin blanc, Bordeaux, and Brie do not taste nearly as fine exiting. The girls lasted the longest as they had a stronger constitution from changing countless fetid diapers. But not even the most ill fed infant could process anything to compare with the toxic environment we found ourselves trapped in, and they soon joined us in the barf-o-rama.

So we became some sort of sad, three vehicle, body waste ejaculating parade for what seemed like hours. I stayed far enough back from the trailer to avoid the spray, but that was little help. The drivers of the tractors were wearing some sort of gas mask/breathing apparatus, probably left by the Germans from one of the world wars as they marched through France. The Germans had a much easier road than us four Americans on vacation. I would have traded my car straight up for one of those masks. If they worked against mustard gas, there was an outside chance they would help against the fumes we were breathing.

We tried rolling up the windows between throw-ups, but that made it even worse as the tiny breeze that five miles per hour generated felt like an ocean zephyr. Once there was a place I thought large enough to pass but that would mean the jets of fertilizer issuing from the tank trailer would spray the car and they probably would not have let us on the ferry. We finally came upon a crossroad and took a right not caring where this road went. Luckily it did return to the main motorway.



I drove at an incredibly high speed trying unsuccessfully to outrun the stench. Had we gotten pulled over, I don’t think a Gendarmerie would have approached the vehicle. Had they just opened fire on us I think it would have been welcomed by the four of us.

We eventually found our way to Calais and onto the hydrofoil. One thing about our condition was that any seasickness encountered would not have been able to produce a drop of sick from any of us.


I have never returned to France. I also wash all produce thoroughly as I have since learned this is a common practice in North America too.

47 comments:

raymond pert said...

I've known you for almost lfifty years.

I've always known you were full of shit.

You didn't need it sprayed on you.

myrtle beached whale said...

wow Bill, I had never thought about it but you are right. In fact, I have known you longer than any other living person. Glad we got reunited.

Lucy said...

Holy 'Shit' That is the most disgusting drive I've ever heard of! HUMAN excrement? Are you sure?
When I visit my sister in Lancaster Pa we pass farms where they are spraying liquid manure, and even just passing it by at 50 mph is unbearable!
That is one shitty story Rick!

myrtle beached whale said...

Lucy:

I did not do DNA on it but it was pretty rancid. Pretty sure the Amish don't use Human Fertilizer, but the French do.

Anonymous said...

Rick,
You are right that is a totally disgusting smell. I lived all my married life on a dairy farm. That is some smelly shit. You actually have to sign an agreement to accept human waste. It's worse than your liquid cow shit.. Nasty Nasty Nasty

Redness said...

Ohhhhhhhh I need that bucket again ... sorry Mate I gave up when your pal started chundering! 10/10 for graphic ... but the stench was something awful!

Go Figure said...

Yep, I am afraid I have to line up with Lucy on the, "Are you sure?" question. However, taking into Bill's observation...and weighing it ever so carefully...I mean 50 years (you must be really old)I can only conclude the obvious...that because of your intimate knowledge of the subject, that it must have been human shit.
Great story, great road trip, and this all explains a lot of questions I have had.

Laini Taylor said...

Ahhh! Horrible! I don't know why, but this post made me think of the extremely random ramble that Victor Hugo inserted into Les Miserables about the benefits of fertilizing crops with human waste. EWW.

Robin said...

How absolutely and utterly revolting. And I thought it was bad the time when we were living on kibbutz and my husband had to spend a month spreading chicken shit on banana plants...

Just Jen said...

I grew up in the country and still live close to fields. Yes it is human excrement. In Canada, supposedly it is heated to a certain temperature to kill the ecoli, making it safe to spray on the fields. I still scrub everything we eat with a brush now....ewwww....many people don't realize how common human waste is used on fields. It's been used for years!
Smell that fresh country air! How many showers did you take afterwards? ;~)

noahthegreat said...

That was actually rather hilarious.

Write up a script and sell it to make millions on the next blockbuster film.

It might only be one scene in some France trip, but an excellent one at that.

anthonynorth said...

And now it's time for dinner - not!

myrtle beached whale said...

go figure: that is because we both grew up where there was nothing to fertilize. I would have never known of such things either.
Laini: It is your fault, you gave me the prompt. Did I not follow your lead? LOL
Robin: Chicken shit smells like Estee Lauder compared to this.
Just Jen: I had to take a shower after writing this and you should after reading it.
Noah: You can't make shit like this up. Literally!

keith hillman said...

One of the hazards of driving in France - you never know what's around the corner! Love the pics by the way.

The Literary Prostitute said...

Wow, they really do that? I'm pretty sure I would have been in the puke pile with everyone else.

tumblewords said...

Gawd, I'm glad I wasn't there - although it felt like I was. Fine job of descriptive writing! Barf.

myrtle beached whale said...

My objective here was that my descriptions would not only give you a visual but that you could almost imagine the scent. Judging by your comments, I have achieved my objective.

paisley said...

as children,, my dad had the bright idea that he would fertilize the back yards grass with what he called "sludge".. it was essentially dried processed human waste... needless to say the back yard was not usable that year,,, and no .. we didn't eat the tomatoes... even if they were "free".....

Inland Empire Girl said...

I think you have topped the smell of Lead Creek along the playground at Silver King and odor of smelter smoke crossing the breezeway between classes at KHS. EWWWWWW!

susiej.com said...

OMG! That must have been horrible... if that's a strong enough word for it. I'm sending this to my brother... who did not enjoy his visit to France... he would appreciate this story.

myrtle beached whale said...

Susie:

Let's be honest here, France hasn't been a world power since Napoleon was exiled. They are now, at best, a third world country. They have a national flag with two sides and one of them is white. Their food is overrated, far behind Italy, Germany, and Greece. OK, it is better than English food, but so is my cooking. Their wine has been surpassed by both California and Australia. They use cologne as a substitute for bathing. The people are arrogant without any justification. Their last interesting people were Jaques Cousteau and Gérard Depardieu. They haven't had an original thought since Pasteurization. Their cars are ugly and not even Americans will buy them, and we buy any crap. Just thought I would give you a few ideas off the top of my head to pass on to your brother. If I have offended any French people, I don't care.

Shari said...

Human excrement? I've never heard of that. They use cow manure around here. It has sat and dried out for about 5 years. Then they mix it in with the dirt. It doesn't smell though. If your story is true, that is the foulest story I've ever heard. It sure made for a memorable road trip and a interesting SS.

myrtle beached whale said...

Shari:

You have never heard of human excrement? Where do you live, Utah?

forgetfulone said...

A true picture of the word "foul!"

gautami tripathy said...

Animal waste is used here fairly well. I have heard that human waste too is used at certain places in India. However, I do not know for sure. As for the stench, garbage dumps over here are not far behind.

Lori V. (doyourealize) said...

MOST foul, indeed! What a mental snapshot! :-)

My Scribblings are up... and also not for the faint of heart this week... come visit! :-)

Laura Gomez said...

Fascinating (disgusting) stuff!
Still, always worth it to see a picture of the bloke from 'Allo 'Allo brandishing a french stick.

Patois said...

Oh, Lord, I am gagging, reading this so early in the morning. I'm not sure if I'll be able to eat breakfast.

giggles said...

Now I know for sure why I consider myself a city slicker! Anything I could say has already been said! What a great post, sorry you had to endure such a horrific situation. I agree you should write this one up as a script....add a few more of your antics and send it to Chevy Chase...for one of his vacation movies! Or Steve Martin....he'd be make a spectacular Rick behind the wheel! Really descriptive, glad it wasn't a scratch and sniff post!

Hugs Giggles

myrtle beached whale said...

Giggles:

That is so funny. I almost made a comment about a scratch and sniff element to my post. Great minds.

myrtle beached whale said...

I had an anonymous comment and I accidentally deleted it (because I am a moron). I am sorry. I appreciate all comments. It was:

I am sure that you have found your self in lots of shitty situations. Thanks for sharing this one with us. You are such a vivid writer I can smell the aroma in the air. I think I will go outside now. Later.

tricia stirling said...

so so foul.

Herb Urban said...

I starting reading this post over coffee and toast, then after a several hour toddler distraction, came back to finish it with my lunch. This is one shitty work of art. Kudos to you sir.

myrtle beached whale said...

Herb,

Glad I could ruin two meals for you. Maybe I could start my own diet plan. When you are ready to purge, you just read my blog. I could call it the Myrtle Beach Diet.

latree said...

that's really foul.
they used cow's here, never humans. that's just too disgusting.
you've described it too well I can smell it from here.

susan said...

Hilarious!

Mandy said...

I think some of the comments were as interesting as the post. I have nothing else to add.

Heather said...

LOL I mean, I know it's not funny... or it wasn't funny at the time... but, oh, you know what I mean. This is great! Truly, truly foul. And I loved all the great comments it inspired, too.

Thanks SO much for your words of encouragement to the newbie. I think I'll get over my scribbling fears, and I definitely look forward to reading more of your work. ;o)

rebecca said...

well, i thought it lovely...all those nice pictures and i'm saying to myself..."how is this foul? it seems like such a nice scenic route?".....until shit happens!

ohhh, merde, as the french would say....

hehe! good one...in retrospect, right?

myrtle beached whale said...

No, it was not funny at the time.

LittleWing said...

right off the bat...hilarious ...long, long ago i took a trip to france... landed in leharve... great place... i grow lavender and i don't think i will ever look at it the same nor when i smell the beautiful scent i shall hesitate before putting my nose to the bud..

UL said...

good turns to ugly...or S#%&, such nice photographs mixed in, yet ends so foul...thanks for stopping by and in turn bringing me here..you have a nice space gonig here. Will be back to read some more.

Clockworkchris said...

you are really popular-thanks for the comment and one of the most intertaining stories I have ever heard. I am very entertained and laughed a lot. I don't get sick that easily, except when drinking, but I'm sure I would have been first, in the car and on the boat.

Shyam said...

Hahahaha... couldnt stop giggling at this, although I have a good idea of how bad it was for you guys. The occasional chickenshit lorry goes past our office and the stink is beyond disgusting! :) Love your style of writing!

Anonymous said...

Miss Rose said That's a great memory. I did not care for France either. I thought many places had that aroma. :)

sarala said...

I feel guilty for laughing at your discomfort. Thanks for the giggles.

Anonymous said...

I am Mitch Voiers' sister, Sharon. This story explains alot. Now we know why we can't even say the word "fart" in front of Mitch, because he says it makes him literally want to puke. Freaking hilarious!