Monday, October 13, 2008

dad's near-death experience

I got this email from my dad last night. I am posting it here with his permission:

I don't want another day like this. A near death experience from drowning in liquid cow poop is not comforting to one's mind. I'll explain this one as clear as I know how.I was digging out the old poop from the large lagoon that we used when we were in the dairy business. This is a huge pit that stored the poop until spring time. In the spring we would spread it on the corn fields for nutrient value. The last few years I didn't need it, so I left it there. Now I want the compost manure for one of my fields. It material is 4-5 ft. deep and thousands of tons. Today I was digging around the perimeter to drain the water under the mass. The excavator is what I'm digging with. I am about to drive out of the pit sloped side to higher ground. The machine is on a steep slope, and I'm digging my way up the bank and driving the machine at the same time. One side stops climbing. I can't move. I'm starting to swing the boom around to pick up the side that has stopped. The machine suddenly slides right down into the pit and turns over on its side. The door is pressed against the manure and sinking into the pit. The front window is 3/4 covered with solid manure. It won't budge. The upper window is my only hope. And, nobody knows where I am. The manure is slowly pressing up through the cab where I'm laying as the machine sinks further into the mush. I am laying right in the manure that has come into the cab. I try kicking out the window where the metal bars are on the upper side. I have very little room now to make any kind of swing with my leg. The window won't break. I look behind me and I see a wooden handle sticking out of the manure that has engulfed the cab. I twist my body and get a hold of it. I now have a very short distance between the window and the poop. I hit the window repeatedly with the hammer and it doesn't break. I twist the hammer to make contact with the sharp edge of the hammer and the glass. After 3-5 more blows it shatters. Now, how do I get the bars spread wide enough to get this chubby body through them? I remember the Gerber Multi-tool that Dtv gave me for Xmas years ago. I started wearing it this year, it comes in so handy, everyday that I work at this kind of work.I look at the screws at the end of the bars and they have a phillips head on them. I open up the tools, in kind of panic mode now, and pick out the phillips tool and twist real hard and it turns the screw. I get it out pretty fast and twist it out of the way. I'm not sure if I can get out still. I try to get one more screw out of the next bar, no go. I press my butt down into the mushy crap and get my head out though the window. I twist and push with whatever I have left and finally work my body out the window. I get up on the ground and stand there for a while. I don't really care that much about the machine right then. I know it is going to sink into the crap and finish filling the cab. I'm thinking, "thank you Dtv, thank you very much for thinking of the the unusual gift for me. " I may wear that little tool on my hip for a very long time.

14 comments:

Ms. Beane said...

WOW!!!

My question is, is the machine covered by insurance...and will they believe your Dad?

Meg said...

Holy cow.

(Sorry.)

So glad he's safe. I don't know whether to laugh or be stunned.

Speechless.

Dina said...

How completely scary! I'm glad he's okay.

Anonymous said...

I laughed at that for a while!

That would be a very pleasent way to die...

ggc

Ballerina Girl said...

Yikes...scary but what a story!
That will live down through many generations I believe....
really, glad that he is ok.
BG

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

I bet there's quite a few jokes that will be made through the years about that experience. :D

In all seriousness though, what a scary thing to go through. Glad he is all right!

ML said...

Man! I was on the edge of my seat! I've got to go make some phone calls!

Reed said...

Thankful to hear a good ending to this riviting tale!

I have a gerber multi use tool exactly like your dad described and agree that they are a good tool. I'll appreciate mine all the more now --

k. said...

Wow, that is a crazy story. I'm happy that he survived!

Karen ~ said...

Wow. At first I thought this was going to be a joke. Wow. I am so relieved to hear he made it out safely.

I do have to say, though, that I love your label for the post. I wonder how many more posts you will be able to attach that label to.

Mama Ava said...

This is great. I'd give him an "A". We are working on personal narratives in my classes, trying to get the kids to write a "small moment" story with details and emotions, in a way that makes the reader feel as if they are a part of the story. I wish I could use it as an example!

yesweareonmars said...

I'm surprised he fit out through the window...hee hee. But I'm glad he's safe. I know that poo pond and its big. Yuck!

Mallory said...

That's pretty nasty - and impressive! Good job UR! I'm glad he's okay, and I'll be thinking of different jokes/names for him until I return to Maine.

Gabriela said...

Oh my gosh. I am so glad he's ok! I could barely read it in the middle of the story-the thought of being trapped in a car while water (or something else!) is entering in is just terrifying to me.

Glad it had a happy ending. Wow!