It Can Always Get Worse, Part II

John has been cutting a lot of wood lately, and I generally help him split the bigger pieces using a hydraulic powered splitter when I am home.  I’ve split enough wood with a sledge hammer and wedges to realize this device is worth its weight in gold.  Since John worked last week getting the skinned steer cut, wrapped, and in the freezer as he promised, I felt motivated to help him split wood Saturday morning when he asked.  I could hear the tractor running as I exited the house so I expected to see it in place beside the splitter.  What I wasn’t prepared to see was the spectacle hanging from the front loader bucket of the tractor, a spectacle that reinforced my belief that things can always get worse.

I vaguely remember John saying something about not having room in the freezer for the two hind quarters of the steer, but if he mentioned his solution to the problem, I either didn’t hear it or failed to comprehend what he said.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t hear him because if I had, I wouldn’t have been so horrified when I walked around the corner of the garage and saw both hind quarters swaying in the breeze held by chains attached to the raised bucket of the tractor.  When John saw my expression he quickly began to do damage control.

John: Sorry about that hanging there.  I didn’t have room in the freezer, and I didn’t know what else to do with it.

Terri: That is really disgusting.

John:  It’s actually pretty handy to be able to walk over and cut off a slice for the dogs.

Terri:  You CAN’T have rotting meat hanging from the tractor.

John:  I know.  I’ll figure something out.

Somehow I didn’t feel reassured.

After splitting the wood, I went back in the house.  Even though the smell wasn’t too bad, a couple of 50 degree days had started the carcass remnants on their malodorous journey so after an hour’s exposure, I’d had enough.  I didn’t see much of John for the next two hours.  When he came in the house, he asked me to go outside to see his latest handiwork.  As is usually the case, his latest rendition of “where’s the beef” didn’t strike me as much of a solution to the problem.  He, on the other hand, seemed to think that slicing the meat and placing it on drying racks was a stroke of genius.

John:  Let me know if that bothers you, and I can try something else.

Terri:  (Internal monologue: Is it too soon to say that it bothers me since you just did it?)  Don’t you think it will smell bad that close to the house?

John:  I think the outside of the meat will dry quickly and seal it up.  It shouldn’t be a problem.

Terri:  I guess we can give it a try.

Fortunately, his dogs came through for me on this one.  By the next morning, they had carried off over half the meat and buried it.  I’m sure it won’t be long before it’s all gone.  That gives me some hope that maybe I’ve seen the worst unless a deliveryman reports a strange odor coming from the woods around our house.  I hope the CSI guys they send are cute!

2 Responses to “It Can Always Get Worse, Part II”

  1. Ok, you guys are seriously broaching the edge of a Rob Zombie movie.

    My dad used to shoot random squirrels and critters for the dogs, but because he didn’t want them to get the critters’ worms, he’d skin, “dress,” and then smoke the critters.

    A large, 2nd-hand, plate steel smoker. Deals with the rotting. Deals with the storage, gives John plenty to do, and keeps you out splitting wood with him to stoke the smoke!

    No need to thank me now…

  2. Terri says:

    Okay, I would seriously have to draw the line at smoking and/or cooking varmints. Besides, our dogs prefer critter tartare. 🙂 You have to worm them on a regular basis, but that’s no problem for us. (See “I Think We Killed Him” and “How to Poison a Dog.”)

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