Place item was collected
Utah State University
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Trevor Nielson is my husband. He is 29 years old. He has lived in Logan, Utah for seven years. He attended Utah State University where he received his Master’s Degree in Applied Economics. Trevor did his undergraduate studies in Agricultural Business. Trevor was raised on a farm in Leamington, Utah. Farming is in his blood. Both his mother’s dad and his father’s dad were farmers. His dad still runs a farm on the side.
This is a personal experience that Trevor had while working for Utah State University. I’ve heard Trevor tell this story a few times and he usually tells it when a group of people talk about their crappy days. This time I was using the Marco Polo app on my phone to talk with my sisters, and my sister Kristy told us about her 3-year-old son discovering the human body’s process of consuming food, getting rid of the waste, and where the waste comes out of the body. Then my oldest sister, Karalee, told us that her eleven-year-old daughter, Kaylee, was putting that all together that day too, not where it comes out, but the process of it. Then Kaylee asked her mom where the sewage goes. Karalee knew that it goes to the sewer ponds, but wasn’t sure what happens to it once it’s in the ponds. As my sisters were discussing this Trevor was listening to their videos as I watched, and he started explaining to me how the sewage ponds work. So I told him he should get on Marco Polo to explain it to my sisters and tell them about his crappy story. The paragraph indented in the text is where the story Trevor retells starts officially, but I felt it might be beneficial to have more background content since this was told spontaneously. Afterward all three of my sisters videoed back in response. All of them were laughing and were disgusted by the idea of falling into a sewage pond. Two out of the three sisters said that Trevor seems to know a bunch of random facts and to keep the funny stories coming.
Breanna: [Talking to her sisters on Marco Polo.] “You guys were talking about sewage stuff and this guy (meaning Trevor) apparently knows about sewage.” [Trevor and I laugh].
Trevor: “They’re gonna think I’m full of crap. [I laugh] So when I was at Utah State we did an environmental impact for manure management, so we did the great big agricultural manure lagoons an there’s actually for every lagoon there’s two lagoons there’s an aerobic and anaerobic digester, and what it does is it actually digests all the waste. Um the aerobic means it uses oxygen, anaerobic means it doesn’t use oxygen so it’s like two types of bacterias that digest everything out, and if it’s run properly you shouldn’t smell anything, so because you can smell it, Kristy, that means they aren’t doing their job right [he shakes his head and scrunches his nose in disgust]. Anyway, um it shouldn’t smell and it should digest everything out and as far as having to replace it if they’re doing it right it should last like ninety years before it fill full of sludge cause it can’t quite digest everything, but it does a pretty good job if they’re doing it right, but if like I said if you can smell it not getting’ the job done right.
I tell you this because one time we were doing a study where we had this great big poop succor truck and it went into the aerobic lagoon and we were sucking the poop out then we were taking it to another little spot and dumping it in there and we were doing a seepage test, anyway, and ahh this poop sucker truck had a vacuum on it with a great big hose that was about this big around [He’s holding his hands about 11 inches apart to indicate how big the hose.] and we’d stick it in the pond and it would suck all the poop up and when the truck was full I’d drive around and dump it off. The problem was was the pipe was this big around [He uses his hands again to show the size.] and it was one of those hard plastic hoses, um, and it’s like a—no it’s a sewage truck is what it is, and I couldn’t get it to like stick in the manure very well it would float on top so then it wouldn’t get a good seal and suck the poop up. So I had a fence post and I had it in my hand like a shovel [He puts his fists together as if he’s holding the fence post.] and I was holding the end pushing it down into the ah, into the manure so that it would suck it all up, and I was pushing one time and I had been there for a while and I was getting kind of tired so I just leaned on the post and the post slip off the side of the pipe and I went neeeeer boap (sound affects) [He uses his forearm to show that he fell flat on his face.] right into the manure lagoon [He laughs while telling it.] and I almost drowned.” [He laughs again.]
B: “Oh that’s horrible!”
T: “It’s super heavy and it’s like trying to swim in quick sand and I just [He uses his forearm to show that he fell flat on his face again for emphasis.] So I grab this great big hose that flippin’ around in the air now and I climbed up the hose [He uses hand motions to show he’s climbing.] and back to the truck and luckily I got out alive. So then I went home, err no, then I went down—this is at the Cane Dairy—so I went down to the milking shed and I knock on the door and there was a girl in there who had just finished milking the cows and she looks at me and just starts to laugh and laugh she knew exactly what had happened. So I said, ‘Can you spray me off?’ And she’s like, ‘Sure I can.’ And we had rubber boots on cause we’d been doing, um, we’d been working on this project for a couple days and we had to walk in the anyway, so yeah we had rubber boots on, so she’s spraying me down and she’s going along [He uses one hand to indicate she’s spraying with a hose.] and then she starts to laugh and she like tips over so she’s like spraying my feet and the grass and the water is super cold too and so finally after about ten minutes she finally has me all sprayed off and so I get all done—I get all cleaned up, well kind of—sprayed off and then I went home and when I got home I ah went to the door and I knocked on the door and my roommates came to the door and it was one of my best buddies and he says, ‘What are you doing? You spell like crap.’ And I was like, ‘Look at me.’ He’s like, ‘Is that what I think it is?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ [He laughs.] And he’s like, ‘You aren’t coming in this house.’ And I’m like, ‘How am I supposed to get clean?’ So he come out and he brings a towel out and he makes a little tent around me and I strip off all my stuff and I go into the bathroom and I get in the shower and it did run brown for five minutes, well maybe not five minutes but for a while. I was still getting little pieces [He uses two fingers to show how small.] of stuff out of my hair for days.”
B: “That’s so gross.”
T: “Like little branches type stuff, anyway ah, so ah yeah the next day I went out—this was in the middle of summer and I had just my pants that were covered in manure when I had change I had left them outside and I’d hung them up over the rail and I picked them up and they were like the shape of the rail like they were squared around the posts so I pull them off and they were like cardboard. I think I just threw them away, so I thought you guys would enjoy that story.”
B: “And learn about sewage. Wahoo!” [End of Marco Polo.]
Since we were Marco Poloing from our home he told the story in a very relaxed environment. He was laying down on the bed as he told the story, but still used his hands quite a bit to convey his meaning. He stayed consistent in his flow of speech. There wasn’t really any pauses, except to laugh. Just before he would laugh he would tell the story a little faster to try to actually get the funny part out before he started laughing. He slowed the story down when he used dialogue with him and his coworker and with his roommate. Trevor likes to use sound affects with his stories to create more of a visual for his audience. When he isn’t laying down while telling the story he usually uses more of his upper body to help tell the story.
Lynne S. McNeill
Semester and year
G7: Human Traits
Nielson, Breanna, "Full of Crap" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 452.