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What happens when you let sheep supervise your construction operations

stuck truck

He wasn’t supposed to dump our load there. He’s stuck. Blocking the main coast road.


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: January 22, 2008, 8:01 pm

Oh, look! Sheep! There’s sheep across the Way!

I can smell and taste the Souvlaki now…

There’s the big boss sheep over there to the right – making sure there is no featherbedding on this job!

That’s Boulevard Del Badger in front of the truck. That’s gravel del badger in back.

Aww! Look at the drivers mirror, on the wrong side! That’s so….British.

Is that a “lorry”, or a dump truck?

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: January 22, 2008, 8:05 pm

You should make him shovel it back into the truck with a herring.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 22, 2008, 8:30 pm

Interesting question, McGoo! To be honest, I’ve absolutely no idea which it is. I suppose we’d call it a dumper truck or a lorry. Damn big ol’ heavy thing, either way, and the driver came in too fast, which is why he hit the mud and… stuck.

It was great fun but the sheep (mostly that big one on that far right) seemed to have it all in hand, so I left them to it and went back to see how things were going elsewhere.

Which was interesting . Her Ladyship has refused to publish a picture of what my beady eyes fell upon as I waddled back through the gap in the hedge – the most amazing Japanese-built mini-caterpillar tractor kind of dumper truck – but one that’s small enough to be usable in a garden.

I want one! and I suggested its picture should be the subject of today’s post. In fact, I think it should be a damned poster on my office wall!

Her Ladyship, OTOH, went all oestrogen on me and said ‘Oh, that’s just a guy thing. It’s … just a truck.’ It is so not ‘just a truck!’. The guy who is doing the work here got all misty-eyed when I admired His New Truck and told me how he’d just imported it direct from Japan, where they are quite popular. It seemed (rightly, of course) that it meant more to him that one of his kids.

Anyway… I had to go out this afternoon and when I got back, the bottom third of the garden was cordoned-off with red and white tape.

So, naturally (as you do) I think ‘Fuck! They found the bodies!’ Then I remember I only dreamed of all the people I’d like to badger to death and I realise they’d put the tape there to stop me blundering around in the dark, falling into ditches and drains and fumbling with my phone as I called the compensation lawyer…

Tomorrow, the Building Inspector comes. He has to ‘pass the drains’ as fit to… I don’t know, pour shit into or something.

The only slight concern I have is that I don’t actually know which lavatories and which basins I can use tonight.

And if I get it wrong, someone is going to have a nasty surprise tomorrow at dawn…

Smiling? Me? Badgers can’t smile….

Comment from Dawn
Time: January 22, 2008, 8:46 pm

You should make him shovel it back into the truck with a herring.

And bring you a shrubbery. Ni!

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: January 22, 2008, 9:11 pm

Well, from my point of view, whatever you (an Englishman) call that vehicle (in England), it’s correct – by definition.

Badger – If someone had asked me what you would do given a keep-out tape – I would have said you’d immediately go mess with it, even at risk to life and limb. The way I figure it, since curiosity kills the cat, then we’re completely safe – right?

I think I know what jap garden tracked-dumper you’re talking about! It has tractor treads, but is smaller than a Dingo*! I want one too! Its waaaay better’n a Deere. Damned right its a guy thing. I think you can get attachments for it too! God, its manly. If you find a link or photo – let me know.

No load-dropping instructions for tonight? That sucks a bit. But make the best of it – put a sizable wad of poo-paper in one and flush – then run pell mell outside in the cold with a big gas lantern to see where the poo-paper comes out. Do this several times in the sight of neighbors to get them to reitterate their fervent oath to not socialize with you and that strange lady you hang with.

BTW: I’ve always wanted to run pell mell, but have never had the opportunity. Don’t waste it.

*Dingo TX 420 (at bottom of page): http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_journal/home_improvement/1274671.html

Comment from porknbean
Time: January 22, 2008, 9:14 pm

And if I get it wrong, someone is going to have a nasty surprise tomorrow at dawn…

You can blame it on the sheep on the right.

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: January 23, 2008, 4:56 am

Passing the drains sounds very formal, ceremonial. Is the Building Inspector going to dress up all fruity like a Lord Mayor (http://www.leicester.gov.uk/Easysite/lib/serveInlineImage.asp?Type=Img&ImageID=52079) walk past the drains with young, cross-eyed, web-footed maidens throwing rose petals in his path and then toot on his little bugle and announce, all resplendant like, ‘I hereby proclaim that these here drains what I’ve just walked past are fit for the purpose of the transporting human waste to the Titan Biotec© Hazardous Waste Containment facility. Huzzah!’ Round of applause, cue ‘God Save the Queen.’

I love how ‘main coast roads’ in Britain are single-carriage, twisty affairs, with big, fuck-off lorries stuck in the mud around some blind corner.
Keep your mustelid eyes on that sheep. He looks kind of funny, if you know what I mean.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 23, 2008, 5:55 am

Look, I’m not entirely immune to the charms of heavy machinery. I just don’t get this one. It doesn’t morph into a robot or do anything interesting:


Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: January 23, 2008, 6:08 am

That’d be great for shifting compost…

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 23, 2008, 6:12 am

That’s what you think, your Ladyship!

It makes a cool sound, too.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 23, 2008, 8:51 am

Yeah, that’s what I thought, too, Gibby.

There’s an awful lot a badger could shift round in one of those.

I mean… they wouldn’t miss just the occasional sheep, would they?

Weasels! Huh!

Comment from Lokki
Time: January 23, 2008, 10:48 am

Look – there’s only one thing you need to know to recognize the beauty of this thing:

It’s got TANK track on it. It’ll go anywhere~!

Now, how cool is that?

Imagine the diffence in attitude it would make if you were 99 years old and had a wheel chair with B>TANK tracks on it rather than pathetic little wheels!

Why I’d be rolling right over all the beds in the ward to pinch the nurses!

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: January 23, 2008, 11:00 am

That is NOT what I saw on the net the other day! It’s way cooler.

I want one.

Look at those tailgates! There is one on the “front” and one on either side, too! You can drop your load from three different directions!

Does it lift like a dump truck? I don’t care – I still want one.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: January 23, 2008, 11:07 am

It’s a KUBOTA RG15Y but I can’t find tech details right now…

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 23, 2008, 11:31 am

Yeah, McGoo, the tech details do seem a bit scarce. The contractor doing my drains said he imported it directly, but when he took it to Kubota’s people over here to ask about servicing, they just scratched their heads and looked blank.

It’s trundling round Badger House even as I write this.

And did I mention it’s blue?

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: January 23, 2008, 12:05 pm

Blue reminds me of Jeff Dunham and his saga of the blue Prius. It starts around 2:55 and takes more than two minutes. But the whole thing is good. (And check out part 2 too if you liked this.) Jeff Dunham is awesome.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 23, 2008, 12:17 pm

Thanks for that, Muslihoon – best laugh I’ve had all week 🙂

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: January 23, 2008, 12:22 pm

You’re most welcome, Uncle B. Glad you enjoyed it.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: January 23, 2008, 2:53 pm

There’s an electric-blue Prius up the street. Should I be afraid? Should I buy an athletic supporter with cup?

Badger – I bet the Kubota company is really an Alien Front – a ruse to catch us off guard. I bet they’re drawing up their plans for world domination even as we speak.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: January 23, 2008, 5:14 pm

Badger – I couldn’t find enough info on the RG15Y to wad up into a decent-sized booger. It does not seem to exist.

Now I’m convinced they’re a mirage. Like in the desert when you’re really thirsty.

Are you thirsty, Badger? Is the coast of England desert country? Look at the ground! Is it sandy?

No, wait. I see it too. And I’m not thirsty.


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 23, 2008, 5:42 pm

It’s a bit strange, McGoo. Seeing the interest here, I tried to find out a bit more from Big Chief Drainman, but all he could tell me is they are ideal for small spaces where you can’t use a full-size truck and that he bought his secondhand as an import – oh, and apparently, they run on diesel.

He did, however, drop a product bombshell. Apparently, the same firm also makes a motorised wheelbarrow.

OK, Stoaty now tell me that’s not kewl, either!

Badger House, by the way, currently resembles the Somme. I would say ‘without the bodies’ but they found one today.

Sadly, it appeared to have four legs, so was probably someone’s blessed dog or cat.

And still there is no machine gun.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: January 23, 2008, 6:24 pm

Seriously, Badger, I think if I show that tractor-treaded sweetheart to every male homeowner I know, 90% of them will want one immediately.

NOBODY I know has a cat-treaded utility vehicle. Nobody. The dumpster on the front (back?) is just sweet, sweet gravy. The thing looks tough, too.

Think of all the stuff you could run over! My mouth waters…

The Somme, huh? And gas, too, I bet. Damned Huns. Glad there’s no bodies, or the local fauna would be building nests in body cavities.

I want there to be a machine gun.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 23, 2008, 6:45 pm

No doubt about it, McGoo.

Oh… and I… um… neglected to mention something.

Big Chief Drains has said I can borrow it !

You know, I think I might contact Kubota and see if they need a distributor for these babies. I reckon they’d sell like hot cakes.

You know, the hot cakes with gold sovereigns inside.

And yes, I wanted the machine gun, too. It’s starting to look like someone got to it first. Almost every damned inch of Badger House has been dug-up this week and there’s been no sign of it.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: January 23, 2008, 7:15 pm

You got a good stretch of coast, Badger, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal.
Especially if the BCD will lend you that sweety. There’s no end to the fun you can have with that thing. How big is that bed? Two-three yards?

Question: In the US they pour concrete in “yards” i.e. cubic yards. What volume unit do they use in Jolly Olde? The same, or Meters?

I bet you could make some real coin pushing those babies. I’m sure you could here in the US – as soon as the market gets done rattling around.

Say, does it go faster than a sheep at full gallop? That would be asking a lot…

I wonder if that old coot told someone about the gun long ago, and they snatched it. Damn.

BTW: if that field across the way is as big as it looks, you could set up a small trebuchet and shoot at sheep all day. Now that would be pleasant.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 23, 2008, 9:03 pm

Well… the whole measurement thing is a damned sore point here, McGoo. In fact, I won’t write about it because, if I did, I’d take up … oh, I don’t know. A lot of space.

Suffice it to say that companies (who, basically, don’t give a damn what they do to our sense of identity as long as they make a few bob) and governments, (who are, without exception, composed of the most venal, loathsome, corrupt, stupid specimens of filth and degradation ever to have crept across the face of the earth) have conspired to make it that if you want a ton of cement you have to order it in centicubimetrelitregrammeseses or something.

Damned if I know.

So, when Big Chief Drains says to me ‘We’re working for a fall here, from about 450mm to 1 metre’ and I give him the ‘we are both grown ups, you arsehole – speak to me in English!’ look, he translates for the sake of the Grumpy Olde Manne with the Elizabethan House back into the measurements he uses instinctively anyway.

Curse them and their Centigrade and their Napoleonic metres. Damn them to hell.

Oh… and no. Even a lame sheep would out-hobble The Truck.

But once you’d… um… harvested a few… it’d make dragging the bastiches back to your sett a very happy prospect.

As for the gun, my guess is that when they dug the footings for the extension to Badger House (which was done in the ’70s,) they found some rusty bits of stuff and threw them away.


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: January 23, 2008, 9:42 pm

Well, damn it. I’d hoped that they still used yards in England. That neat treaded trucky thing (The KUBOTA) looks like about a 1-yard bed. That’s fairly beefy for home use.

Too bad about the gun. It would have been a swell curio for the living room.

Badger, I hesitate to criticize the government of the people to whom my country is so deeply indebted to, but the recent British government sucks like a Hoover. The only thing that cheers me up is that I believe that the British People still have the strength of will and character to heave the assholes out and start over if necessary. Enough of you-all just haven’t gotten sufficiently pissed off yet. But it’ll happen…like it did back in – what? – 1666 or thereabouts?

Too bad the Kubota won’t outrun a sheep. I had visions of “running with the sheep” at night, with a sheep gooser of some kind in hand. Y’know – something to really get the neighbors talking.

Moose Goosers (by Mason Williams)
(from memory so not accurate)

See all them moose goosers.
Ain’t they recluse?
Up in them boondocks,
Goosin’ them moose.

Goosin’ them gray moose,
Goosin’ them tiny.
Goosin’ them meadow moose,
In they hiney.

See all them moose goosers!
Ain’t they dumb?
Some use an umbrella.
Some use a thumb.

Wanna be a moose gooser?
It’ll turn you puce.
Just get your gooser out,
And goose a snoozy moose.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: January 23, 2008, 10:27 pm

…I believe that the British People still have the strength of will and character to heave the assholes out and start over if necessary.

I dunno McGoo – they can’t even handle The Three Little Pigs. It’s just too darned offensive.

Hey, if they form a “Ministry of Silly Walks” y’all will move back over here right? I think that’s the sign that England has reached critical silly mass that will cause a giant cartoon foot to descend from the sky and crush the entire country flat.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: January 23, 2008, 10:46 pm

I don’t think that was “the people” who puss’ed out on the pigs, Enas. It says “Government agency.”

I really don’t believe more than about 10%-20% of people give a shit about all this PC crap. Maybe I’m wrong.

But if England has a ministry of silly walks, I’d consider emigrating (or immigrating – I can’t keep ’em straight.)

Comment from Gnus
Time: January 23, 2008, 11:00 pm

Shucks, Uncle B, set up a big enough trebuchet and ya can shoot sheep all day, not AT sheep.

Heck, shoot sheep at sheep. A twofer.

Run out of ammo? Just haul some back in the Kubota.

Manly pursuits, I’m thinking.

Comment from porknbean
Time: January 23, 2008, 11:08 pm

The book’s creative director, Anne Curtis, said that the idea that including pigs in a story could be interpreted as racism was “like a slap in the face”….

…But judges at this year’s Bett Award said that they had “concerns about the Asian community and the use of pigs raises cultural issues”.

Oh for fucks sake! I’m fucking offended that they find pigs offensive. Pigs, away from their poop pile, probably smell much better than them burkha clad nasties. How on earth is putting a pig in a story racist? I’m doubly offended. Pigs are wonderful animals. Can I fly over there and sue them fuckers – the agency – for hate speech and inciting my sensibilities?

What, people have to get their written works approved by the muslim council before they can get published or awarded.

*waddles away muttering fiercely*

Comment from porknbean
Time: January 23, 2008, 11:10 pm

Uncle B., you need to find where that damned agency met and set up a trebuchet outside. As each spineless twerp exits, fire upon them with sheep dung.

Comment from Dawn
Time: January 24, 2008, 3:44 am

McGoo, did you like the book I recommended? Or should I keep it to myself next time?

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: January 24, 2008, 4:27 am

Haven’t started it yet, Dawn. I’m almost done with my current one (“1491” – about America before Columbus) – then yours is next. Things got shuffled.

But…Stephen King just came out with a new one, so I may bump yours one spot. Don’t worry – your is sitting right there on the stack. It WILL be read. I never stop….

Used to be that if SK came out with one, it would automatically get read asap. Nowadays, I’ve actually skipped a few of his, and also quit reading a few of ’em mid-stream – I didn’t like them.

Comment from Lokki
Time: January 24, 2008, 2:52 pm

Sheep shooting holds a significant chapter in my family history.

Three of my Grandfather’s brothers went off to World War I (in the American army, if that matters). All fortunately returned safely, although not unchanged by the experience. One of the changes was the ability to tell taller tales than they had been able to tell before the war.

Apparently, the boys all been together in one unit (although a lot of the details are hazy at this late date) and together had worked out a team-act that had proved very successful:

One of my uncles, (Uncle Plum an uncle who had just one of the unusual Lokki family names of that era) had discovered an old 8-gauge muzzle-loading double-barrelled shotgun/goose-gun in a French farmhouse somewhere. The brothers would load the gun with shot and tacks et al, using powder taken from their rifle cartridges. The two other brothers (and others,unnamed, I’d guess), would lay down heavy covering fire on German machine gun positions while Plum and his goose-gun would creep up close to the machine gun. When he got close enough, on a given signal, he would jump up and blast the living hell out of the machine gun post, apparently quite successfully, since he came home (and yes: with the gun which we still have) to brag about it.

Now, finally, to the point: Late in the 1920’s, one drunken Saturday afternoon, Uncle Plum got to bragging about his marksmanship during the war. This, apparently, drew a loving but brotherly response: “Shit, Plum, you could barely hit anything with an 8-gauge double-barrelled shotgun.” Plum took offense, a favorite 30-40 Kraig trapdoor, and a bottle of whiskey up into the hills above the farm and started picking off a neighbors sheep from approximately half-a-mile away. He got 3 or 4 before common sense in the form of his wife was summoned up into the field to stop him. None of the men could, but this proto-Mrs. Lokki stomped up in her skirts, grabbed the rifle out of his hands, kicked his whiskey bottle over, and marched him back to the farm house in (to the women, anyhow)disgrace. My grandfather however, like to point out that – bad as Plum’s marksmanship really was- no one ever challenged him on it again, so perhaps – in my grandfather’s opinion – this incident should have been counted as a victory for Plum. Odd, though that my grandfather never added that part of the story when my grandmother (who’d also witnessed Plum earning his “Sheepshooter” badge) was around.

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