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A tale of Dynamite and septic tanks
December 26, 2013 11:12 AM   Subscribe

I can tell right now you don't know shit about dynamite.
posted by 445supermag (31 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
That there is a good story. Thanks for this.
posted by Scientist at 11:31 AM on December 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love old guys telling stories. That was a good one, too. You knew how it was going to end, but getting there is half the fun.

For the youngsters in the audience, yes, there was a time, long ago, when you really could just go get some dynamite if you wanted it, without any need for a license.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:39 AM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


This reminds me so much of back home.
posted by mrbill at 11:40 AM on December 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


That was not what i was expecting.

I had to keep reminding myself about the WHY the idiot was doing this so i could follow the story.

I mean, either way, that guy was a grade A idiot. If his plan had worked, what on earth did he think was gonna happen eventually?

Hell of a story!
posted by sio42 at 11:40 AM on December 26, 2013


Even when I was a kid you could buy the stuff if you were a farmer or had some reason for having it like stump removal. It also wasn't uncommon to find boxes of it in barns.

People are dumb. How we don't manage to fall back into primordial ooze amazes me.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:43 AM on December 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Holy shit! That was one friggin funny story. I laughed so hard I cried. Thank you. It takes putting an M-80 in a toilet to new heights.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:43 AM on December 26, 2013


a simpler time.
posted by rebent at 11:46 AM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nice work. That was 11 minutes of joy for me. The Moth should do an unplugged series where they just sit around with folks like this.
posted by GrapeApiary at 11:49 AM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


This could have been a scene from my rural American childhood. I laughed and laughed at this.
posted by humanfont at 12:13 PM on December 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


there was a time, long ago, when you really could just go get some dynamite if you wanted it, without any need for a license.

And stories like this are the reason you can't do that anymore.
posted by emjaybee at 12:19 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The YouTube automated captions were not helpful:
latavia topped out funerals ...
part of our barbanel ...
someone should have that on the internet ...
minimal gentile tempted on crack

posted by exogenous at 12:29 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Be sure to put down any container containing liquid before watching, lest you need to replace a keyboard.
posted by rjnerd at 12:49 PM on December 26, 2013


The YouTube automated captions were not helpful

I've started to wonder if the captions are intentionally terrible so as to encourage adsense spending on bizarre words or something (I have no idea how that would work; it's just that whenever I don't understand something the Google Empire does, it turns out to be for the sake of ads).
posted by aramaic at 12:56 PM on December 26, 2013


I can tell you right now this picture's got a headache.
posted by Riton at 1:05 PM on December 26, 2013


If his plan had worked, what on earth did he think was gonna happen eventually?

He wanted to blow open a bunch of cracks in the concrete cistern to let the liquid shit ooze out into the ground, so he wouldn't have to pay a guy to pump it out.
posted by mono blanco at 1:12 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know what this is, a story about a know-it-all, likely by a different know-it-all commented about by a whole lot of know-it-alls.
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:25 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The YouTube automated captions were not helpful:

this may have been recommended just for me, but the sidebar video "girl gets butthole tattoo" was also, I judge, not helpful
posted by thelonius at 1:43 PM on December 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


@thelonius, that was #1 on my recommended list next to this story too. Odd. I'll, ah, mark that for later...
posted by Snowflake at 2:23 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh i understand letting it leak out was the original plan.

But wouldn't the ground just become a sewer swamp over time? That's what i mean. Even his original idea was just way way crazy. Did he think the poo and stuff would just magically melt away into hell or the next county over? Where did he think it was gonna go except right under his house ???
posted by sio42 at 2:48 PM on December 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I spent a bunch of years hanging out with guys like this in Texas. Some of the finest storytellers in the world, they are.

Great post, thanks.
posted by spitbull at 3:10 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I heard that shit downtown." Heh. Pure, 100% grade AA unadultrated Texan.
posted by happyroach at 3:20 PM on December 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hmm. This one has way more punch than that of the Swedish guy...


...who wanted to make a whole lot of lingonberry juice and so he tied his boat motor to the inside of the tub with all the berries for more efficient stirring. He secured the whole rig in his bed, with all the blankets wrapped around.
Motor smashed through the side of the tub, and the next you saw was a boat motor dancing about in a heap of feathers and berries. He then fetched his shotgun…

posted by Namlit at 3:37 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a native-born Texan I give this my Seal of Approval...
posted by jim in austin at 5:28 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


See also Farming with Dynamite, a helpful and informative booklet published by Du Pont in 1910.
posted by evilmomlady at 5:58 PM on December 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was hoping for Blaster Bates but was not disappointed.
posted by flyingfox at 6:05 PM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


But wouldn't the ground just become a sewer swamp over time? That's what i mean. Even his original idea was just way way crazy. Did he think the poo and stuff would just magically melt away into hell or the next county over? Where did he think it was gonna go except right under his house ???

well, modern septic systems, basically just turn a precisely engineered amount of land into a sewer swamp... or would if they screwed up the perc test. the problem with his idea is that the bottom of the cistern will have all of the most solid material and it wouldn't actually diffuse into the soil. and even if it did, it would just pool under the cistern, probably undermining the floor of the cistern eventually transforming it into an uncontained shit lagoon.

but you can read the story as a sort of parable of libertarian society. on the one hand, 'ma' should be chasing her husband with the knife for actually setting off the dynamite. on the other hand, jim ferris and the man's brother in law gave him dynamite and let him do something that was going to be a disaster... basically for the lulz, so are they also responsible for the shit storm? ultimately, the local town is going to be responsible for the mess (or just never tests the e-coli levels in the water supply, etc.) so, Ma isn't off-base for going after them.
posted by ennui.bz at 6:29 PM on December 26, 2013


This was excellent. The accent is fantastic... it's got a lot of Western in there, with the over-accentuated "r", but it also has the lovely rounded vowels of southern Appalachia.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:34 PM on December 26, 2013


(obligatory Oregon coast whale dynamite video)
posted by blueberry at 1:15 AM on December 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I bet all those neighbors had great gardens the next year.

This is not a dynamite story but it is a shit story. My dad, a rural NorthCali guy, sorta like Sons of Anarchy without the crime, found himself with his family in Ashland, Oregon, a very affluent small town in Southern Oregon. It was kind of like you took the whitest parts of Brooklyn and Portland and put them in the Rogue Valley.

Anyway, I think my dad kinda got plugged into the whole "my lawn is better than yours and therefore I am better than you" thing. What is better than lawns, he reasoned, than LOTS OF SHIT.

So I don't know where you buy processed shit but he sure did and he put it all over the front lawn.

We had great grass the next year, but lying on it took a bit of active denial that the smell of shit that lingered around our house like radiation for about six months was not still with us.
posted by angrycat at 6:11 AM on December 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nanukthedog: "I know what this is, a story about a know-it-all, likely by a different know-it-all commented about by a whole lot of know-it-alls."

When it comes to firecrackers, I find you can tell how much a person knows by how high they can count on their fingers.

With dynamite, pretty much "not quadriplegic" = "functionally expert on how to not misuse it".

I heard a story (probably here on The Blue) that if workers in a dynamite factory spilled nitroglycerin and didn't get it mopped up, stepping on the dried patch could blow a man off his feet. Naturally, this seemed like a Pecos Bill kind of exaggeration to me, so off to Google I went to find the energy density, make some reasonably estimates, and divide by the weight of a man. Yep, his ass would fly a few feet alright.
posted by IAmBroom at 3:22 PM on December 27, 2013


I insist the Mythbusters recreate this explosion.
posted by humanfont at 9:07 PM on December 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


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