When I saw the daily prompt was Sludge. A memory instantly went through my mind. I knew something about sludge? The most common sludge is no doubt that which comes from processed sewage. That took me right back to my childhood when my two brothers and I raised pigeons. We were always on the lookout for a different kind of pigeon that we could mix with the breeds that we had in our old barn. At one time we had close to 100 pigeons. We spent a lot of time with those birds, they were very loving each one had his own personality and disposition.
To get back to my story we lived in a small town and our barn was right on the edge of town that we kept our pigeons in. About a half a mile out in the field from where we lived was the towns sewage treatment plant. The roof of that long old wooden building had a very large cupola which I would imagine was for a lot of air circulation for the fumes that were in that building. The whole building was full of sewage ponds. The three of us armed with only a flashlight went into that pitch dark building during the night. My older brother volunteered to climb up to the cupola and catch a couple of the choice pigeons that were sleeping up there. He was a fantastic climber and pigeon man he could twist their wings together locking them so the bird couldn’t fly. When you lock their wings together like that they were very easy to handle you could set them down they would just walk around and look at you. It didn’t hurt their wings one bit.
He started climbing down with two pigeons in one hand which became very precarious, yes, he lost his grip and slipped then plunged into one of the ponds of sludge. That was a real close encounter of the worst kind with sludge. Needless to say, the pigeons untangle their wings and flew away doing their little pigeon laugh I would imagine. That took all the Zeal away from our pigeon hunt for that night. We walked the half-mile back to our house, staying a good distance from brother Corky. He was still leaving a trail of sludge, we tried to go in the back entrance to the basement of our house.
The sludge covered one was quick to shed his clothing my other brother Harlan started to hose him off over the floor drain. I used the iron poker from the furnace to push his clothing into a large old bag and I threw them out the back door. After the first layer of the Sludge was sufficiently removed he quickly made his way up the back stairs to take a warm bath. I believe he put all of our mother’s smelly stuff in the water.
We had big old Eagle Claw bathtub he soaked in there most of the night. My dad was no rocket scientist but he recognized what our predicament was and he said I thought I told you, boys, “to stay away from that sewage treatment building?” There Are No Pigeons worth drowning in sludge for. The sludge aroma is possibly a good base for perfume because that initial scent lasts for days.
Sludge is a semi-solid slurry and can be produced as sewage sludge from wastewater treatment processes or as a settled suspension obtained from conventional drinking water treatment and numerous other industrial processes. Sludge