By Tom Morrow
In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything for export had to be transported by ship on the oceans and rivers. It also was before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure across the seas and down the waterways were quite commonplace.
Manure had to be shipped dry because in that form it weighed a lot less than when wet. More importantly, once moisture hits manure, not only does it become heavier, but the process of fermentation begins, resulting in a by-product of methane gas.
Because shipments of manure were stored below decks in bundles, often times water would seep in. As a result, methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below with a lantern, an explosion often took place. Several ships were destroyed before the cause was determined.
To avoid this calamity, all bundles of manure were stamped with the instruction: “Stow High In Transit,” which cautioned all ship’s crews to stow the bundles high enough off the lower decks so any water leaking into the hold would not touch the potentially “volatile” cargo.
The stamped instructions became so common-place the “Stow High In Transit evolved into the acronym “ S.H.I.T.” which began being stamped on all bundles of manure.
That simple acronym has come down through the ages and is in use to this very day … far beyond the bundles of shipboard manure.
“They” say this little historical ditty is true. When I figure out who “they” are, I’ll pass it along.
Yeah, That Guy – Old friend John Beatty, notably of KGTV, Channel 10, retired and avid reader of this weekly corner, recalls back in the day (1955-65) when he was spinning vinyl and wax for a Topeka radio station. My recollection last week of the late singer Buddy Clark struck one of John’s memory chords.
“During World War II, a successful big city attorney, Lee Eastman, asked songwriter friend Jack Lawrence to compose a tune about his little one-year-old daughter, Linda,” says John. “As a result, the song, ‘Linda,’ was one of Clark’s biggest hits in the mid-forties. He was backed by the Ray Noble Orchestra.
“When Linda grew up, she married a young British musician named ‘Paul’ … whose last name is McCartney.” Sadly, Linda no longer is with us, succumbing a few years ago to cancer.
As the late Paul Harvey would say – “Now you know the rest of the story.”
SCAG SEZ: it occurs to me that those folks who don’t have a good education just have to use their brains …Cecil Scaglione, Maturelifefeatures.com
FIND ‘UM – You can order many of my novels online at Amazon.com. For a list on line go to: www.Amazon.com, “search” for my name.
Humorous or human-interest stories or notes for this osidenews.com column can be forwarded via e-mail to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org