Date: Tue, 3 Oct 95 03:25:13 -0700
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: WhiteBoardness 10/2/95
Excerpted-from: WhiteBoard News for October 02, 1995
Doctor Doo-little, he's not.
Actually Tom Gannon, compost coordinator for Woodland Park Zoo, is more of
a Dr. Doo-lots, especially this time of year when he's busy coordinating
the Fall Fecal Festival, and preparing for the Holi-Doo Sale, the zoo's
popular programs of selling what Gannon calls the "well-rounded feces of
Each year the zoo sells about 325 tons of manure, raising $23,000 in revenue
and saving $60,000 in landfill costs.
The compost, made only from herbivore manure and then batch tested for
safety, is considered premium fertilizer.
"To a plant this stuff is Ben & Jerry's," Gannon said, adding that the
manure comes in three flavors -- smooth and creamy, chunky and extra chunky.
Cost is $16 per cubic yard, or $40 for a full-size pick-up. For the holiday
sales, when the "blessings from Santa's reindeers" are popular gag gifts,
they cost $5 for a two gallon bag.
Elephants, who each produce 45 tons of manure a year, are by far the biggest
contributors. They also produce some of the best quality product.
"When you talk about manure, you have to consider the plop factor," said
Gannon. "The ploppier it is, the better it generally is. Elephant and
rabbit poop are almost identical: rich, dry and bouncy. They're great.
But pig and cattle manure is less nutritive, because those animals have more
efficient digestive systems. Birds, however, are an exception to the rule."
When buying the zoo-doo, expect service to be minimal.
"Those who whine about having to shovel will be forced to use a spoon and
those who complain about having to load manure themselves will be composted
to the full extent of the law," Gannon joked.
Buyers don't seem to mind. Already the fall fecal batch is mostly gone,
and the elephants are hard at work replenishing the stockpile.
Gannon, a man who clearly enjoys his work, also uses some of the following
self-bestowed titles: Emperor of excrement, Shaka of caca, Grand pooh pooh
bah, Pharaoh of feces, Doody lama, Captain Compost and "Signing off to go
do the Zoo-doo that Dr. Doo do so well."
"USA Today was able to condense the whole thing down to 25 words
and a pie chart."
-- Jay Leno, "Tonight Show" host, on the Washington Post's
publication of the Unabomber's 35,000-word manifesto.
"Apparently, some people are wondering what Diana, that notorious
illiterate, is doing at a distinguished scholarly occasion such as this.
So I've made time between therapy sessions and secrets trysts to attempt
The princess was heard to declare,
Let gossips poke fun if they dare.
My real inspiration
is Bron's invitation,
Stick that in your tabloids, so there."
-- Princess Diana, estranged wife of England's Prince Charles,
taking a stab at the media during a speech given at a luncheon of
The Literary Review, to which she was invited by editor Auberon
© 1995 Peter Langston