Fun_People Archive
17 Mar
Beet Pulp - the downside?

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 99 22:48:45 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: Beet Pulp - the downside?

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
From: Susan Evans Garlinghouse...................

Beet Pulp - the downside?

    Well, I knew there had to be a downside to beep pulp, and thought it
only fair that I pass it on...  This afternoon I decided to bring some beet
pulp pellets into the house to soak, because I wanted to get an idea of the
% volume they expanded during soaking.  Researchers are like that,
pathetically easy to amuse and desperately in need of professional help.
So I trundled in a bucket, about three pounds of beet pulp, added in the
water and set it in the living room to do its thing.  No problem.  Science
in the making.
    Well, one thing I don't think I've mentioned before is that in my
ongoing Quest to turn this house into Noah's Ark, we have not only four
horses, two dogs, three house cats plus Squeaky the barn cat, a
sulfur-crested cockatoo, a cockatiel and assorted toads, we also have
William, a fox squirrel who absent-mindedly fell out of his tree as a baby
a year or so ago, and got handed off by my vet to the only person he knew
silly enough to traipse around with a baby squirrel and a bottle of Esbilac
in her bookbag.  Being no dummy, William knew a sucker when he saw one and
has happily been an Urban Squirrel ever since.  And for those of you that
think A Squirrel's Place is In The Wild, don't think we didn't try that...
last year at Christmas, we thought we'd give him his first lesson in Being
a Wild Squirrel by letting him play in the undecorated Christmas tree, and
his reaction was to shriek in horror, scutter frantically across the floor
and go try to hide underneath the nearest border collie.  Since then, the
only way he will allow himself to be taken outside is hiding inside Mummy's
shirt and peering suspiciously out at the sinister world.  So much for the
re-make of Born Free in San Dimas.
    Anyway, when I set out the bucket of beet pulp, I may have
underestimated the lengths that a young and enthusiastic squirrel will go
to to stash all available food items in new and unusual hiding spots.  I
thought letting William out of his cage as usual and giving him a handful
of almonds to go cram under cushions and into the sleeping dog's ears was
sufficent entertainment for the afternoon.  After all, when I left, he was
gleefully chortling and gloating over his pile of treasure, making sure the
cockatoo saw them so he could tell her I Have Almonds And You Don't.  Sigh.
So much for blind optimism.
    Well, apparently when the almond supply ran out, beet pulp pellets
became fair game and I can only imagine the little rat finding that great
big bucket and swooning with the possibilities of being able to hide away
All That Food.  The problem isn't quite so much that I now have three pounds
of beet pulp pellets cleverly tucked away in every corner of my house, it's
that as far as I can tell, the soaking-expanding-and-falling-apart process
seems to be kinda like nuclear meltdown.  Once the reaction gets started,
no force on earth is going to stop it.  So when I happily came back from
the grocery store, not only do I find an exhausted but incredibly Fulfilled
squirrel sprawled out snoozing happily up on the cat tree, I find that my
house smells like a feed mill and virtually every orifice is crammed full
of beet pulp.  This includes the bathroom sink, the fish tank filter, in my
undie drawer, in the kitty box (much to their horror) and ALL the pockets
of my bookbag.  I simply can't WAIT to turn on the furnace and find out what
toasting beet pulp smells like.
    The good news is that in case of siege, I have enough carbohydrates
hidden in my walls and under the furniture to survive for years.  The bad
news is that as soon as I try to remove any of the Stash, I get a hysterical
squirrel clinging to my pant leg, tearfully shrieking that I'm ruining all
his hard work and now he's going to starve this winter.  (This is despite
the fact that William is spoiled utterly rotten, knows how to open the
macadamia nut can all by himself and has enough of a tummy to have earned
him the unfortunate nickname Buddha Belly.)
    So in case anyone was losing sleep wondering just how much final product
you get after soaking three pounds of beet pulp, the answer is a living room
full.  I'd write this New Data up and submit it as a case study paper to
the nutrition and physiology society, but I suspect the practical
applications may be limited.
    Off to go empty the Shop-Vac. Again.

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