Monday, October 02, 2006

HOMESCHOOLING: Mummification Most Foul

You do not know the meaning of "stench" until you've tried to mummify a chicken.

It looked like such a neat project in the book: mummify an actual chicken. Make your own King Cluck! How cool can that be? Well, my older two kids refused to try, but my younger boys were game.

The older ones were by far the smarter.

For weeks, the Alex and Liam bothered me about when we'd mummify our clucker, so on Thursday, they were bouncing with excitement when I pulled it out of the fridge to start the project...

Until I told them we had to pull out its guts first.

They're boys! How can they get so squeamish about some giblets in a bag?

Well, Mom came to the rescue and it was decided to trash the giblets since the book said they'd stink even after mummification. (Of course, I'm savoring the irony of that statement now.) In the grand tradition of Fabian First Aid supplies, the rubbing alcohol had disappeared, so we decided to do things the Egyptian way and bathed it in wine.

Merlot, actually. Napoleonic Egyptians.

The boys were more than happy to mix the salt, baking soda and baking powder, plus the herbs "to improve the smell." The instructions said to double-baggie it, but not what to do with it then, so it sat on the counter.

Friday, according to instructions, we (read Mom) went to brush off the salt, which had absorbed the moisture of the chicken. While the boys made a new batch of salt, I opened the baggie--filling the kitchen with an aroma that defies description.

Think baby diaper, open sewage plant, and the Rappahannock River on a really off day. With oregano.

But it's all part of the learning experience right? So I wiped down King Cluck--now King Cluck-Awk!-Oh, Man! in honor of his royal stink. We filled him again with salt and double-baggied. This time, he went into the garage. We have to open the garage door regularly to air it out, but it's bearable.

Today was change the salt day. I was alone in this endeavor.

I didn't get to it until late evening, and while the older kids did homework in the school room, I dragged the malodorous, foulodorous project out of the garage. It immediately announced its presence.

"What's that Stench?!" Rob exclaimed.

"King Cluck! Be done with him in a minute!"

Well, it was more like 10 minutes of tending the fetorous foul, followed by 20 minutes of sterilizing everything from counters to floors to gloves. I bumped it against our Pur water filter. It may never be Pur again. I found the rubbing alcohol and used about half of it. Afterward, I took a long shower. We've discovered new meaning for the word "foul."

And the smell? Well, it's crept all around the house. I've got the windows and doors open downstairs and all the vent fans on. Rob has the window fan putting positive pressure in our room to keep the reek out. The dog is hiding up there, but the cat's being nonchalant about it all.

Next phase is Saturday. It will definitely be done outside.

I'm not sure if we'll be able to go the distance in preparing Ol' King Cluck for the Egyptian afterlife, but I if we do, I have a pretty good idea what Anubis will say.

And it's not, "Is that oregano?"


Theresa Henderson said...

Thank you Karina, I needed that laugh.
And you need this.
One recipe to remove odors from surfaces.
One bottle clear Ivory dish detergent.
One carton baking soda
One bottle Hydrogen Peroxide.
Mix and use either in squirt bottle or pour on.

I promise it will take stink out. And you mind rinsing either cuz the stink will be soooooo gone.

It takes skunk spray off the dog, and you can bury your face in his fur and smell only clean doggie. A friend used it to clean his dog coop after the dog had been skunk sprayed.
I laundered bedding and clothing with it after the dog scooted into the house and jumped up into my brother's bed.

It will take cat spray, cat urine, cat feces out of cement that's been used by forty cats. It will even make it so the new cats do not smell the former cats leavings.

I once helped a friend whose husband had put a chicken to thaw in a big kettle, who then got invited to go hunting for 3 days with some buddies and forgot he'd left chicken thawing. She couldn't get the lingering stink out of the kettle--this worked.
hugs n hugs,
Theresa Henderson

Andrea said...

Thanks for the laugh!

And the warning:

"Homeschoolers, do not try this at home!"


Blogging by Tina said...

Laughter is good therapy. I got my dose from your blog!