TV's 'Dirty Jobs' a real eye opener
I had seen advertisements for "Dirty Jobs" on the Discovery Channel and its name seemed appropriate. The host, Mike Rowe, would briefly participate in those dirty jobs, taking viewers along for the messy ride.
The show, however, proved to be much deeper than an attempt to disgust those in TV land.
Consider the carton of eggs in your refrigerator.
A massive egg farm in Arizona hosted Mike and crew for a day. They started at the bottom, so to speak, explaining how they cleaned the "chicken poo" out of the barns. Now, that's what one would expect from a show named "Dirty Jobs."
Not only did it show how they removed the excrement (making sure we understood how bad the smell was), but they also explained what happened to it next.
The program took us deeper into egg production, illustrating the feeding of the chickens and collecting of the eggs. Of course, the eggs must be washed and examined, more than once. There was even a candling process to help spot bad eggs.
Finally, Mike tried his hand at packing egg cartons off the assembly line into boxes. Picture the famous "I Love Lucy" scene with Lucy and Ethel.
Another part of the show featured animal rendering, beginning with the "dead truck" picking up a cow that had died of natural causes.
We saw them skin the cow for the leather and further the rendering process by running the rest of it through a grinder. They explained how things proceeded toward making contributions to poultry feed, dog food and even cosmetics.
The owner of the facility obviously got a kick out of pointing out, "Yeah, I recycle more stuff in a day than many people do in a lifetime."
What I took away from the episode wasn't so much the fact there are dirty jobs out there but that there's a lot more behind our consumerbased lifestyle than we realize.
When we crack an egg into a frying pan, we may have a mental picture of someone scooting a chicken off a nest and gathering eggs into a basket, a highly impractical image considering the millions of eggs eaten in this country every day.
Mike's program illustrated just how much goes into producing the egg, but even that hardly covers it all. The laying hens were raised somewhere after hatching from eggs themselves. That is an entirely different industry.
Plus, the eggs still have to get from the farm to the store, bringing both the trucking and retail industries into the equation.
And we're only talking eggs here. Think about all of the other products that enrich our lives every day, including the newspaper in your hands.
That's what I liked about "Dirty Jobs." The show made it clear there are a lot of people who play important roles in our day-to-day existence. Many of them do jobs we would rather not, some of them dirty.