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A Whale of a Tale...


DocWard
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At a Purchasing Agents meeting, the PA for our Museum of Natural History related the story of  a whale that washed ashore and was offered to a natural scientist(?) at the museum. The naturalist said "Certainly! We Need a Whale Skelton! Ship it to us and we'll pay all the costs!"

The carcass was loaded into a closed boxcar and spent considerable time travelling across Canada to Ottawa.

By the time it reached the Ottawa train yards, on a Saturday, it was more than a little..............ripe.

After some time and many 'phone calls, the Yard-Master was able to contact someone at the museum, who kicked the problem around the bureaucracy, before they called the Purchasing Agent about their problem, on Sunday morning and asked what they should do, because the yard master was freaking out from the smell permeating the yard and the passenger terminal, to the point people were dropping their travel plans and leaving the station to just go home.

The PA contacted an Ottawa company who contracted to take on the job, but all the workers had to be outfitted with bio-hazard suits, respirators etc, just to go near the boxcar where it was parked at the farthest corner of the trainyards. 

By this time, the ripe whale was rather fragile and could not be maneuvered out the the boxcar doors with any loaders available, so it was decided to cut the whale into manageable pieces, with chainsaws, truck them to a site the museum had in mind, bury them and let nature do the rest with all the soft tissue.

Great Idea, except for one little problem. The burial pit was in clay.

All of this took a couple of days.

Four or five years later, when they dug up the whale , they found the near airtight whale grave still held several tons of now really stinky whale, that had to be re-located and re-buried in a better location, for a number of more years.

The contractor presented a bill for bio-hazard suits, boots, gloves, respirators and the chainsaws, since they had to burn everything they could not get the smell out of, while CN Rail invoiced for the boxcar they had to burn.

One day, I'll have to go into the Victoria Museum here in Ottawa to see if they ever got their whale skeleton prepared and put on display. It's only been about 40 years now.

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2 hours ago, Cold Lake Kid, SASS # 51474 said:

One day, I'll have to go into the Victoria Museum here in Ottawa to see if they ever got their whale skeleton prepared and put on display. It's only been about 40 years now.


The response will be “What whale? We paid how much?”:blink:

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