MASON CITY – Mason City councilwoman Janet Solberg risked her life to inhale into the two holes above her mouth the smell of hog shi – er, poop, – and failed miserably.
Solberg – a nomadic insurance agent now working up in Osage – recently described in detail her harrowing journey to Wright county, Iowa, situated less than an hour from Mason City. She sought out the hog-confinement-rich county (home to upwards of 90 hog confinement operations) apparently just to sample a stench – the nauseating, sometimes-vomit-inducing stench of pig feces – that many feel would have greeted the people of Mason City if the Prestage hog slaughterhouse had been built.
Acting on a tip and calling it “research”, Solberg said she “spent many hours” driving to Wright county because “somebody” told her “it just smells down there.”
In a valiant effort to inhale the erotic fumes of hog dung, apparently in an attempt to fire the neurons in that grey matter inside her cranium to spark some form of enlightenment, Solberg drove – for seven hours. That’s 7 hours of criss-crossing a county full of hog confinements, in search of a smell common to Iowa to form some kind of conclusion.
And it was a harrowing journey, she says; quite possibly a life-threatening trek, too.
“I took that trip,” Solberg proudly announced on May 3 to a packed council chambers. “It was very windy. I had a terrible time trying to keep my vehicle on the road. But I was bound and determined to get to Wright county and drive around Wright county because it was so bad.”
Solberg may have been quite the sight. Whistling through the 40-miles-per-hour winds of the Wright county countryside, perhaps with her head slung out the driver’s window like a Golden Retriever, gripping and pulling her steering wheel with all her might, nostrils flared, inviting and beckoning poo fragrances to waft inside. As nary a whiff of fecal-tainted air bristled past the thick, black hairs inside her nose cavities, it may not be too much to imagine she cackled in exasperation to herself “Where is the stink?! The racists lied again!”
Alas, Solberg was foiled in the quest “somebody” sent her on.
“I – did – not – smell – a – thing,” she said with great emphasis. “For seven hours in 40 mile an hour winds. Nothing.”
It might just be that as they heard Solberg enunciate those words, “somebody” snickered to themselves.
Solberg also briefly admitted she drove to Washington county, Iowa, to try to get a whiff. Washington county is south of Iowa City and up to 3 hours away from Mason City. She came up empty there, too, she said.