DUCK SOUP: What Purpose?

To whom it may concern:This season we stopped into a local garden shop and purchased a bag of your product. When I went to open the bag, you can surely imagine my surprise and delight to read, "ALL PURPOSE COW MANURE." You have printed it in such large, bold letters that I felt somewhat a fool for having overlooked it at the store.I want to be completely frank and honest. I had never before dealt with ALL PURPOSE COW MANURE, and it set me back a little. All the manure I have ever used in my compost and garden has been what I guess you'd call three purpose cow manure. One purpose for the cow, one purpose for my garden and one purpose for dogs. However, I have had some success with "WD-40," which as you are probably aware, is an all purpose lubricant. So I decided to give your product a shot.As far as I can tell, your manure does not loosen rusted bolts, cure squeaking hinges, make a hand saw glide smoothly, or evaporate moisture in an old distributor cap. It had absolutely no effect on the sticky latch on the tail gate of my pick-up truck. The weather has been warm, so I haven't had the opportunity to try it on a frozen lock, but, in any event, I am not sure how one would spray the coarse granules into a key hole. Then, I remembered an all purpose cleaner called "Citra-Solve." Perhaps that was what you had in mind. So I carried out fairly extensive experiments. I believe you should add this to your label -- even small print would be okay, insofar as you probably don't want to scare off customers. "Not recommended for windows or glassware." Your manure leaves terrible streaks and smears and actually made the whole job tougher since I had to move the extension ladder around the house twice to reclean all of the second story windows. Your product seems to streak more as it dries. For the above reason, I did not try it on the car, but with a fair amount of elbow grease and a scouring pad, I did have some modest success with cookware and plumbing fixtures.I suppose you probably use your own stuff around the house, but you really ought to give "Citra-Solve" a try. It dissolves a lot more readily than your product, and smells considerably more pleasant -- not that your ALL PURPOSE COW MANURE smells exactly bad. Whatever deodorization process you employ is quite successful.Next, I remembered "Dr. Bronner's," which is an all purpose personal care product. Along with the warning about glassware, perhaps you could squeeze in a note about hair and teeth.I was feeling at a loss when the idea of all purpose flour crossed my mind. None of us was exactly wild about the bread. A few folks admitted it "tasted healthy," which is usually an excuse to convince yourself to eat unpalatable food that promises to make you live longer. I applaud you for not making such claims on your bag, though you could quite truthfully add the words, "High Fiber," and perhaps make up for the negative statements about windows and teeth.Finally, and in a state of perplexed desperation, I dumped about a quarter of the bag in a large depression in the yard, and mixed it up with a gallon or so of water. Then I rounded up some of the neighbors' dogs and introduced them to my home-made cow pie. Not one even sniffed it more than twice, and none of them rolled, wallowed, squirmed, or otherwise availed himself of the opportunity for aroma therapy.I therefore sadly conclude that not only is your manure not "ALL PURPOSE," it has at least one less purpose than regular manure, for which my neighbors are doubtless grateful. And while it presumably worked for the cow, I'm sorry to have to tell you that my kohlrabi and arugula are looking a little weak.

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