Strange Things and Filthy Lies – June 2019

Genghis Khan invented lumpers

June 2019

Wendy Parker


It’s not a coincidence the word “lumper” showed up in written language somewhere around the time Genghis Khan was rocking his way through Asia. 1218 AD was a great year for lumpers – Genghis and the boys were super-busy terrorizing and pillaging Persia, and they needed folks to scurry along behind the swath of destruction, loading and unloading spoils of war.

I have it on good authority that Genghis himself named the trade by telling the first-ever orientation class to grab everything they could get their hands on or he would “lump” their bodies in the pile of dead villagers he intended to leave behind.

Of course, Genghis was immediately called into HR and forced to attend sensitivity classes, which made him late for a pretty important meeting in Russia, where he may or may not have perished from death-by-castration. But that’s another story.

Clearly, the social climates were different when Genghis was in charge. Society has evolved and horrors like sensitivity training are things of the past. Generations of lumpers also evolved – they were no longer forced into service by the threat of a thorough pillaging. Like every good virus, the trade morphed to survive.

Later historical definitions of “lumper” describe, “A low thief who haunts wharves and docks, and robs vessels, also a person who sells old goods as new,” because pirates were the Genghis of the Seas, and they needed lumpers, too.


Somewhere during the 200-years between the demise of Anne Bonny and the rise of Bonnie and Clyde, someone realized that extortion was OK as long as a Comdata check was involved. Granted, the origins of lumping in modern-day America were dictated by organized crime, but hey – business is business, right?

Mugsy, Bugsy and the Teflon Don were proud of lumping’s earning ability until The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 came along and messed everything up with, Section 15, addressing “the problem that some motor carriers and owner-operators have had with being coerced by so-called ‘lumpers’ into paying to have their trucks loaded and unloaded – regardless of whether the trucker is willing to perform the services himself.”

Party poopers.

Which brings us around to the subject of “loads we don’t mind paying someone else to handle.”

(That segue was a gift from the colorectal health community, and it was beautiful.)

Technology, ease of use and rise in popularity of fecal immunochemical testing has facilitated the shipping and receiving of human poop-in-a-box to numbers that may exceed millions by 2025.

Make no mistake – these tests are life-saving, and it’s a huge stride in our abilities as humans to seek and destroy colon cancer. They’re also a perfect tool for people like truckers, who rarely have three days to do a colorectal prep for preventative tests.

(Most drivers I know go to the bathroom twice a day – three at most. This handy little kit lets you load the box and drop it off at a designated shipper anywhere in the country – no appointment necessary. Look into it – take care of yourself. You’re the most valuable piece of equipment you have).

Now, doesn’t the idea of shipping a million or more boxes of carefully collected human poop around make the notion of lumpers more appealing? Roll up to the dock with a poop-deck and happily hand over the check.

“Why certainly you may unload this shipment of human excrement, kind sir. Good day to thee!”

Don’t forget to tip your feather cap.

It also bears to note there may be some confusion as to how poop-in-the-box should be placarded. Is it hazardous? That might wholly depend on what the contributor had for lunch or whether or not they ate lead paint as a kid.

Is it too ironic to think that we can find cancer in poop but we can’t decide how to properly placard it for transport?

These are deep thoughts you can consider while breathlessly awaiting the next installment, when we discuss the validity of rumors and innuendo surrounding filthy lies. LL