Outhouse Tales

I grew up in a farm house that had no bathroom inside.  We had an outhouse outdoors, a one holer.  For you youngins or citified people…an outhouse is a small enclosure that is set over the top of a pit that is used for a toilet. It is located a short walk away from your house.
It was cold in the winter, hot and smelly in the summer.  I especially hated the flies and how they would tickle your butt…but tickling was far better than the sting of a bee or the bite of a mosquito. We had a cover for our one holer..so that the flies would be kept to a minimum..more often than not it was leaned up against the wall. 

My Grandparents D. had a two holer..one was small for a kids butt, and one was larger.  Yes, two people could use the outhouse at one time…they would converse or read the catalogues together.   My grandma would save the peach papers, oh they were a luxury. they smelled so good..and they were so soft!  There is an art to ruffling up a newspaper or a page out of the catalogue so that it would do the job…  I hated the catalogues..

There was no light at night..but the path to the outhouse was well worn, except when it snowed.  Perhaps I was a haphazard child, or I would wait until the very last minute, I would grab my coat and slip my boots on without socks, oh… you really had to go bad once your boots filled with snow.

My cousins had a chamber pot to use at night.  I thought…hey what a wonderful idea…no luck for me, my Mom called them "piss pots" and they weren’t allowed in our house.
Curiosity.. I had lots of it…if you are a curious kid..you looked down an outhouse hole.  Somethings you are better off not knowing.  I sometimes did worry that I was going to go so much that it was going to pile up and touch my butt.

There were always those horror stories about the kid that fell in..I never knew anyone personally that fell in..I never wanted to have that experience. 

I always had to take my brother to the outhouse when he had to go, he was little, I learned to take him with me..there were less trips that way.  We were outhouse buddies.  So much so that when we got a real flush toilet in our house..we would still go potty together..until one day Mom said "You two need to go into the bathroom separately"  So then we would take turns sitting outside the door talking to each other while doing our business.

I thought of a word recently that I haven’t heard in a long time. BIFFY..that was a word the ladies used..it was better than the ones the men used..Crapper…..Shithouse…
Oh… the luxuries that we take for granted:)

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3 Responses to Outhouse Tales

  1. remrafdn says:

    I tell my grandchildren about that soft purple paper. My dad was a beekeeper and the replacement honeycombs were separated by soft white paper which we saved for later use. We had it better than the many who only had the Sears Roebuck catalogue.

  2. homd says:

    I remember the first time we took our son into the outhouse at the lake. “I smell cows!” he exclaimed. We all cheered when the outhouse was torn down (not all that long ago).

  3. abra la mente says:

    Although I didn’t have to use the outhouse at home, we did use the newspapers quite frequently. At my grandparents’ cabin, we used an outhouse by day, and a five gallon bucket at night…not sure which was worse. My sister still has an outhouse at her little private campground, so I still get to experience this a few times each summer.

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