August 31st…“DO YOU HAVE A MEMORY INVOLVING AN OUTHOUSE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG AND LIVING ON YOUR FARM IN MINNESOTA?”
Ohhhh, do you mean those cruddy, crass, crustation-covered crap castles? Sure, we had one of those when we lived on our farm northwest of Kiester, Minnesota. That domain of “doo-doo” looked like a tiny house and was located in the woods that made up our “windbreak” that surrounded our main home and buildings. In case my young readers may be wondering how this little house came into being……..basically, a farmer would dig a deep hole in the ground and then would build a small house over the hole with one or two open-holed seats inside to sit down upon. A roll of toilet paper (or old Sears catalogs) was then hung inside and you could swing the door shut for privacy and see about getting rid of the human waste that we all produced in daily life.
Since this miniature, architectural creation resembled a house, and, since it was located outdoors in our woods, it was called the “Out House”. On a summer’s day, if you ventured too close, you could hear someone “breaking wind” (farting) in the windbreak where the Out House was located. Get it? Breaking wind? ….in the windbreak? Oh well……just a pun of a son, I guess 😉
In my very early years of life, there on our farm, our parents had not yet installed a “plumbed-in” flushing toilet inside our bathroom. Therefore, a person either had to use a “chamber pot” (bucket with a seat on top) or, make a trek outside to the “privvy” in the woods. I seem to recall that our Out House was a two-seater, but I can’t imagine wanting to have someone “baring their all” and sitting right next to you in such a private moment…..YIKES!!
Of course, for those of us “ancient kids” that had the human need to use such a structure as an Out House, we all knew that the “perfume” of what was down below, in the pit of the Out House, was of a negative, odoriferous organic pungency that was just a part of life, then, that all humans had to deal with. But face it, folks, when you have the urge to purge, “any port in a storm is good for refuge and relief” (to coin an old sailor’s adage). So, if your internal intestinal “storm” was urgent enough, you gladly headed for the putrid, peeeyoooo potty parlor!! 😉
Nighttime was the worst time for me to have to go out and use the Out House. But, since “nature” was calling rather urgently one summer’s evening, I had no choice but to go out there so I could “go”. I gingerly crept out out towards the Pooper Palace and was in the “process” ( of taking care of human needs) when sounds in the night overcame my super-hyper imagination. Low hanging branches began to scrape the siding of the structure as the wind brought them “alive” with movement. Owls were hooting in the darkness of the trees and Mourning Doves sang their sad tunes. All of those incoming noises fired my already vivid imagination to the point that I thought the “Boogy Man” would grab me in the dark as I stepped out the door after “finishing my business”. With my heart beating rapidly, after my “paper work” was done, I hooked up my bib overalls in record time. Bursting out the door of the “privvy”, my bare toes dug in for traction as chunks of dirt and clover shot up behind me. I ran like a rocket across the yard and back to the welcoming light of a single bulb fixture at the back door of our home and safety once again.
Growing up, when we did, made for some funny, flatulent farm boy times for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.