Outhouses

2421905312_89ec17549bThis is an outhouse. An outhouse is a toilet that is in a little house which is outside. This is why they call it an “out” house due to the fact that it is outside. A toilet on the inside would be in a big house instead of a little one and wouldn’t be outside technically so it wouldn’t be called an outhouse. In the olden days they also called an outhouse a privie which is short for privilege I think which is what doing your business in the privacy of a little house outside was kind of back then. It would be totally weird to stand there on the prairie and pee or whatever even if nobody was actually looking which you would probably know since you can see for about 15 miles. But since I’m from North Dakota I know that the wind is a major problem for doing your business outside.

I have personally had the privilege of using a real outhouse in North Dakota. My grandma lived in a place that didn’t have running water even though it was like in the 1960s. I remember going out to her outhouse and opening the door of that little wooden house and going inside. It didn’t have electricity either and smelled like you know what for sure. You couldn’t really see in there especially if it was a night so you had to sort of guess where to put your you know what.

outhousetwoMy grandma’s outhouse was a 2-holer. This means you had your pick and had twice the odds of putting your you know what where it was supposed to be. What is weird is that a 2-holer is there in the first place due to the fact that it seems like they were built to have more than one person doing their business at the same time. Do you think I like that idea? You bet I don’t. I can’t even handle having somebody sit in the next stall next to me in a public restroom. When they do I get all nervous and sort of pinch up. I can’t help it. Then I might I well call it a lost cause and come back later or just suffer. But there is no way I can operate under those circumstances. So I don’t think a 2-holer is that great of an idea for sure. Maybe they thought they could save time or maybe it was warmer in winter to do it with somebody. But I”m telling you I’d rather freeze my you know what right off than share an outhouse even in North Dakota.

Anyway, outhouses are great places to think about stuff. There you are back to nature so to speak and you think about catalogs and hear the wind coming in through the cracks and wonder if there are snakes under your vulnerability. It keeps you feeling alive and nervous which is a survival instinct from when our ancestors were still doing their business out in the open. But then you realize that somebody actually dug a hole in the ground and built a little wooden house over the top of it so you could be civilized and natural at the same time. It’s a pretty amazing thing an outhouse is, except when you accidently drop your wallet which my uncle did once.

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One Response

  1. When I was just a lad at Silverton High School, the boy’s restroom had a row of johns with absolutely no dividers in between. I thought it was pretty medieval at the time and only used these toilets in case of emergency. It was pretty embarassing to be sitting there next to someone else or have a group of guys just walk in and look at you. 😦

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