Friday, March 04, 2005

The Holey Outhouse

I guess everyone who grew up on a farm or anywhere without indoor plumbing has a tale about the infamous outhouse. Ours was nothing fancy, two seats--one large and one small. It was wood frame with a metal roof. The building sat over a 4 ft pit. If anything fell out of you pants and down into the pit, it was a major decision if it was worth going after. Usually not. However my wallet made the trip down and had to be retrieved with some skill and luck using a fishing pole. After gingerly removing important papers, maybe a dollar or two and my drivers license, I just tossed it back down in the pit.
Another thing about country outhouses is their ability to constantly attract wasp. It was going to be a bad day when you are seated and resting and suddenly realize a nest of wasp is just inches away. For some reason, we never had anyone assigned to keep the outhouse free of the nasty insects!
Also this was before toilet paper was popular and the Sears Roebuck Catalogue was a reality. It was hung over a wire so the loose pages would hang down. As it was needed, a page would be torn off. Of course in the course of a year, all the "good" pages would be used and then only the slick pages would be left. I think you get the picture!!! These were hard times, particularily in winter. It was bad enough to have to scrape the frost off the seat, but a hole in the tin roof let water drip right on the Sears Roebuck. The thumping sound echoing around the outhouse let all within earshot know that someone was trying to break loose a page or two from a catalogue frozen hard as a rock!!
With that as a background, now for a real life story. It was a cool, crisp October morning and I had to answer the call of nature. I had been feeding the calves in the barn about 500 feet away. I was completely unaware that one of my older brothers had finished his chores and decided to do a little target practice. He had bought a bullseye target in town and nailed it to the north side of the outhouse facing our house. He then checked to make sure no one was in the outhouse. Then he went inside our house and gathered the ammunition and gun. While he was in our house, I proceeded to enter the outhouse without knowing I would soon be a target. When my brother came out of the house, he immediately drew a bead on the target nailed the the outhouse, forgetting of course to re-check for occupants!! The first crack of the rifle and the splintered wood hitting me was frightening but more of a shock than anything else. The second shot sent me head butting the door and rolling in the grass head over heals with my pants down to my ankles!! The two things that saved me were that he had nailed the target high and that he was a miserable shot. Both shots were high on the target. I don't remember what I said but you can bet that I was madder than a hornet!! How could anyone be so stupid!!!
Well, hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane.


Blogger momma-whit said...

Aaah, Dad, you said the "S" word!

7:02 PM  
Blogger A-Whit said...

I love this story! I mean, I'm glad that it's one we can laugh about. A little lower aim, and the whole story might not be so funny... mainly because I wouldn't be here today. (It always revolves around me, right?)

9:28 AM  
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