Thursday, August 26, 2010

Low Expectations

At dinner one night in La Conner two weeks ago six of us suddenly got on the subject of outhouses.  Why or how I'm not sure.  It was a charming restaurant, with elegant food, certainly not suggestive of anything other than chic.  Perhaps it was my "shit-a-quart" story which took place that very day (last week's blog).  Now I was a city girl, but one in love with camping, so outhouses and "dig your own latrine"were not activities out of my frame of reference.  Also, I lived the last two years of high school in a log cabin with neither electricity nor running water. Incidently our outhouse there had a stunning view of Bear Creek.  Someone with an artistic sense planned well.  It was a well built sweet one-holer.  Sometimes I would sit there and write poetry, for at that time it was my life aspiration.  However, none of my memories matched Stacey's.  I'm hoping I can get Andrea to write out the exact details, and share it with you for next week's blog.  Soon everyone in the restaurant was gaping at us.  We laughed so hard the tears flowed.   
Back at my niece's house in Granite Falls I discovered that almost all country folk have an outhouse story to share.  Her husband rendered this one, about the primitive acreage where he grew up: One of my brothers was always the object of our jokes. Poor kid.  Our outhouse, like most in the area, had to be moved every year, and it was our job to dig the new hole and slide it on skids to the new resting place.  Naturally it got older and more ramshackle each year. It was probably built of scrap lumber to begin with.  One evening we decided to play a trick on my brother.  He was inside the outhouse with the door closed.  Quietly we built a fire on the side of the structure, planning to scare him when it started to catch.  The maneuver was ill planned, for as soon as we lit the fire, it ignited the whole structure.  My brother came screaming out.  He was terrified but safe. It was all we could do to put out the fire.  From that time on our outhouse was REALLY ramshackle.  
Now that I am 80 I appreciate indoor plumbing dearly, but wonder what good stories I'm missing.  If you have an outhouse story to share, I'd love to hear it.  

No comments: