By in Personal

Outhouse Adventures

And back to St-Georges with our gaily-painted outhouse...

Our genial landlords warned my parents that pranks abounded on Halloween, especially targeting the last remaining outhouses. Even though theirs was abandoned once they installed indoor plumbing, it was regularly pushed over every October 31st, usually quite late. My father took this as a challenge, it seems.

After a long night of trick-or-treating I was put to bed a little later than usual. And even though I was a very sound sleeper during childhood (...don't I wish that were the case now!) I was awakened by desperate sounding cries and curses outside in the night, as well as the sound of my father's gales of giggles through the thin wall between our rooms.

Turns out he and some of his buddies had carefully moved the outhouse and had camouflaged the hole containing, um - well, you know - with thin sticks holding up dried grass and dead leaves. As it happened, there had been a light dusting of snow that evening, further masking their work.

No one was ever sure how many prankers tumbled into the cesspool, but Mr. Harbottle estimated at least two, perhaps three -- because it was not easy to pull/push over the little building. Looking back, I hope none of them fell ill due to their toxic dunk. But I doubt any of them, or any other local wannabe pranksters, ever again pushed over St-Georges outhouses on Halloween.

On another note, our outhouse did not only do duty as a toilet. When my 13-year-old cousin and her friend came to visit us, they propped a ladder against it and climbed to the top to picnic and sunbathe... That one I could never figure out!

image by BodieMor

Image Credit » image by BodieMor

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AngelSharum wrote on March 6, 2015, 6:11 PM

You have to laugh even though it is so eeewwwww! I love your sketch.

BodieMor wrote on March 6, 2015, 6:16 PM

Thanks! emoticon :smile: Sometimes doing a sketch is just easier than hunting down the right pic, lol!

Prophetess wrote on March 6, 2015, 6:49 PM

I used an outhouse until 1978. In the county where i grew up, everybody had one except a few relatives we considered rich. Once a cousin dug a hole for an outhouse. and all the children climbed in and out.

wolfgirl569 wrote on March 6, 2015, 7:38 PM

Thank you I am still laughing at that picture. I would have done something like that to them also.

CoralLevang wrote on March 6, 2015, 7:46 PM

Not only do I love the story, but your illustration is fabulous!

bestwriter wrote on March 6, 2015, 7:48 PM

Not many years ago, having outhouses here was a common scene - not any more. The competition was who had more. We had three. (lol)

Sunbathing on top of an outhouse must have been normal for kids with extra energy (lol)

BodieMor wrote on March 6, 2015, 8:05 PM

In Canada, many vacation cottages still use outhouses. However, I am deeply grateful for household plumbing on a daily basis!

BodieMor wrote on March 6, 2015, 8:07 PM

For my dad, his pranking (eeuwww) of those prankers was a lifelong feather in his cap!

BodieMor wrote on March 6, 2015, 8:08 PM

Aw, thank you so much. It doesn't take long and is sometimes easier than finding the appropriate picture! At least for me, lol.

BodieMor wrote on March 6, 2015, 8:12 PM

I know i have a box of old family pix somewhere that has one showing them on top of the outhouse, seated on huge beach towels that hung over the side, munching sandwiches. And it was only a short walk to a beach by the river. I have to assume that the summer breezes were strong enough to waft away unpleasant odors!

BodieMor wrote on March 6, 2015, 8:13 PM

Three outhouses??? I knew some cottage people with two-seaters, another thing I never understood...

bestwriter wrote on March 6, 2015, 8:24 PM

My parents had a brood of 9 (lol) .
Two seaters with no wall to separate them? I wonder too (lol)

bestwriter wrote on March 6, 2015, 8:32 PM

Worse was that we had human beings to take away the mess.

crowntower wrote on March 6, 2015, 11:55 PM

Hahahahahahahaha... but it is kinda ewwww! Heheheeh but I think you still have a very adventurous life when you were a kid. Hope you tell us more of your adventure. God bless.

BodieMor wrote on March 7, 2015, 12:59 AM

I'm glad you are amused. I had considered designating the article as "humor" rather than "personal", but I guess I have doubts about my abilities to make people laugh... emoticon :winking:

BodieMor wrote on March 7, 2015, 1:01 AM

We used to call the trucks that came to take care of the waste, "honey wagons"! emoticon :grin:

BodieMor wrote on March 7, 2015, 1:02 AM

You are so lucky to have that many siblings. Both I and my son envy you!

bestwriter wrote on March 7, 2015, 1:42 AM

And to think that I take honey in milk every single night. I hope I will forget about what I read here as I approach the night (lol)

trufflehunter wrote on March 7, 2015, 8:50 AM

What a nice sketch. Reminds me of artistic postcards for sale.

BodieMor wrote on March 7, 2015, 1:03 PM

Thank you! I used to sketch cards to send for birthdays or Christmas. Sometimes little watercolors...

allen0187 wrote on March 9, 2015, 1:05 AM

That's quite a prank that your father pulled on those supposed pranksters.

BodieMor wrote on March 10, 2015, 1:46 AM

Yes, he enjoyed telling that story till the end of his life! And it was interesting how many people of the village took the time to seek him out and thank him, lol.

seren3 wrote on March 17, 2015, 1:10 PM

Hilarious! The summer cottage I visited way back in the Laurentians of Quebec had an outhouse. It was up a rise behind the cabin and was called "The House of Parliament" emoticon :smile: . It was kept up well and had a translucent pale green roof - much nicer than the dark place I remembered at my Uncle Bill's farm in the 50's.

BodieMor wrote on March 17, 2015, 6:38 PM

Yeah, the old ones could be seedy and creepy. But Hanya did her best to make ours far less so. You know how she could be. emoticon :winking:

Ruby3881 wrote on June 10, 2015, 9:43 AM

Sounds like your father was a better prankster than the ones who enjoyed tipping outhouses! Good for him emoticon :smile:

BodieMor wrote on June 11, 2015, 5:08 PM

Yup. Proud of him in retrospect! emoticon :grin: