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 Credit » image by BodieMor