The Fall of Civilization Due to the Elimination of Outhouses

A warning: if you are particularly squeamish about bodily emissions, I would pass this post up today.

Outhouses. We need them. I came to this wonderful conclusion while getting ready for work today.

For some background, you must know that Mr. Demonic is truly one strange dude. I believe it has to do with the way he was brought up. In his family, they were all about bodily emissions of every type. I have photographs of his mother, his sister and his brother, as well as my children, with their fingers up their respective noses. The photos of my in-laws were not taken when they were young; no, they were taken within the last fifteen years.

Similarly, I discovered once I married in, that there is much ado about poo. When my children were potty training, my husband and MIL (mother-in-law, not My Internet Love) would comment on size, texture, and smell, as well as whatever shape the poo ended up looking like. Mr. Demonic, likewise, used to call me into the bathroom to show me his own extraordinarily large turds, turds that looked like soft-serve ice cream with a gentle dip at the end, and ones of an unusual color or if they had interesting items like corn mashed in them. I played that game for a little while, but now I refuse to patronize him or the other Demonics when they want to show me what ends up in the toilet bowl.

Come on, people. We didn’t do this in my house growing up! It’s not because we had more money; in fact, we probably had less money than most people. It’s not because my parents had a sense of decorum and manners, because they didn’t. I didn’t know what a napkin was for until I moved away at 18. It’s not because we weren’t close, because with two parents, six kids, several barnyard animals, a horse, a dog and a cat in a three-bedroom house, we were forced to be close whether we liked it or not.

No, I think the reason my parents didn’t make much mention of poo is more nurture than nature. It’s the way my father was brought up. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t talk about poo in any company, whether mixed or not. He didn’t have use of a flush toilet until he joined the Army at 17, so there was no in-depth analysis of human excrement. Before that, it was outhouses in the middle of the cold, frozen North.

If you’ve made it this far in the post, without groaning in disgust or throwing up, hear my argument for why outhouses are the last bastion of civilization. First of all, even with a two-seater, which my grandma had, the user just didn’t spend much time in there. For one thing, it was dark – no electricity. For another thing, grandma’s choice of reading material was mostly the really bad jokes she made up and posted on the walls. Once deposited in the outhouse, a person just can’t oooh and ahhh over the shape of the poo. It’s down there so far you can’t see it. Also, outhouses tend to have a rather piquant smell, especially in the heat of summer. Take my word for it, you don’t want to spend any time there, if you don’t have to.

In the wintertime, there were other dangers. When it is 30 below zero, the seats are rather cold – too cold to sit on. Grandma always had a warm one positioned next to her pot-bellied stove. You would grab the spare and head out, do your business and quickly return your butt and the spare to the stove area before the rest of you froze to death. In the summer time, at night, there was always the possibility of running into a wild animal. Bears, ‘possums, bobcats and skunks were always lurking about to scare the heck out of you.

So it all boils down to this. Civilized people don’t talk about poo. If you can’t see it, you won’t talk about it. If you have to use an outhouse, you can’t see it.

This brings us to today. Mr. Demonic rushed in as I was taking a shower (lathering up with sandalwood rose body wash-my favorite) and proceeded to do something which ended up smelling so nasty, I was gasping for air. I quickly jumped out of my hot shower without toweling off, and ran into the bedroom for relief. There was none. I could no longer smell my lovely sandalwood rose. Meanwhile, he was laughing hysterically.

I personally thought there was not one thing about this situation that was funny.

I can’t help but think if that guy Crapper hadn’t invented the flush toilet, we’d all be a little more genteel.

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