Remember the outhouse of yesteryear? It was basically a hole dug deep into the ground with a wood shed built around it meant for privacy and to protect the inhabitants from critters and the elements. Other than the occasional use of the nearest bush or tree, outhouses were used to relieve oneself all of the time and not only on rare occasions when indoor plumbing or public restrooms were not available.
Nowadays, outhouses are made completely of heavy duty plastic so the people that clean them never have to touch them. Just get out the fire hose and blast away.
And it is rare that we come across an occasion where we have to use an outhouse. That is one of the nice things about having boys. They are still young enough (at least Luke is) that if Number 1 is calling, we can usually find a secluded area to take care of business and never have to venture in to an outhouse, or port-a-potty in modern day speak. However, the other day we found ourselves at the baseball practice fields with no public restrooms and no desire to do what a bear does, if you get my meaning. As I was going for a lovely evening with Bossy that night, that gave me the perpetual short straw for the day and off Luke and I headed to the port-a-potty. For me, that was a walk of doom.
On the way, we stopped at the car for wipes and Kleenex. Luke wondered why. I explained to him, in the gentlest terms possible, the usual condition of port-a-potties. The first thing he did when we got in was exclaim excitedly that there was indeed plenty of toilet paper. And the port-a-potty was in fact very clean. And not very stinky. Though it was crowded. And hot. And though clean, it was still a port-a-potty which meant that I wanted to get out of there as fast as possible. But Luke was mesmerized. I swear it was as if I had taken him to the Bellagio in Vegas.
He was amazed with the way he could look down and see his butt reflected in the water below while he sat and did his business. He was astonished at how far his poop had to drop to reach the water. He was enthralled by the green color of the water, and called it dirty alligator water. He informed me that when his expulsions reached the water, they sunk right to the bottom. He asked why I didn’t want to sit next to him on the little platform they had obviously made just for that reason. According to Luke, this spot would have been the perfect spot for me to sit and wait while he was doing his business. According to me, I would have preferred sitting in the car. I kept asking, “Are you done yet?” Who was I kidding? For a four-and-a-half year old, this was definitely an experience not to be rushed.
As he sat and observed, he noticed a mirror above the door. How considerate of these makers of the port-a-potty. They must understand how women feel after spending more than a minute in one of these. So, after your makeup is completely smudged from pinching your nose to block the smell and from sweat running down your face and your hair is plastered to your scalp from the sweltering heat, you can use this mirror to primp. I see several problems with this, however. The first is the mirror is so tiny you can only see one feature in the mirror at a time – an eye, your nose, a piece of your hair, etc.
Second where do you set your bag while you’re primping? Do you put it here?
Or would you put it next to the toilet, in the place that Luke thinks is the perfect spot for sitting while waiting for your son to finish his two-day long poop.
Third, the angle of the mirror on the door such that it is, means that you have to stay on the seat, or too near it, to be able to see yourself in the mirror. I really do not feel it necessary to sit on the seat or next to it and do any kind of primping.
At last, Luke was finished. We used our wipes to clean our hands and then he sprinted back to the fields to fill his dad and brother in on what he truly considered to be a magnificent adventure. He honestly described it as, “Totally awesome.” I would have to disagree, although I would say my son is totally awesome. How else could you describe someone that could turn one of the grossest, most dreaded experiences into something so perfect and childlike?
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