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John W. Pinkerton


Let's allot a few moments of your valuable time to talk about  outhouses.

When I was a youngster, we just called the outhouse…well, the outhouse.  I've always been aware that there existed other names for these conveniences, but after exploring the internet, I discovered there are even more synonyms for “outhouse” than I suspected, and I suspect most “synonyms” given for outhouse apply to the more modern restroom: however, privy, latrine, loo are the more common ones.

Yeah, as I recall, my first bathroom experience was in an outhouse.  Surely that was preceded by a potty, but I can't reach back that far.

As a little boy I would travel the fifty yards or so to the outhouse each morning, but soon Dad provided us with a great luxury, indoor plumbing, sort of.

The bathroom included a tub, toilet, and bathroom sink all sparkling white.  How modern!  How up-to-date!...except there was no water supply.  Bathing, washing your face, and flushing the commode required a trip with a bucket to fetch water from a cistern.  Holy crap!

I've been told that the Work Projects Administration under the guidance of Eleanor Roosevelt provided three-man WPA work teams to replace outhouses around the country with more substantial ones.  For a while these were called Eleanors or White Houses.

I recall my grandmother saying that those who got two-holers were putting on airs.

I was born in the age of waste not-want not: we used old copies of the Sears and Roebuck catalogue for toilet paper---better than corncobs.

I guess you suspect that outhouses were stinkers.  Of course.  They are open holes in the ground in which we deposit feces and urine.  A little lye dumped in the hole mitigated the problem.

Now, if you find outhouses disgusting, you might adjust your thinking a little by visiting a porta potty at any big event…holy crap!