We watch our fair share of remodeling shows at our house. From mansions with open floor plans to the minimalism of tiny homes, it seems like there’s a show for everything. One we have never seen is a program dedicated to outhouses.
This is the newly remodeled outside bathroom for the house we live in now. It still needs a good painting, but I’ve got teenagers for that. Until the early fifties, this was the only bathroom available, even if it was cold or pitch black outside. It’s bad enough to get out of bed and walk down the hall, but at least I don’t need shoes and a coat when I go. My father and uncle, who grew up here, may disagree on who lost the flashlight, but they will never forget the scolding their father gave them when he couldn’t find it one dark midnight hour.
All the Debbie Downers of the world will tell you how rough it is out there. That’s especially true if you’re watching political news. The truth is that we have year round heat and air, twenty-four hour delivery from Amazon, and decent meals that even I can cook if I remember to take the round cardboard off before putting it in the oven. Lack of indoor plumbing isn’t really a problem unless you live in San Francisco where they have a map of locations of public defecation. If all trends start in California, there’s one we better put a stop to and quick.
In this modern age, you might ask why we even need an outhouse. Maybe it is a way to return to nature at the call of nature. Maybe it is the simplicity of a hole in the ground. Maybe it is the opportunity to tell relatives and guests who’ve overstayed their welcome that, “sorry, the plumber is as backed up as our toilet. You’ll have to use the outhouse, and don’t forget to grab some TP on your way out the door.”