Adventures in a Haunted Outhouse
By Aur Beck
Man, it’s dark outside. And windy as hell. And there’s so much snow on the ground that it had us out of Hohenwald School for over a week it was so deep. Plastic and weather tamer are the only things on the giant solar window frame my bed is next to, preventing me from getting back to sleep. It must be 3 in the morning, I’m guessing. We don’t have a clock. It’s dark outside, and I’ve got to use the bathroom. Maybe I’ll get lucky and no one will have used the “bed chamber” in the bathroom this evening yet.
Bed Chamber Blues
I’ve never had the strength to use a bed chamber before, but my guts are quickly giving me the courage I need to plug my nose and hover over what I can only describe as a “kid potty”. Fortunately, at this point in my life, I am wavering back and forth between bigger kid and very awkward adolescent and my skinny, white vegetarian butt shouldn’t have too much trouble fitting over the seat if need be.
After the urge overcame my distaste for the rush of cold air blowing through the bedroom, I crawled out of the loft I was lucky enough to have to myself after sharing rooms and beds with my brothers and complete strangers for last few years, and made my way down to the “bathroom.” The bathroom is a recycled linoleum-covered room with a shower, a sink, and — a kid potty. Plumbing is reserved for the sinks and showers.
Drain fields are a recent term that have only begun to bounce around on “the rez”, probably as a result of the last giardia outbreak. Good thing it was a recent outbreak too, because after pooping in a cup and taking it to the lab, using this much “larger” container should be a breeze — and there was definitely a breeze in there, which helped hide the smell. This is probably why I didn’t notice right away that the kid potty had already been used by someone (or some ones) who were clearly not of the kiddy variety.
“I don’t think I can do this.”
To the Outhouse
After resigning the idea of gagging my way through to sweet relief and leaving the same shitty secret that Santa had left for me, I throw on my junk-store treasure of a winter body suit and steel myself to the idea of having to walk, through the dark and two feet of snow, to the outhouse a hundred or so yards across the way.
As I open the door to the trailer, I wonder how a door with a view of the outside on three sides keeps any cold out. I find that the snow is almost glowing and that the night isn’t as dark as it appears from my bed, but the wind is screaming. I’m actually pretty sweaty at this point after standing in my body suit next to the woodstove before going out, playing a reptile on a rock, trying to absorb as much heat as I can before I start my trek into the darkness.
At this point, visibility in the crystalized night is pretty good, but I don’t need it. The trails to the outhouse have been worn clearly into the powder and make a much different sound than the fresh stuff. All I needed to navigate is sound. Crunsplash. Crunsplash. ooo. Crunsplash. Crunsplash. ooOOO. Crunsplash. Crunsplash. oooOOOOOOOooooo!
Wait a minute. What’s that howling sound? There aren’t any dogs on The Farm except for Cupcake, and that dog likes me. Can’t be. Wolves? Ghosts? Monsters! Ghost-wolf-monsters prowling the dead of night hunting for wayward lost veggie kids lost on the way to the pooper?!
Oh no. Wait. It’s just the sounds of the wind blowing over the exhaust pipe on the outhouse. What a creepy sound! Am I sweating more now?
Finally, I reach the first door of the crap shack and after kicking aside the small drift holding it closed, I make way inside, just in time.
Without a second thought, I rapidly zip myself out of my body parka and drop down with all the anticipation of a championship corn hole game. Relief! I didn’t care that the seat is colder than ice bean. I’m getting chills for a different reason altogether. My brain was returning to me from the primal instinct takeover that had gotten me here.
It’s nice to have my facilities about me again, although I’m thinking, uh oh. I’m out here in the dark, alone, and no one knows I’m here, sitting on one of the best monster lairs this side of the Mason-Dixon! oooOOOOOOOooooo! oooOOOOOOOooooo! oooOOOOOOOooooo!
Stuck in the Dark
I’m young. I’m spry. I’m fast as hell, especially when given proper motivation. So, you can imagine my surprise when, thinking it would take me all of two seconds to pull up my thermals and make it out the door, I instead found myself frozen in place — to the mouth of the potty monster’s home. Heeeeelp!
Unfortunately, nature was playing a sick joke on me and every time I’d get louder, another gust of wind would hit the exhaust pipe and drown me out. oooOOOOOOOooooo! All I could think about was getting the hell out of this outhouse.
After a few dozen more panic-filled heartbeats, I figure out that the only way I’m getting off this can was to get my cheeks wet (yes, those cheeks) and free myself from this icy wind bidet. Using my foot, I frantically scoop the snow I was cursing just a moment ago from the front of the door. After a few rounds, I manage to get enough to free myself. Didn’t even get my jumpsuit all the way back on before jetting out toward the relative warmth of my home.
Back inside, it’s another quick stop by the woodstove, a worthless look through plastic-covered windows to see if anything had followed me, and I’m back to my bed that was the welcome cocoon I desperately needed after that. Don’t remember the trek back, only what I was leaving behind.
This blog post was guest written by Chris Countryboy and coordinated by Aur Beck.
Aur Beck, “DaEnergyMon”, is a NABCEP-Certified Solar PV Installer with AES Solar who has lived completely off-grid for over 35 years. He can be reached at tech@AESsolar.com . He has traveled with his family through 24 states and 14,000 recorded miles by horse-drawn wagon. Aur is a presenter at The Climate Reality Project, a fellow addict at Oil Addicts Anonymous International and a talk show co-host at WDBX Community Radio for Southern Illinois 91.1 FM. Find him on the Living Off Grid, Really!?!?Facebook page, and read all of Aur’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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