Outhouse – If These Walls Could Talk – 2

Yes, I am an humble outhouse.

I was slapped together and mounted over a rather deep hole. A wide hole, I was a double seater.

Toilet paper hung from sawed off broom nailed to the walls like giant dragon perches.

Sure, I smelled. I still do. The smell is in my pores, deep in my soul if an outhouse can have a soul.

I bet if you took me out and sawed me up into kindling I’d still smell. My smoke would rise into the air still smelling of human kind.

Do you wonder if anyone ever came in by twos? I know I would have to ask. Do two people use the toilet at the same time?

Well, mostly, no. But sometimes, on really dark nights and strange days, they’d come out in pairs. If they all ate a bit of something bad, I’d get them by twos.

The worst part was when the shivering men folk missed. The urine would freeze over. Frozen pee will stick to the thighs of bared bottoms in the winter time.

It was during the winter that most folks realized just how ventilated I was.

The wind whooshes up on the nether regions of those in need of relief. This is why some people kept thunder pots up in their bedrooms. Who in her right mind is going to go out into a cold and blustery winter’s night?

In the summer time I’d get a good cleaning. No one enjoys the chore of shoveling shhh, uh, crap. Between times the flies would gather, especially in the high times of summer when dusk lingered almost till morning.

I suffered through a hornet infestation one year. I thought they’d set me on fire rather than dealing with the pests. I know I’d opt to burn me down!

One day, there was a commotion up at the house. The people stopped dropping in so often.

The only time I saw people was during summer days and they were the children who didn’t want to go inside for fear of being sent to bathe and go to bed.

People have carved symbols into my wood. I don’t know what they are. A few kids sprayed paint on my outsides.

A small fire that wouldn’t take scorched my side.

Now, no one comes.

I still carry the smell of a few generations of humankind.

Now a days, I’ve had beer cans, sodie cans, and plastic water bottles thrown down both holes. It is humiliating to be violated in such a way.

My door yawns open, kind of cocked to the edge, hung up on a clump of dirt and over grown grass. The hinge is off.

Humble Outhouse painted by S Franklin C

I think my wood is rotting, dry, frayed, there is not a chance someone will harvest me to frame a picture, more likely they will take a picture, call me quaint call me obsolete. Some artist will paint a picture of me.

Last summer a huge snow piled up to one side of me and set me listing toward the sunset.

I’m falling apart, becoming a pile of boards and waste. I think I’ve passed the quaint photo op phase.

I still claim my smell.

My containing.

Mice run through once in a while and I think some birds are looking to nest here. They are pale blue birds, washed out, as washed out as I am.

Did I mention the path that leads away from me?

It is over grown, now. You can still make it out if you try. It leads from the back door of the house. The back door has been replaced up at the house. The screen door bangs on rare occasions. I am not sure anyone lives there anymore.

Why would they let kids paint and carve things on me if someone lived up there?

I am fading. Falling. Past my usefulness. But I was the best outhouse a family could want. I was always there, waiting. Containing.

Humble Outhouse

By Sally

Sally Franklin Christie Blogger and Author of If I Should Die and Milk Carton People.


  1. Oh, Sally! Wonderful! Brought back a “flood” of memories! When I was little and visiited my grandma, who lived in the sticks, she had a two holer. Though I doubt if tp ever saw the outhouse, there was a basket of corncobs and another of catalogs. There was a lot of hollyhocks surrounding the fake brick sides. I remember I was always cautioned not play in the vicinity of the outhouse, so where did I head? There were usually signs of a creature of some kind burrowing to get inside the outhouse. I loved playing with grand daddy long legs that lived inside. Thanks for the memories! 🙂

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