If you have never been in a stinky outhouse, you haven’t lived. That is you haven’t lived in a rural area where there is no indoor plumbing. Those days are rapidly disappearing as people build modern houses. Actually, they have been disappearing for some time. When I was a very young child, we lived for a couple years in such a place. We had an outside toilet, better known as the outhouse. It was a small building a little way from the dwelling house. It had a slanted roof as is the style of such edifices. A hinged door led to the inside where there was a wooden bench with a hole in it. Beneath the bench, in the ground, was a pit. A big, stinky pit containing feces and urine, which at that age I called pee-pee and poo-poo. To peer into the pit took a whole lot of curiosity accompanied by a measure of bravery.
In some outhouses, quite often there was no toilet paper to use. That is one reason, I suspect, that folks in days gone by were so happy to see the seasonal catalogs come.
Irritations besides lack of soft paper and smell were present. Flies buzzed about in the summertime. Big, green blow flies, having dined on the excrement in the pit, would land on the you, most anywhere there was bare skin. Mosquitoes, spiders, and other bugs were often present, but to me, bacteria-laden flies were the worst.
Some relatives and family friends had the old outhouse well into the early 70s. Even still, a few places out in the country have them. Some are better maintained than others. One woman I heard of had a toilet seat and a throw rug in her toilet.
When the pit got too full, the solution was to dig another pit some feet away and move the slanted-roofed edifice over the new pit. The dirt from the new pit covered up the leavings in the old place.
If you should ever have the need and the only available facility is the antiquated necessary place, here are a few guidelines.
1. Enter slowly. You never know what kind of wildlife might have taken shelter in there.
2. If at all possible, try not to look in the hole, especially if you have just eaten or are about to eat.
3. Sit carefully. The seat might have some remaining waste from previous users.
4. If there should happen not to be the familiar white roll, look for old newspaper or hope you have something appropriate in your pocket. Using old paper requires you to rumple it up to soften it, or so people have said.
5. Do your business and get out as quickly as you can. There are far fewer less pleasant places to be.
WARNING: There will be a noisome odor. Do not try holding your breath. The average person can hold their breath for only 30 seconds to a couple of minutes