Camping had a few trials and tribulations. The Outhouse was one of the horrendous places to explore on your own…especially at night…with a weak flashlight…when the wind howled in the trees. It seemed inevitable that we would be forced, due to bodily functions, to seek out these hellish pits. For some moments you were alone, defenseless and at the mercy of all hideous visions of doom that one could conjure. And then there was the smell. If one had a sensitive gag reflex, this was not the spot to hangout.
Since this offal time, I have had multiple exposures to bizarre toilet design in my travels around the world. One pokes out. In Goa India, I had to use my cheap hotel’s bathroom. Comfortably situated on the toilet seat, I was startled during my contemplation of life by a muffled snorting sound coming from very close by. After a couple more snorts, I looked down between my legs and there was a pig’s snout at the end of the toilet drain pipe several feet below me. This was not sweet Wilbur of Charlotte’s Web but the Lord of the Flies demanding to be satiated. Bacon has never looked the same.
I did construct an outhouse with some fellow campers in my teens. We designed and built the extraordinary edifice in the style of Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and Philip Johnson’s Glass House…but without the glass, and flat roof. There were no interior walls, just a A-frame roof and a grand view from the two seater. Privacy was not a prerequisite. The occupant was totally exposed to the bracing conditions and the cleansing drafts blowing through. You sat without shame, at one with nature. We were quite proud of our revolutionary design though Architectural Digest failed to recognize our achievement..