Monday, April 25, 2016

Those who act in haste, repent in leisure...

File:Amish Outhouse.jpg
Building Plans available
This example is in much better condition than the one at Grandma's house.
Following Halloween shenanigans, outhouse tipping continued. Every house built in late 1800 era sported an outhouse, a necessity for the pre-plumbing days.  Some were quality, meant to last for many years.  Others were built in haste and their construction showed rickety and rotting wood.  Easy pickings, they were targets of gangs of boys treading through darkness and, with little effort, tipping those over.

My Grandmother Amy lived in one of those old houses and had one of the latter outhouses.  This made her graying and rusting outhouse a frequent subject of the outhouse gang.

Each time Grandma Amy had to phone my father, who then drove through dusky hours to place the structure back over the pit. After almost every night's misadventures, Dad and Grandma devised a plan:  move the outhouse over into wild roses, leaving the pit open under a dark moonless sky.  While they waited in silence and darkness with an occasional smirk and giggle, these monsters approached through with giggles of their own.

Moments later screams and profanity were heard as surprised boys tumbled feet forward into the open pit, a not-too empty pit at that.

Grandma and Dad switched on the porch light, and armed with flashlights, they smiled down on faces of well-known-miscreant teenagers. What the.....get us outta here...damn you...

Grandma armed with a water hose and Dad with a rope managed to pull the three boys out.  A casual stream of water dripped down over the excrement covered boys, leaving a healthy amount of odoriferous matter behind.  Dad directed them to place the outhouse back over the pit, promising to inform the town's mayor about them.


Following the order of penance, grumbling in whispers, the boys settled every outhouse through out town, securing them safely and securely in place.  They even assisted my father in building a new outhouse for my grandma; they also dug a new pit for her outhouse, refilling an old full pit in with soil.

This was a memory that gave Grandma a source of giggles the rest of her life.  God Bless Her.


A few years later, an addition to her house included a toilet and sink.


Amy Lucy (Dolly) Nichols Peck
July 1970

35 comments:

  1. One year an enterprising group managed to place an outhouse on top of the local high school building.

    I was almost a teenager before we had a bathroom inside.

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    1. I wonder whose outhouse it was? And, how did they manage it?

      When we moved to the farm, I was 6. The house had had no plumbing or electricity. All that had to be installed before we could live in it.

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  2. That's priceless! And they had to help fix and build new ones to boot. Bet that taught them a lesson.

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    1. If I knew their names, I would be able to tell you if they stayed as "hooligans" or lived righteous lives later on.

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  3. lmao sweet revenge. That taught them not to mess with her.

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    1. I would think not. With the full force of the community watching them, they probably had to move on to do other things.

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  4. My grandmother had a out house too- so scary to me- hilarious story!

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    1. I always worried about spiders, black widow in particular. And, falling into the pit!
      My father loved to tell that story for years.

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    2. your black widow spider is the one we Aussies call redbacks. It's the only spider I kill on sight.

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    3. My brothers always pretended there were snakes down in the pit, and told me horrible camp-fire type stories about them.

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. For some reason, this comment was deleted, and I have no idea why. I absolutely love Lynn!

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    2. For some reason, this comment was deleted, and I have no idea why. I absolutely love Lynn!

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  6. That's so brilliant. Just goes to show, shouldn't mess with older people. They were young once and know how to outsmart the young.

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    1. Respect your elders gains a whole new aspect with this story.

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  7. I love it and I'm so glad to hear that your Grandma giggled over this for years to come. When I was a kid, we had them at our country cottage. I would have hated to fall into it.

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    1. It was always one of my fears. My Grandma Amy held onto that story for the rest of her life.

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  8. Your grandma was a rig! Yes, we need to respect the elderly-they have much to teach us and add extra character to our stories~

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    1. She was such a corseted proper old woman, so this was something she would never have done in her youth.

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  9. I love it! Glad your grandmother and your dad figured out this brilliant plan to catch the kids uprooting the outhouse :)

    betty

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    1. They never told who had first come up with that idea, but my dad was probable. Who knows what he and his brother had done.

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  10. Giggling here at the boys falling into the pit, and really, really, glad outhouse tipping wasn't a pastime here in Australia.

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    1. At least they fell in feet first. Could have been worse.

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  11. Great story, Susan. This was the perfect punishment that probably changed these boys from hooligans to good citizens for the rest of their lives.

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  12. This is a great story! Just desserts, and a solid lesson to go with it.

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    1. I wonder if those boys remember what happened?

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  13. I bet she loved getting the addition of toilet and sink in the house! That's a good story though... and justice actually working too. I like! :)

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    1. Indoor toilet and washing was a blessing to her.

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  14. My Mom and Dad built a portable outhouse for the beach-house. I watched trying to help. Mom stuck her finger in the wall and encouraged the sand to flow through a gap. That was fun. Those were the days - when fun and games mattered!

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    1. Good times. Good memories. Those help make us who we are.

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  15. We still have an outhouse at our summer cabin. Falling in is a terrifying thought!

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    1. Those Porta-Potties scare the excrement right out of me! They fill up quickly and are emptied at "high tide".

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  16. The old will always outsmart the young :)

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    1. For my old grandmother, this made up for all the years when she had to hold back the laughter.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!