Thursday, February 24, 2011

Real Men Pee Outside

I had a classmate in seminary who, for some quirky reason, wouldn't go to the bathroom in someone else's house. So, I'd encounter him out in the bushes around the 'garden apartments' we all lived in around Alexandria. Once I watched him pee off a balcony.

For most of human history, there were no bathrooms inside. For much of the world, there still isn't.

Ponder, I'd encourage you, that by the accident of your birth, you have had indoor plumbing you're whole life when 99% of the people who have ever lived and probably 75% of the people alive today, don't.

I used to have to go to my grandmother's outhouse when I was there in Conklintown. It had two seats though I never shared it. And, yes, there were Sears catalogs there to, you know, do the paper work.

I've seen signs in bathrooms that said "The Business isn't finished until the paper work is done."

Ponder this: most of the people on the planet don't ordinarily use toilet paper. A big reason why many cultures find it vile if someone eats with their left hand. Oh, by the way, a lot of the people on the planet don't eat with forks and spoon and knives. They eat with their hands--or at least the right hand.

Steve Arbogast, a seminarian I worked with, spent several years in the bush in west Africa teaching. He told me the worst part of his reentry into American culture was when he went into a Super Stop and Shop and walked down the paper aisle. The shear amount of toilet tissue sent him out of the store to his car. For his time in Africa, toilet paper had been an instrument of barter better than American dollars or Euros.

In the winter, walking from my grandmother's house down to the 'two seater', you passed the strawberry patch, the chicken coop and the storage shed. You don't want an outhouse too close to your house after all. Cold nights the chickens and a couple of ducks would be all assembled around the edges of the outhouse. Decomposing human waste gives off heat, after all. So you'd have to shoo them away with your feet even to go into the outhouse.

It might be appropriate to give thanks for whatever bathrooms you have in your house and for toilet paper.

And, it is kind of manly to pee outside. I'd never pee off our deck...not me...never...don't even think for a moment...even in the dark.....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.