Three Dinkin’ Outhouses in 2000 Miles

Welcome To Pioneer Friday

In Two Pan

A quick peek into why the folks of  Two Pan Are so stubborn…Uncommon… And sometimes…Up All Night.

(See the sidebar to learn more about the wild and all-warts-revealed fictional Oregon pioneer town)
Violet Spinrad Prepares To Sanitize the Privy

 Violet Spinrad takes Privy Sanitation Very Seriously.

She didn’t mind the heat, the blood-sucking flies, or Ferd Hopkin’s buck-toothed leers the whole trek of the Oregon Trail.

“What I hated, worse than boils on a toad were the lack of decent privies. Three outhouses in the whole-blamed 2000 miles:  Ft. Laramie, Ft. Bridger and Ft. Boise.

“You just try squattin’ behind a tree everyday for 5 months. No wonder we look so grim-faced all the time. We had to traipse to the woods two-women-at-a-time. Nothing scares the juice out of you like a deer or bear sneakin’ up and sniffing your backside when you’re behind a bush. And shaky ol’ Grandma Wince kept falling over, requiring help up. I suppose going to the bathroom in pairs will be a trend for women from now on.

“Heaven help us, our idiot wagonmaster took us through Oklahoma. It doesn’t even have a tree with more than 5 limbs and all the bushes bite, sting, or make you itch.  It made us wish for a deer to hide behind.

“As soon as my esteemed spouse, Bricker Spinrad, staked our property here in Oregon,  I made him construct a decent outhouse. It’s the pride of the territory. Now, women tromping off the Oregon Trail head straight for our privy.  With long lines forming before the horses are even watered.

“The men? No change there. They come and go from behind the shed. No lines for them.

That’ll probably stay the same, even if Oregon gets modern porcelain toilets, like they have back east.

Join the unique citizens of Two Pan every Friday to see how to cultivate a disgust for change.

(Check out how Seriously We Take Toilet Sanitation in 2011)

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
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22 Responses to Three Dinkin’ Outhouses in 2000 Miles

  1. Pingback: Slake Your Thirst at the Salt Lick | Before Morning Breaks

  2. Rose L says:

    LOL Ahhh, outhouses. When I was growing up I was shocked every time we would visit the relatives in Missouri as they all had outhouses on their farms! No indoor toilets! Like stepping back in time. I would swear that at night the outhouses had been moved much further out! And you heard all sorts of odd sounds coming from the darkness surrounding you making you feel sure you would be attacked and eaten. Ever see 4 kids trying to squeeze into one small outhouse? No one wanted to wait outside! And Uncle Irvin’s tales of werewolf women were not helping.


    • Barb says:

      It’s true, Rose. Outhouses move at night and in cold weather. They’ve also been know to tip over when you’re inside. I’d watch that Unk Irvin. He sounds like a tipper.


  3. Margie says:

    I always wondered where the tradition started (women heading off to the washroom in pairs) and now I know! You are a wealth of useful information.


  4. dan gist says:

    Saw your comment and followed it back. I see we have similar senses of humor.. You write about ten times better and are definitely more organized. Loved your blog. So many authors try to be precocious and lose people because of their inability to speak to normal people. I see you don’t and appreciate that. Tell Roxie hi


    • Barb says:

      Thanks, Dan. I would try to be precocious,but I had to look it up first. However, I have to admit, I’ve lost the ability to speak to normal people. Abnormal…now, those are my folks. Thanks for subscribing. I’ll try to write curmudgeonly stuff.


  5. hansi says:

    When it comes to outdoors privies, men do seem to have an advantage.


  6. Never mind the deer (though bear are a whole different issue) have you ever squatted on a thistle. Not good. Not at all good.


    • Barb says:

      You’re right, E.Child. When you squat in the dark and something stings you, you’ll forget you ever had to answer nature’s call. Instead, you’ll be looking down from the treetop you jumped into.


  7. moma escriva says:

    Great timing, Barb. Just when the only restroom between Mt. Hood and Madras is being deleted!


  8. Orice Klaas says:

    And we women STILL have to wait in long lines in crowded places! When will there ever be adequate provisions for us? LOL


  9. Alice Lynn says:

    And here I was, fulminating about the closure of the one public restroom between Madras and Mt. Hood! Are you prescient? Your post reminds us of the “seamy” side of life, as we tend to think of the “old days” as portrayed in sanitized, technicolor productions where pioneer ladies wake up with their glossy hair neatly arranged and their lipstick perfect. Oh, and let us not forget the false eyelashes. And then, there’s the tall handsome fella wearing a buckskin coat and a gun belt slung low on his sexy hips. Yup, those were the days!


  10. Tarnation! I was JUST looking for a bonnet, too. Now I know who to ast.


  11. Roxie says:

    You don’t look pioneer enough. Why, I wonder? Oh, it’s the teeth! You have all your teeth! I KNEW you weren’t a real pioneer woman!

    I heard that women on the prairie would stand in a circle with their skirts spread, and take turns being the one inside the circle to do the daily duty. I’d sure hate being the last one to enter the ring of modesty. You’d really have to watch your step!


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