The old outhouse


I quizzed my Grandma Angell ’bout the changes in her life. And was there anything, now gone, that may have caused her strife?

Her answer shot out faster than a tomcat to his mouse. She said, “I’ll never miss our doggone, stinking, cold outhouse.”

And if you don’t believe me try the privy out for size. The old outhouse sets by the barn, before your very eyes.”

I didn’t give much credence to what Grandma said to me. Until she locked the bathroom door and kindly took the key.

She said, “Go use the outhouse. I don’t wanna hear you gripe.” Then handed me a roll and said, “Please don’t forget to wipe.”

I squeezed my cheeks together. Man, I really had to go. The trail down to the old outhouse was covered, deep with snow.

The walk was dang near 50 yards. I grabbed the outhouse door. The rusty hinges squeaked then I was standing on the floor.

I dropped my jeans and sat down on the frosty open hole. Grandma got it right. I felt the cold right to my soul.

But then I got to thinking ’bout the cold, I’ll tell you what. At least there weren’t no spiders who might bite me on the butt.

That’s when I took a look around and saw a second seat. I guess the extra company might be a pleasant treat?

I wondered what they talked about or if they gabbed at all. They prob’ly talked of baseball, “Did you see that high flyball?”

So, I finished up my business, zipped my coat and hat up tight. Then set out on the snowy trail. ‘Twas cold and almost night.

Well, Grandma stood there waiting with a question on her face. “Do you prefer an outhouse or a bathroom in its place?”

I told her that an indoor toilet was the place for me. Then mentioned ’bout her bathroom. Hoped she hadn’t lost the key.

That night I thought about the outhouse, cold with winter’s bite. So glad to know my warm bathroom was two doors to the right.


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Bryce Angell’s father was an outfitter and guide for 35 years, and Bryce was there to shoe and care for the horses and help him do the cooking. Bryce is from Idaho and still rides into the Tetons, Yellowstone and surrounding areas. His poems are mostly of personal experience.



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