The Shack Out Back



When I was young there was a country song that went… Don’t Let Them Tear That Little Brown Building Down. The outhouse was used by many  in the early twentieth century and is still by a few. Those who lived where the temperatures plummeted in the winter had a cold seat to sit on. This poem is for those of you who never knew what it was like to make that trip to the little house out back.


If you are as old as me

I am sure you will remember

The house outback sitting under the tree

With a door a moon and chambers

It sat on a cavity deep and wide

Inconveniently close to the house

Two holes just right cut into a bench

Sometimes a lid to hide the stench

The stink was awful that wretched smell

Taking care of necessities didn’t go very well

Through rain or snow we answered the call

Making it quick as temperatures fall

At 40 below seats were mighty cold

Melting the frost would never get old

Sears Roebuck always a handy one

Used when toilet paper would be all gone

The ancients made use of catalogues

They sure beat the old time silky corn cobbs

No trips at night were made out there

Who knows what lurks waiting to scare

At 2:00 AM the chamber pot

Was always used with care

But early in morning bright

Mom called for me to dump it

What a smell would fill the air

You never wanted to bump it

At church and school we had our own

Girls and boys had to go alone

They had holes and we had a trough

What fun we had with urine lofts

Since teachers were women

They did not come in

To see what we were doin’

Our games shot streams right up the wall

The highest arcs we’re cheerin’

Sure glad we now use them for tools

The smell is a lot more pleasing

With commode and shower a sink and flower

A soap and rag we’re squeezing


Photo: 2nd Look Estate Auctions – Facebook page



3 thoughts on “The Shack Out Back

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