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Some folks complain about change in their lives. Others want to go back to the good old days. But, there are some things we would not want to go back to, such as outhouses on a cold winter day. We take indoor plumbing and toilets as a given, when we should be grateful for our warm seat!

Baby Boomers may

remember the cheeks’ cold chill

on a winter day

when seated on this throne

Grateful that those days are gone

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Halloween Pranks (flash fiction)


The following story is a mixture of truth and fiction. It was accepted to be in the upcoming Old Mountain Press anthology, Happy Holidays. This is a collection of poetry and prose from many significant contributors. Col (Ret.) Tom Davis is the publisher. He has written several books, and puts out poetry and prose anthologies three times a year. I have my works in several of them. Information about the website is at the end of this post. You can check out all of his E-books on Amazon Kindle.

Halloween Pranks
Dwight L. Roth
When I was in the fourth grade, the school I attended did not have indoor toilets! Behind our classroom building were three outhouses: a small one with a green door for the three lady teachers, a little larger two-hole one for the girls, and a similar one for the boys. The boys’ toilet had an L-shaped fence wall around it with a trough in the back where we could stand up and pee! We enjoyed seeing who could get their stream the highest on the wall!
You might wonder how Halloween and outhouses go together. Well, I heard tales of what teenagers do on Halloween; things like scaring little kids, stealing their candy, or throwing rotten eggs at people’s houses or cars! Those tales kept us only going to our neighbors and to people we knew! Unfortunately, that isn’t all teenagers do.
In the Fall of 1957, my friends I were excited to go trick-or-treating with our older siblings. A full moon shone down on us as we walked down our country road knocking on our neighbors’ doors. But, at the edge of town, where we went to school, more sinister actions were going on in the moon light!
The next morning, I arrived at school to a flurry of excitement. Children on the playground talked excitedly to one another, pointing to the back of the school. I soon found out what the excitement was all about. On Halloween night, some of the teenage boys pushed over the teacher’s toilet! As we, took our breaks during the day I looked in amazement at the little toilet with the green door lying there on its back.
In a day or two, the school maintenance men came and got it set back upright. I wondered how the teachers felt, having to use the girls’ toilet. They never did find out who tipped it over.

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Out House Clip Art:

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