Part of growing up with hippie parents is summers spent in the great outdoors. We usually spent a few weeks in July or August sleeping beneath canvas shelters and eschewing watches for "camping time."
We were not the RV or running water types, though. We laughed off those folks as high maintenance. My family was the down a gravel back road to a secret forestry site where we bathe in the creek type.
Unfortunately, this also made us the outhouse type.
Being forced to do one's business in a hot, poorly ventilated shack full of daddy long-legs, damp toilet paper, and other people's waste is probably no one's idea of a good time. As such, I became an expert at crouching.
However, even worse were the urban myths surrounding outhouses.
Teenagers who skulked behind bushes, waiting for an unsuspecting camper to enter, at which point they tipped the outhouse over.
Children who had accidentally tumbled through the enormous hole, where no one could hear their cries.
And, the most dreadful of them all, the pervert who lived at the bottom of the outhouse pit, watching the unsuspecting user from below.
Despite this colourful range of imaginary tales, I had never heard of anything quite like the anecdote recounted to me last night.
A good friend of mine's family has a cabin quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Over the Easter long weekend, her and her fiance made the several hour trek to the cabin, arriving late at night. Given the snow on the ground, and the several months since the last round of visitors, the pipes had frozen. Fatigued, they decided to wait until the morning to pour boiling water down the drain to thaw it.
However, before falling asleep, he decided that he needed to, ahem, do some business. Rather than leave said business in the toilet overnight, he bundled up, grabbed a flashlight, and ventured to the nearby outhouse.
Upon his return, he crawled back into bed, muttering about how much further the journey had seemed. She just giggled at him and his frustration after a long day.
The next morning, she awoke, and set out to the outhouse.
It seemed he had not been kidding when he spoke of the longer journey-- somehow, through the course of a stormy winter, the rickety outhouse had ended up 30 feet from where it originally stood, and was now located in the middle of the neighbour's yard.
This also meant it was 30 feet away from its pit.
Which meant that he had taken a crap in the middle of the neighbours' yard.
Neighbours who, thankfully, had not ventured to their cabin this particular weekend.
And, as such, the two of them covertly moved the outhouse back to its original location, and were extremely grateful for the covering effects of snow.