So you arrive at your buddy’s little backwoods camp on Friday night after a three hour drive from the city. As you pull into the yard and climb out of the Lexus, all those large double-double coffees from Tim Horton’s that you drank on the drive up to the camp are starting to become an issue and you are really starting to regret having that second bowl of chili.
“Where’s the bathroom?” You ask, looking around the camp, getting concerned when you don’t see one.
“Oh, we have an outhouse.” Your buddy says, nonchalantly, as if it’s not a big deal. “It’s just down there behind those trees, better take a flashlight, it’s getting kind of dark and there are no lights in the crapper, remember, this is roughing it at the camp.”
“Oh O.K.” you reply, taking the little mini maglight flashlight he offers you, trying it out by turning it on and shining it in your eyes, hesitating a second before you start walking slowly toward the door.
“Don’t waste the batteries in that flashlight.” he warns, with a shrug.“It’s the only one we have and the batteries are almost dead, I meant to pick some up today but I forgot.”
“Here, take some fresh toilet paper with you, we don’t leave any in the outhouse.” he passes you a half roll of soft toilet tissue in an old ice cream container.
“How come you don’t leave it there?” you ask with big city innocence, looking at the roll in the container, and clenching your muscles because you really need to go.
“The mice tear it up.” he says, adding, “At least we think it’s mice, might be squirrels or a mink, not sure, something does, the last one ate right through the plastic ice cream container that we had the roll inside of, thought it might keep them out of it, buy oh no, they are determined little buggers.”
He chuckles like it is no big deal and that the little-toilet-paper-chewing-critters are cute, whatever kind of “critters” they are.
You’re standing beside the cabin door now, with your hand on the doorknob, about to pull on it and step out into the fresh night air as an owl hoots in the distance and some kind of animal emits a loud painful, blood curdling scream.
You look back at your buddy raising an eyebrow. He answers your question before you can ask it, simply by saying, “I dunno.” and shrugging his shoulders as he throws a chunk of hardwood in the woodstove.
“Bang on the outhouse door a couple of times before you open it.” he hollars after you as you stand on the deck shining the flashlight around the yard looking for eyes looking back at you.
“How come?” you ask, turning back toward the camp, trying not to look scared as a shiver runs up your spine and back down again.
“Oh no particular reason,” he answers, “But you never know what kind of critter might be in there.”
As you shine the little flashlight down the woods path in the direction of the outhouse your buddy runs out on the deck behind you and shoves a can of Raid Home and Garden Bug Spray in your direction.
“Almost forgot,” he says, “Take this with you, there are a lot of bugs in there, spiders and stuff, just give this a spray around the seat and stuff before you sit down.”
Suddenly you don’t need to go anymore and you know that you probably won’t need to go until you are home on Sunday night, maybe not even then……
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The Cottage Chronicles by Robert Dares is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at cottageronline.com.
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