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Monday, August 13, 2012

The Burning of the Outhouse

Probably a lot fancier than I remember Bummy's
This story about my Grandpa Dennee, comes from my Dad.  We called him Bummy, which I have mentioned in a couple of other stories.  I sorta remember this outhouse and don’t know why Grandma fussed so much about it.  It was always painted a nice shade of blue with white trim.  But then, maybe I was an uncouth little kid!??!!?  So without further words, here’s Dad.

“My father-in-law was a jack of all trades. One of his many talents was being able to set a fire to burn off the ditches on his irrigated farm. He would throw a kitchen match on dry grass going 18 mph on his tractor. Most of the time this worked great and he never burned anything except what he want to. One time though, in the early spring, when the roadsides had lots of big grass, he set a fire to it and it jumped the ditch and created a big ol’ catastrophe for him!

To set the father-in-law was a farmer through and through. He worked outside and did not have some of the social graces my mother-in-law wished he had. He had an outhouse and he wasn’t afraid to use it!  (For those not in the know, an outhouse is an outside toilet.  Nothing fancy, just a building and a board with a couple of holes to sit on and take care of nature’s business)  My mother-in-law, on the other hand, was a little more couth than the rest of us and she didn't like the outhouse sitting out where everyone could see it, and in fact, she wanted to be rid of it completely.  Being the type of man he was, he did move it behind his shop to appease her.  But he really didn't care about being couth.

Way Fancier than Bummy's, but you get the idea!

One day, he was coming in to eat at noon on the tractor, struck a match and threw it in the ditch.  Thinking the ditch fire would be all burned out by the time he was done eating. He went in the house to eat, oblivious to where the fire was headed.  When he came out, his outhouse had burned smooth to the ground.

Oh, the tragedy!  It was just like the Taj Mahal burning down, to him!  For days he whined and moaned about the loss of his privy.  But, he really should have been thankful, because the bulk gas tanks sat right beside the outhouse and they would have made quite an explosion if they had caught fire.

My mother-in-law, on the other hand, was thrilled that she was finally rid of the thing!

He never rebuilt that nice little house; he just placed a marble rock by it and called it Big John.”

If you don’t know who Big John is, look it up on youtube.  Sung by Jimmy Dean…you’ll understand the rock.

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