Privileged in my pissing, I sit upon my porcelain throne. Outside, remnants of wooden outhouses covered with moss and void of original paint decay with age. Primitive reminders that school children once doubled-up for potty breaks in these two-seater relics. The teacher had her own private place to poop, discretely built beyond the school and behind the teacher-house next to the wood shed.
Blogger, Anne Goodwin, asks us to give a thought to toilets today, November 19. She wrote a short story, Bathroom Suite, which demonstrates how vast a gap exists between those who sit upon porcelain and those who shit where they can.
Pardon my potty mouth today, but it’s World Toilet Day.
UNICEF declares that we can’t wait while 2.5 billion people go without the porcelain privilege. Worse yet, millions of women lack safety and are assaulted going to the toilet. THINX, an innovative panty company, is reaching out to the millions of girls denied education because of the lack of sanitation.
Anne’s story is based on the reality girls without toilets or sanitary pads face.
I looked at those outhouses today and realized that I would have thought them such a hassle. There’s nothing private about having to march outside in front of everyone. They all know what you are doing in there. Yet what an improvement the privy was over chamber pots and open pits.
In fiction, we don’t talk about toilets. Our characters sip merlot, coif their hair, button up (or down), cook breakfast and kiss one another madly. They have adventure and conversation. But rarely do we see them on the toilet. This week, we spread awareness that toilets matter.
Help spread the call for human dignity and basic sanitary health. If you have a blog where you post your response, please link to UNICEF and continue to raise awareness of this campaign.
November 19, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the toilet. You can be funny, serious or prim-and-proper. Any variation of toilet is fair fodder (loo, privy, outhouse, shitter, porcelain throne, potty, latrine, necessarium, little girl’s room, the water closet, powder room, comfort station, etc.).
Respond by November 25 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here.
Here’s a clip from A Christmas Story about the importance of the only room in the house that a boy of nine could find privacy:
Finding Relief by Charli Mills
Becky fidgeted. Twice, Mrs. Hart turned from the chalkboard, glaring her into stillness. At recess, Becky bound to the porch, grabbed her coat and pushed past Tommy. A foot of snow covered the ground with a packed trail leading behind the schoolhouse. Becky ran, her leather boots slipping.
“Becky!” It was Tessa calling from behind. Becky motioned her friend to follow. Both girls reached the outhouse, pulling the wooden door shut behind them, fumbling with skirts, petticoats and knickers to finally sit in relief.
Stepping outside the boys had spelled their names in the snow. It was not fair.