“Those are so cute,” Sandy squeals as I don my red-and-white striped, footie pajamas.
“I know, aren’t they?” I parade around the loft of the rustic cabin, where we girls are getting ready for bedtime. Our youth group comes to this cabin every year for a weekend of snow activities, and the girls always get the beds in the loft, while the boys have to sleep on the floor below and keep the fire stoked throughout the night.
“And look…they even have a trap door.” I turn to show the other girls the little flap on the back that enables me to answer Mother Nature’s call without having to pull down the entire one-piece flannel jumpsuit. “My sister calls it my poop flap.”
We start cackling hysterically until one of the youth sponsors hollers up, “lights out.” I snuggle deep into my down sleeping bag, make sure my boots and jacket are within reach (in case there’s an emergency in the middle of the night), and feel for my flashlight under my pillow. Satisfied that I am fully prepared, I quickly drift off.
Not surprisingly, I’m awakened sometime in the middle of the night with that bursting bladder feeling. Unable to will myself back to sleep, I struggle out of my sleeping bag and silently slip into my boots and coat. After retrieving my flashlight from under the pillow, I hurriedly head down the creaky loft stairs.
Carefully tip-toeing around snoring sleeping bags, I make my way outside where I’m met by arctic winds. (Okay, they probably aren’t really arctic, but for a girl who lives in the desert sunshine, it definitely feels frigid.) Fortunately, the outbuilding is only a few steps from the backdoor.
Entering the outhouse, I meticulously scan the cramped space for any daddy longlegs. Those pesky spiders creep me out, and for some reason they love to hang out in this disgusting structure. I locate six of the nasty creatures—four way up in the corners, and two others perched precariously close to the “throne.”
With one hand holding the flashlight steady on the two atrocious arachnids, I use the other hand to release the six snaps holding my trap door closed. At this moment, I am especially thankful for the wise individual who had the good sense to install these handy flaps—otherwise, I would be mostly naked, and freezing, in this smelly hovel.
Quickly finishing my business, I realize I am one appendage short of what I need. I’ve got one hand holding the flashlight, and the other hand holding the trap door out of the way. Taking another quick peek at the two “granddaddies,” as they’re sometimes called, I tuck the flashlight under my chin and reach for the toilet paper. Having satisfactorily accomplished that task, I straighten to resnap my flap closed.
About now is when I decide it could be advantageous to be a daddy longlegs, because I could really use six hands. With the flashlight safely secure under my chin, I first try the blind resnap…by feel only. After successfully snapping four of the six snaps, I realize that the remaining two don’t match up to their partners at all. So, I rip them out and start again. This time, I try rotating my entire upper body. (I can’t turn just my head because I’d risk losing the flashlight that’s clasped under my chin into the cavernous pit—not to mention the colossal splash that mishap would cause.) After fastening only two snaps, I give up on this method as well, and surmise that there is insufficient room to operate safely in this backwoods lavatory.
Momentarily forgetting that two-thirds of my trap door is flapping freely in the wind, I step outside and receive a blast of glacial air to my heinie area. With plenty of light, due to the brightness of the full moon reflecting off the snow, I set my flashlight on the ground. Determined to finally get my flap back in place, I come face-to-face with two insurmountable problems: 1) nonfunctioning frozen fingers, and 2) uncontrollable laughter when I realize I’m mooning the moon.
Fresh out of ideas, and starting to feel the effects of a frozen fanny, I shimmy out of my jacket and tie it around my waist, thus concealing my exposed derriere. Defeated by defiant snaps, I return to the security of my down sleeping bag and vow that tomorrow night there will be no water before bedtime.
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