Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Write for the HUMOR Genre (10/09/14)
- TITLE: Skip to My Loo
By Ann Grover
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It had no door.
Fortunately, the doorless outdoor biffy faced away from the house and garden. Unfortunately, it overlooked the pigpen and the aromas kept up a fiesty competition, depending the whimsy of the wind.
I had just settled down to business and was flipping through a <i>Reader's Digest</i> from the conveniently placed stack. A "Drama in Real Life" article, "Hostage in Halifax," looked interesting.
"Uncle Billy!" My niece, a four-year-old bundle of bubbliness and spunk, was skipping up the path.
"Do you need the outhouse, Molly?" I asked. The rule was "if you can see the outhouse, you can use it." So, unless it was dark or a blizzard was blowing, run out to the "little house."
"No, Uncle Billy, I came to guard you, in case someone comes, because..."
"...there's no door on the outhouse."
"Yep. If anyone comes, I'll tell them to go away. I'll sit on this rock."
Molly's curly blonde ponytail bobbed around the corner as she planted herself on a big stone, not two feet from the outhouse.
"I won't peek, I promise," she said.
A spider rappeled down from a rafter. "Why don't you go play with your cousins?" I suggested, anxious to get on with the paperwork. A quick glance assured me that my sister's frugality didn't include toilet paper; no nail on the wall held a wad of newspaper strips. Instead, a fat, snowy roll awaited me.
"I'd rather visit with you, Uncle Billy. What would you like to talk about?"
Zombies? Wolves? But that might frighten the little darling, and I didn't want to do that, although it was mighty tempting to send her running to her mommy.
"How about Barbies, Uncle Billy? I have three Barbies. Can you put Barbie shoes on a Barbie? I can. Mommy doesn't have to help me any more. Can you do it?"
I can take apart a Cummins diesel engine and put it back together. I can wire a house, gut a fish, and put a bullet through a coffee can at a hundred paces. I could even build a decent door for this outhouse. Put Barbie shoes on a Barbie doll?
"I don't think so."
"Daddy can't either. He says he's allergic to pink. I'm glad I'm not allergic to pink. I love pink. I have four pink dresses and three pink shirts. Know what? I'm wearing pink panties. With Strawberry Shortcake on them. Want to see, Uncle Billy?"
"No, thank you."
"Well, I can't show you, because you're a boy, and Mommy says it's rude. Why are you taking so long? Mommy sets the timer if I dawdle, especially when I'm eating oatmeal. I hate oatmeal. Do you eat your oatmeal, Uncle Billy?"
"Yep, I do." The spider climbed back to the rafter, then dropped down, spinning on its silken thread. I could be doing a hundred things right now. Changing the oil in my truck. Flossing my teeth. Balancing the chequebook. But, I'm hanging out in an outhouse, with a spider and a chatty preschooler.
"I can get the timer for you." She giggled, and the ponytail swung into view. "But I can't because it's on the stove. Mommy's making lasagna for supper. I like lots of cheese, but not onions. Do you like lasagna?"
"Sure do." Somebody ring the supper bell. Please.
"Look, there's a caterpillar! Sometimes caterpillars are poison. Uncle Billy, do you ever wonder about all this?
"All what?" I couldn't see what she was talking about without leaning into sight.
"Everything! How did it all get made? Leaves. And clouds. And pigs. You know, stuff."
"Well, I guess it was God."
"But <i>how</i> did He know <i>how</i>, Uncle Billy? <i>How?</i>
"I don't know."
"This rock is really hard. My bum hurts."
I can't feel mine at all, and I may have an everlasting circular indentation. The spider put the final strand of its web in place.
"I'm thirsty, Uncle Billy. Will you be okay if I go now?"
"I'll be fine, Molly. Run along."
She skipped away, and I was finally, sadly, alone. Maybe a doorless privy isn't such a bad thing, after all. It's impossible to shut out curiosity and love and the wonders of the universe when there's no door at all to close.
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