It is also the state that allowed me to visit an actual, functioning outhouse. Today.
(Disclaimer: for those of you of the male persuasion who read my blog, the following contains sensitive terms regarding certain aspects of life exclusive to women. Explicit terms such as "cramps" and "breeze" will be used. Read on at your own peril.)
Whilst traveling the "scenic" route from Hot Springs to Harrison, I became aware that I had the need to visit a comfort station. My "friend" came to "visit" Sunday, the day we left Texas, but, curiously, her "welcome" is already worn. I only mention this to illustrate that my "calls of nature" have become "emergency bulletins," and I received one in the proverbial "middle of nowhere." I, following the primitive instincts that have allowed our species to thrive, alerted Sven, who was driving. My man would take care of it, I knew.
Sven, ever alert, saw this sign: "Comfort Station 1000 feet." It had a picture of the international restroom symbols. I thought all would be well.
How wrong I was.
We found ourselves in a parking lot. There was a sidewalk. At the end of the sidewalk was a small brick building. Each half of the building had an inexplicable smokestack-like protuberance emerging from its roof.
I approached the building with supplies in my hand and trepidation in my heart.
At the door, dead wasps. What could have killed them? I wondered, but hastened in to perform what was necessary.
The door slammed shut behind me, making a sound reminiscent of a jail cell slamming shut.
There was no electricity. There was no sink. There were three rolls of toilet paper padlocked to the wall.
Then, I saw it. The apparatus.
I cannot call it a toilet. To call it a toilet would give you, my dear reader, the wrong impression.
It was a plastic pickle drum with a seat.
Beneath it: the hole.
I couldn't study the hole too closely. The lack of tank and handle unnerved me, but I soldiered on, necessity making me brave.
It must be some sort of "port-a-potty," I thought. Surely, I won't be sitting over some hole in the middle of the woods. That would simply be...barbaric.
Yet, I felt the breeze. I know the truth.
I shall speak of this no more. Heed me, my friends. Route 7 is not the way of those accustomed to comfort. It is for the bold. The adventurous.
It is not for me.