Monday, June 22, 2009

Deb's Travel Journal: Arkansas

I love Arkansas. It is the only state where I can go into Walmart wearing bedroom slippers, no make-up, and a greasy hairdo and still hold my own, attractiveness-wise.

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.


Joanna said...

My dear, delicately nurtured daughter, I feel your pain. You and your family are in my prayers. I must however mention that I have visited similar facilities ... in the dead of the night ... in the middle of an Idaho winter. Because that was the only facility available - at all. At this moment, I am perilously close to typing the horrifying words, 'WHEN I WAS A YOUNG GIRL..." No, no! I'll be strong. I'll just say - you have my sympathy.

Carol Conway-Fleisher said...

You have my sympathy My parents retired from Baytown to Arkansas and I think that there are several "rest areas" in the state like that. UCK!

Kristina P. said...

Yeah, there is an X-Files episode where this giant fluke work is hiding in a Portapotty. I always think of that everytime I have to use one.

Billy Bob Bambino Bombabious Baby the Third said...

I think you should change the name of your blog to amusing musin's... This read was a riot! Awesome!! My wife HATES (!) these kinds of facilities. She "likes" to go camping but really just wants to be someplace that is outdoorsy but still has all the modern conveniences like a snack bar and running water and flush toilets. We discovered very early on that we have very divergent ideas about what "roughing it" is. My idea is something like a 10 mile hike into a place that you have to carry everything you need to survive strapped to your back, not seeing anyone, anything man-made, etc along the way. Her idea is, well, that WalMart you mentioned is pretty close. Next camping trip I am thinking about the Bass Pro Shop. Yeah, that's about her level... :-)

Barbaloot said...

Oh-you poor thing! I seriously can't think of anything I'd like less.

And also, you could go into ANY Wal-Mart dressed in the aforementioned manner and still rival people in attractiveness:)

Sneaky Momma said...

Bless your heart! What an experience. I cannot even imagine...
I agree with Barb. Especially if you go in the middle of the day. :)

Laura Escamilla said...

Oh Deb... this reminds me of the time I went to Rocky Mtn Natl Park. Not only did I feel the breeze... it was so cold I thought that the breeze would freeze you-know-what!

Debbie said...

Oh wow! You have had an experience. I do love those padlocked TP rolls. I guess we southerners are natural thieves!

Glenene said...

The only advantage of a motor home...

The Domestic Flunky said...

sounds like my mission... except no toilet paper... we had to air dry, or use old copies of the Church News... needless to say, my mission taught me that no sacrifice is too great if it means being able to afford a decent roll of Charmin