Posted by: tlnemethy | September 22, 2013

Mortified by the Bathroom

I have single-handedly destroyed the septic system for this farm.0915131358

Yes, you read that correctly. Me: a short, overly talkative, and seemingly adventurous soul has taken it upon herself, completely unconsciously, to kill plumbing.  I have apparently succeeded.

I get along quite fantastically with modern plumbing. You could say we have been progressing nicely in our ongoing flirtation. Probably one of the best relationships I’ve accumulated as of my 22 years. I was satisfied.

Then I moved to Missouri and, without any knowledge of it, started killing plumbing. Upon arrival at the Ozark farm where I’ll be working for a few months, I was shown the bathroom. Pretty nice digs, I really liked the tiled shower and I could totally see myself getting squeaky clean in that room. The toilet, it was explained to me, is a composting toilet. Now, I had only a slight idea of what that was, but I go with the flow. That’s cool. Sure, instead of flushing you just kind of push a lever and a hole miraculously appears at the base. I wasn’t thrilled, but when in Rome…

I’ve been here a week exactly. Having a blast, learning things about farming, and getting my hands to perpetually smell of mushrooms. It’s a lifestyle choice. I have dirt ingrained under my nails, a supply of clothes that have a nice sheen of cow poop on them, and a smile on my face. What more could you ask for?

And then, I start to notice a dank stench emanating from the bathroom. The toilet’s really kind of like a porta potty, so that must be somewhat normal. I let it go until I sense it progressing more forcefully towards my bed. This will not stand. Upon asking if it’s normal, I get the squinted eyes accompanied by what smell? It’s obviously in my head.

The very night I mention the toilet, in passing really, we get some guests. They’ve been here before, they know the drill, and we’re just having a good time sitting around the dinner table.

Then the bomb drops. The toilet is clogged and not flushing. I thought was a curious choice of words considering I’ve never considered the cavernous maw of the toilet flapper to be even remotely close to a “flush.” More like a feeding. But nonetheless.

A bamboo shoot is produced to act as a sewage poker. I’m not sure exactly what magic was worked because it was all behind the scenes, but somehow it was cleared. There are apparently rules to these wonderful composting toilets that I was not quite privy to. They are as follows:

  1. Pee outside.
  2. Toilet paper does not go in the toilet. At this point I’m just all dumbfounded and cocking my head to one side. Where else would TP belong if not in the toilet? Perhaps the wastebasket near the toilet. Facepalm.
  3. Hold down the pedal DURING the bout on the porcelain throne.

After the sheer mortification of this discussion in general, I got over it. #overit And then my brain wandered back to the number one bullet point. Peeing outside. Aside from the two times I’ve peed outside while intoxicated and partially nude, I just don’t do that very often. The entire rest of the discussion regarding the maintenance of a composting toilet is spent with me vaguely registering the words (I did get a chance to hear and witness some of the behind the scenes poop dehydrating earlier in the week) while really mapping out the safe zones of the farm in which I might theoretically drop trow. There are few. I could pee in the bushes where my exposed ass cheeks would find the single copper head in a 60 mile radius to violate my pale flesh. Or I could pee in the field with no cover from anyone working on the farm. AWKWARD. The jury’s still undecided, but I’m sure there will be some tales from this debacle. Mostly because I am so awkward, and also because I attract some weird shit to happen to me.


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