Kathy Bassett: Can you hear me now?

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Kathy Bassett

Kathy Bassett's column, "The View from Maybell," appears in the Saturday Morning Press.

When most women get a gift, it is usually something like flowers, jewelry, clothes or something fabulous.

Me? Whoooopeeeee! I got a new outhouse!

Well, when it was all built and in place, I walked in and it was pretty nice. It had a wooden floor and a little screen in the back, but the thing I didn't care for was the black tar paper on the walls.

It was very dark in there.

Shudder.

So, I told myself if I had to have an outhouse, then it was going to be a pretty outhouse.

I bought some white linen cloth with flowers on it and stapled that on the walls.

Then later that fall, we were out hunting and I spotted a weird looking something over on the hill, so I asked to stop, and I hiked over to see it. Imagine everyone's surprise when I came dragging a square wooden box back to the truck, with a pink marble potty seat complete with a lid attached to it.

Who knows how long it had been there, or where it came from, but it was evident it hadn't been used in years but was still like new.

So we got the seat off and I sterilized it, and it was put firmly on the hole. Wow, my outhouse was shaping up swell now. I put carpet on the floor and got some of those little battery lights you push on and off and it was right uptown.

We had a Brown's Park party, and someone asked to use the bathroom. I pointed out the back door. The lady came back in all excited about my outhouse and couldn't wait to get home and go down to some dump she knew about and retrieve an old outhouse there and make herself one also.

She exclaimed to the other guests that I had a "drop dead gorgeous outhouse!"

My outhouse could tell you many funny stories, but the funniest one happened one early morning.

I was fixing to go out there when the phone rang. Wow. I didn't have time to talk on the phone, because when you gotta go, you gotta go. But, the ringing was insistent, and luckily it was a wireless, so I picked it up and said "hello" while running to the outhouse.

Awwwww, what a way to start out the morning - sitting in the privy, with the door open, watching the wildlife, while talking to your gal pal in Craig. Of course I was finished long before Carolyn, so I got myself back in order, and went to step out the door when suddenly, I tripped and the phone made a couple of the most perfect mid-air circles you ever could imagine and landed squarely in the middle of the hole of the outhouse.

I was mortified. I could hear Carolyn down in the hole talking away, but alas, she had no idea that she was now speaking to four dirt walls at the bottom of an outhouse.

What was I going to do? Oh, yikes.

I went back to the house and picked up the second phone we had, which was not wireless, and by this time, all I heard was a dial tone so I hung back up.

It immediately rang and when I answered, Carolyn asked me what happened, because the phone had suddenly gone dead while she was talking to me. When I explained what happened, it hit us both, and we laughed so hard that tears were rolling down our cheeks.

We couldn't talk for five minutes.

Well, when my friend came in I told him what had happened, and he got the post hole digger and went out and retrieved the poor phone. He said it had landed on a clean ledge of dirt where nothing else had landed yet, since it was a new outhouse. WHEW!

You can't even in your wildest dreams imagine the remarks and messages I got for months after that incident. Every time someone called me, they had smart cracks (no pun intended) such as, "Are you having a crappy day?" or "This connection sure is crappy!"

Another favorite was, "I worked so hard today, I am totally pooped!"

Both my friend and the outhouse are now long gone. You might as well laugh at even the rougher times because although life ain't always fair, at least it's still good!

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