Overlooking important psychological preparations for y2k

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A friend insists this topic could be educational. Yeah, right, for educational purposes only.

We live on a farm. The toilet feeds into a septic system. Our only close source of water originally required a skinny, 2-gallon well bucket and some rope. I wasn't about to haul water to a toilet if y2k was a problem....so we bought a couple of toilet seats that fit onto buckets. They were really cute. Kids loved to wear them around their necks. When fitted onto a bucket, they made eliminating into a bucket look...normal.

I wanted to build an outhouse. We didn't have time or materials. My husband insisted that spending the money to install an old handpump on the well would make our lives far more comfortable in the winter. The handpump has been the delight of every visitor since. It really works, just like on Gunsmoke. With a handpump, the toilet is easily usable even when the electricity goes off.

The potty buckets were forgotten until my husband decided to fix the floor under the toilet this past Memorial Day weekend. I thought it was a one-day job and spent that day in town. When I got home, not only was the job not finished, but completion time had tripled. Testosterone had influenced my husband to make a work of art out of the flooring job. And I had to go...

He proudly proclaimed that the bucket was double-bagged for my protection. I figured I could handle the potty bucket like a real man. I lifted the lid. Someone had gone before me! Someone who COULD have gone outside had used the bucket before me!

What if I knocked the bucket over when I tried to sit down? What about the backsplash factor? What about the smell? Would the smell particles stick to me? Would I catch a disease? Was that lid really tight enough to exclude flies? What if a fly was hiding in there and then flew up when I was blocking the exit?

I decided I had enough time to harass my husband into replacing the toilet immediately. He explained why not -- explained and explained until I ran out of time.

OK, I tried, I really did. All those preparation forums, all those preparation chats...no one mentioned bucket phobia. I remembered that areas with a high incidence of iodine deficiency goiters corrected the problem by peeing in their gardens. The iodized salt in their systems got into the soil, and then into the plants, and that was a good thing.

WE have a garden. I hid myself in the corn patch and prepared to fight iodine deficiency for future generations. The mule in the pen next to the corn glanced over ... and screamed. Mules can scream really loud. It starts out with a loud exhale and ends with a louder inhale. I think he'd never seen the 'skin' come off a human before. He scared me, I tried to move to see what his problem was ... I was wearing my go-to-town shoes ... I'm not experienced with iodine fertilization techniques, and now the shoes are clean-the-mule-pen shoes. The rest of the family thundered out to see what was scaring the mule.

We're all in therapy, including the mule. I yield the podium to anyone else who has something educational to share about preparations gone wrong.

-- helen (b@t.s), June 02, 2000


And the educational aspect of this is:

Be Prepared! Be Educated!

Find the class "Bucket Phobia, or How I Scared The Mule!" at a community college near you. Or perhaps "Shoe Making and Repair 101"?

This was too funny! I take it you don't camp a lot??!

-- (toofunny@tee.hee), June 02, 2000.

Helen, I suppose you did this in front of Edna Goat? No wonder she doesn't take you seriously. ;^)

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), June 02, 2000.

"...just like in Gunsmoke..." Heh, heh, heh, Good One!


-- Not now, not like this (AgentSmith@aol.com), June 02, 2000.

Helen, I was sitting here reading this and the tears were streaming down my face.....just from picturing the look on the mule's face.

Thanks for sharing this rather, um, personal episode. I think you've illustrated the importance of being prepared psychologically as well as physically.

Someday I will relate a similar story that involves about 3' of snow. But that's for later...........

-- Patricia (PatriciaS@lasvegas.com), June 02, 2000.

ROFL Brooks! "would the smell particles stick to me?" "What if a fly was hiding in there and then flew up when I was blocking the exit?"

Reminds me of some of the toilet pits I used in Canada while canoeing, camping, and fishing. There were toilet seats, but looking down into the pit you could see a swarm of those pesky Candian mosquitos jus' waitin' to bite your arse. I detested those things, so once took "leave" perched on a big rock with a tree for balance, was a 6 foot drop to the ground. Splot. No problem, it's great to be a man. Where's a big leaf?

-- FactFinder (FactFinder@bzn.com), June 02, 2000.

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