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dino head

For LJ Idol: Camping

Back in the day, my great-grandfather found an old toilet seat, which he decided to bring home, for reasons that no one has ever adequately explained.*

Well, once he took his find home, he looked at it, and decided he needed to refinish it. In the basement, he removed the finish with a blow torch. That neither he nor the house caught fire is perhaps a miracle.

Anyway, he then repainted the toilet seat, which he offered to his five daughters, all of whom refused it.

So, the toilet seat, unused and unloved, just stayed in the basement.

About a year or so later, my Aunt Karen, who was a Girl Scout, was about to go camping with her troop.

Now, understand, no one is my family is particularly outdoorsy. I think my mom sums it up best when she says, "Why would I go camping? I can eat, shit, and clean up at home, where I have electricity, running water, and climate control."**

Aunt Karen had been camping with the Girl Scouts before and had seen the outhouses that everyone had to use: inside were just boards with holes in them. She was not looking forward to this.***

Then, she remembered the orphan toilet seat in the basement, so she packed it in with her stuff.

She was easily the most popular girl at the camp that weekend: everyone asked to borrow the toilet seat.

Aunt Karen was a girl scout for another few years: she always remembered to bring the toilet seat with her.
*Some family members say that it was left behind when someone redecorated, others say he fished it out of the garbage somewhere. Either way, I'm pretty sure copious amounts of alcohol were involved in the decision making process.
**The last time I went camping, my then-boyfriend (who convinced me to go -- you do stupid things when the sex is good) woke me up to see the sunrise. I looked at him and said, "I've seen plenty of sunrises, I'd rather sleep."
***This attitude about outhouses is a multi-generational thing in my family. When my nephew was a boy scout, he went camping with them, saw the facilities and just refused to use them (for doing #2, anyway). When he came home, he went straight to the bathroom.


This sounds as if it began with the understandable desire to use a blow torch. ;)

With your aunt Karen, though... once someone had taken the seat and put it in the outhouse, why would you ever want it back? Leave it there! Now everyone is happy.
This reminds me of the silly thing to say when someone announces they have to go pee / poo "Mention my name, and they'll give you a good seat!"
I love the way you tell these stories and I always look forward to them. I'm never disappointed. Solidarity with your great-grandfather on the blowtorch. In high school, I used one to remove the paint on a bicycle frame before repainting it. No alcohol was used. Using the blowtorch was fun enough.
That is great that a possibly drunk endeavor turned into a useful item later. Does your family still have the toilet seat?
This is a good outcome for a drunken toilet seat expedition, and it doesn't surprise me that Karen was very popular. (The outhouse at my parents' camp has a thick layer of Styrofoam over the wood, it's surprisingly comfortable.)
My view on camping, and many other "adventurous" things people do for "fun" (including over-use of quotation marks) is "I was in the Army for 32 years. I do that sort of thing when they pay me, not for fun."

As for sunrises, although I'm now much more of a morning person (see above career, plus now 2 tiny humans), I still convinced that God only meant us to see sunrise if we stayed up really, really late the night before.
Being on a camp out can be a drain, so your family should be flushed with pride that Aunt Karen took the plunge and brought that toilet seat. I hope she was tanked frequently and by everyone!
Ha! I bet the toilet seat has many hiking stories to share :D This was a nice take!