Sunday, October 25, 2009

Been There, Dunny That . . .

There are some things in life which we just want to forget about as quickly as possible. Certain things that we flush away and never want to hear from again. Not now. Not ever. Don't write and don't call. Just disappear thank you very much.
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This past week at work is one such thing. Think Tchernobyl. Think Bhopal. Things that never should have happened, but did. And they left a big stink in their wake. And alot of grief.
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But it is Sunday now where I am, and for all intents and purposes, this past week can be classified as "OVER". Over and out. History. To be flushed and forgotten.
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My blogging pal Nathalie at Avignon in Photos taught me a new word a while back which I'd never heard before for the subject of the photo here . . . it is known in Australia as a "Dunny". In other places it is also known as a john, a johnny, a latrine, the lavatory, a litter box, an outhouse, the pot, the potty, a privy, the restroom, a sandbox, the throne, the washroom, the water closet, a latrine, an outbuilding, the washroom, the jakes. The "jakes" ? For heavens sakes, I'd never heard that one before either.
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The more formal definition is : "a small outbuilding with a bench having holes through which a user can defecate". And then forget. Quickly.
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31 comments:

TechnoBabe said...

You have a healthy attitude if you are able to get over and move past a bad week at work so quickly. You must be a mentally healthy person.
The photo reminds me of several places I camped and had to bring my own tissue!

louciao said...

I've seen road signs within city limits admonishing truck drivers, "Do not apply jake brakes." I never knew what it meant, but suddenly it is taking on some quite interesting imagery! Maybe "Do Not Apply Jake Brakes" would be a suitable piece of encouragement to post at the top of one's comment box or over one's outhouse(not to suggest that your comment box might be compared to a Johnny-on-the-spot, or that the comments dropping into it are anything other than perfect little gems!)

I, for one, am very relieved to hear that you've gotten off the pot, out of the sh_t house, and have managed to send up a flare, thus indicating a certain insouciant inclination on your part to recommence farting around.

Take an extra big dose of Phillip's Milk of Amnesia and enjoy your richly deserved time off!

Álvaro said...

This is the best place to put the awful weeks. Mine too. Ha, ha.
Best regards.

the watercats said...

i do believe this is one of the purdyest 'jacks' I've ever seen!.. such a rural setting and bathed in greenery.. sure why would you not be moved!.. (geddit!.. hehehehh)

lady jicky said...

I bet there is spiders in that dunny!

Dedene said...

C'est parfait comme cabin de toilette. Peut-être on pourrait dire "petit coin"?
I've never heard an official word in French for outhouse.
Do you know one?

French Fancy said...

It is good if you can put bad stuff behind you and not let yourself dwell on it. Me - I still torture myself with the day I didn't put the handbrake on at the top of a slope (I popped out of the car to post a letter, leaving the two dogs on the back seat) and then had to run alongside it trying to get the door open. I know it is silly to think about it but it doesn't stop the bad thoughts coming.

Advice please on how to draw a line under 'bad things'.

Loulou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loulou said...

My dear Owen, knew there was something on..... Well I hope that was not too...serious! Easy to say. I know I know...

Well... to add some fun here, let me try something: DID YOU KNOW that there was a museum (yes a real one) dedicated to toilets in Delhi? Here is the website: http://www.sulabhtoiletmuseum.org/
I must admit that I have never visited it: lack of time, lack of... courage, well I don't know why exactly.

One day I will go and Indiaphragme will tell you more!
In the meantime, please ENJOY your sunday and take care, we think of you!
Loulou

@eloh said...

I see worse than spiders waiting for me in there...snakes and boogers of all manner...nooooo, I'll run for the bushes.

You forgot "head".

Catherine said...

Having lived in Oz, the word dunny is definitely in my vocab..though not necessarily attached to pleasant memories as they were places where the most dangerous redback spiders like to lurk and hang out... great shot..is this dunny in France??? don't forget the bog - another name for the loo that is also Russian for God and exploited by Burgess in his clockwork orange nadsat... incidentally there must be some cockney rhyming slang as well - will have to look it up...Greetings from Mexico where in Spanish one euphemism is "el excusado" !!

Catherine said...

oh how could I forget..it is my first language after all!! In cockney rhyming slang it is the Karsey from Karsey Moilet!!

AmyR said...

I encountered several of those in Beijing where I wished to forget as soon as possible.

I'm sorry you had such a hard week...here's hoping it's better this week!

joo said...

We call it Sławojka here:)
Happy new week, Owen!

Karen said...

Ah, growing up in Appalachia, I remember these well. We called it the Outhouse.

English Rider said...

I see a little bridge over what must be a raging torrent at certain times of year. Imagine the adventure of sitting there as everything vibrates and resonates to the thunderous maelstrom.

J said...

This makes me wish I'd photographed the outdoor loo near Yangshuo - direct fertilization to the crops being grown! Or perhaps not...

Steve said...

"john, a johnny, a latrine, the lavatory, a litter box, an outhouse, the pot, the potty, a privy, the restroom, a sandbox, the throne, the washroom, the water closet, a latrine, an outbuilding, the washroom, the jakes..." - Owen, sometimes I think you have a mind like a Turkish toilet...! ;-)

Caio Fernandes said...

great post . wonderful photo !!! see you !!

Owen said...

Hello Everyone, just wanted to say, YOU ALL ARE THE GREATEST !!!

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Technob, I'm sure there are some out there in the peanut gallery (up there in section called "les enfants du paradis") who might cast doubt about my mental health, but don't listen, I'm only as crazy as the next guy out there roughing it in the wilderness these days... and yeah this is a BYOT or BYOL sort of place... (bring your own tissue, or bring your own leaves)
:-D

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Ah dear me, Loucaio Lynne, no, you certainly don't want to apply the jake brakes when the time is nigh... and as for little gems, or even works of art being dropped into the comment box, you may want to peruse David Foster Wallace's short story "The Suffering Channel". Am glad to hear that in relation to all this, you are feeling releived. I hope everything came out alright in the end, as they say !
:-D
Yes indeed, it's funny how much a little rant can help put things in perspective and ease tensions... may just have to do a post about ranting... and then get back to seriously farting around, which as you know by now is what I love best... am off for that glass of milk of amnesia, which I would be willing to bet the Saj has doctored up a bit for me... where is she by the way ???
:-D
PS missed ya, really was having a brutish week, but now, it's vacation for two weeks !!! Gotta love France for all the vacation time...

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Hola Alvaro, yep, best to just forget the bad ones, and dwell on what's really good in life...

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Dear Watercats, yep, ain't she a beauty, the epitome of pits (e-pit-o-me, hehehehe, geddit, har har, not to be cofused with a pit)? Yes, just imagine the peaceful breeze in the trees as other breezes announce themselves, yes indeed, a very moving experience, to be sure... you may want to modify the poster you posted to read instead "Flatulence is Strength"
;-D

Owen said...

Dear Lady Jicky, normally a lady wouldn't mention a "dunny", but we'll pardon you (just this once I'm sure)... yeah, funny how spiders seem to like places like this, I guess after millions of years of experience they've figured out that flies often fly by to savor the wafting scents...

I went looking to see if you had a blog, but couldn't find one, just a bare bones profile... so, feel free to tell us all a little more about your ladyship... in any case, many thanks for dropping by here, come back anytime...
:-D

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Hi Dedene, I guess "petit coin" is as good as any. My English-French dictionary only says an outhouse is a "dépendence", which is not right either. Or "les toilettes"... ou peut être, "là ou le roi va seul" ?

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Dear FF, well I'm glad you, the dogs, and the car were alright finally, I hope so anyway, but I'm sure that is material for nightmares... I'm afraid I haven't figured out how to format text in the comment box... blogger says you can use some HTML tags, but I tried a couple of times and couldn't figure out how to make it work... maybe someone out there knows ?

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Hi Loulou, thanks so much... things are looking up now, as two weeks of vacation start today. The Toilet Museum website is lovely... there had to be such a place on this planet somewhere, so good of you to bring it to our attention. There is a short piece of verse from a french poet on that site which says :

"My shoes my stockings, my overcoat
My collar, my glove, my hat
Have all been soiled by the same substance
I would mistake myself rubbish"

Guess hygiene was more difficult some centuries ago. Today it is more likely one's shoes that may be affected, and more like due to dogs in discreet ways, than humans... many thanks in any case... hope you will get to the museum and report on it ! We'll be waiting, holding our breath...
:-D

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Hi @eloh, I actually have a friend in Pennsylvania who told me they had black snakes coming up their plumbing and hiding in the toilet bowls of their old cesspool equipped farm house... and thanks for reminding me of "head", of course, as an ex-military person I guess you would have been familiar with such terms...

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Catherine, wow, where haven't you lived ? Not a nice prospect to have to worry about venemous spiders hiding under the seat, especially when stumbling around in the dark at night... ah, the bog... with heavenly impications... perhaps that is where the expression "stinking to high heaven" arises from ? And thanks so much for the lovely "el excusado" and the cockney slang, I loved the little I heard of those, what wonderfully quick minds people have to come up with such treasures...

Owen said...

Hi Amy, well hopefully things can only get better... I imagine China must have challenges with waste disposal, with over a billion people doing their business every day... One of the best I've seen however, was closer to where you were camping recently. In Havasu Canyon, Arizona, the campground has porta-potties, which is not unusual, as they don't want Havasu Creek getting polluted. But as there are no roads, they use helicopters to airlift the full porta-potties out of the canyon, and bring in empty ones. Quite a sight to see porta-potties swinging at the end of a cable from a helicopter going overhead. I wouldn't want to be around if one of them ever fell from above !!!
:-D
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Joo, thank you so much for the Polish version ! Now I'll know, if ever in need, to just ask where's the slawojka ! May come in handy some day, you never know...

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Hi Karen ! I take note of the capital "O"... I'm sure Appalachia must have had some beautiful outhouse architecture...

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Dear English ! A bridge over troubled waters, eh ? Well either storms or indigestion I guess could be at the origin of the "thunderous maelstrom" you're describing...
;-D
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Hi J, sounds like the scene in "Slumdog Millionaire", which really got people's attention in the cinema... ? Guess you'll just have to go back to bring us back the photos...

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Steve, thanks so much ! I'll remember that ! In fact, here in Paris there are quite alot of "turkish toilets" still, and we call them "turkish shoe washers" ! But yes, you are no doubt correct, my mind tends to run on sometimes. Which reminds me of a joke I heard on the Prairie Home Companion" once, which goes :

Q. Did you know that diarrhea is hereditary ? No ?

A. Yeah, it runs in your genes (jeans)...

;-D
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Caio F, many thanks !

robert said...

...and still remains a place where many great a thought was received.

A wonderful week for you.

Owen said...

Robert... may the inspiration strike you, may the muses light your nights with songs... may the ancient goddesses of Athens dance in your garden...

Margaret Pangert said...

Yeah, we should all have one of these in our backyards for burying our troubles! But no door? Possibly one on our left? It's a great photo--looks like it was taken during the great dust bowl era.

Roxana said...

well, to try to add a bit of fun (belatedly as usual, but this doesn't matter, does it? images arrest time as it is :-): in (your beloved) Transylvania the word for it is "buda", yes exactly like the great Buddha. as if they knew the answer of great Ummon:

A monk once asked Ummon, "What is the Buddha?" Ummon answered thus: "A dried shit-stick!" (there is this note as well: A 'dry shit stick' was the medieval equivalent of toilet paper. Hence Ummon's reply is sometimes translated as "Something to wipe your arse on!")

La Framéricaine said...

As William Faulkner wrote, not to contradict your inclination to stamp "DONE" on your difficult week, "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

The Sagittarian said...

ah I can see you have been 'bogged' down of late, but I'm on a 'roll' so now is the time to confess that I was sent to my room when I was a lot younger as my Dad took exception to me referring to "it" as the dunny!! These days I sometimes call 'it' the Donut in Granny's Green House. No idea why.

Owen said...

Hi Margaret, yeah, I think the door is open on the left... I love the way the seat and raised lid is just visible here in the gloom of the interior... no electric lights to dispell the dark. And yes, it could go back a few decades, these rough hewn logs...

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Roxana ! From a lady, he gasped, while howling with laughter !
:-D
Too funny your story, and illustrating that timeless truth that never gets told in mythology and bibles and whatever holy books... which is that all these gods and godesses and prophets and holy people... they all had to wipe their arses too...

How utterly refreshing, he said, still gasping for breath after apoplectic laughing fits... with tears streaming down cheeks (on face !)
:-D
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Dear Fram... well, I guess he has a point there, but still, people do tend to forget or even repress some memories, probably just as well too...

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Dearest Saj, you certainly are on a roll, what is it when one has a good hand of cards... aces flush ??? So, if I understand then the word "dunny" is perhaps not something a proper young lady should be referring to by that name ? Oh dear, I hope I haven't offended anyone with my "been there, dunny that"... As for the Donut in Granny's Green House... hopefully the psychological meaning of that will be revealed in time...

Roxana said...

on face, ha!!! :-)

well, being this a highly praised zen story, i thought that even a lady could enjoy it, and this enjoyment could be even called wisdom :-P
only advantages, as you see, not to mention the satisfaction of witnessing you crying with laughter :-P

Priya said...

I must say that it is a very idyllic looking Jake. The sort that inspires poetry and stuff while being used.