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Pit Toilet

Yesterday's entry reminded me of this toilet experience:

Back in 1984, I rented an old house that had long been vacant, and started an English school. Being a very old house, it had an old style toilet -- a hole in the floor with a porcelain cover. Actually, it was like a pit hole. Whenever I used it, I would check my pants pockets in case some valuables were in them. I felt like once something fell into the darkness, it would be gone forever -- You could pick it up with some tools anyway, but the thought terrified me a lot. What's worse, the floor was made of wood, aged wood, making squeaking noise every time, and it made me scared to death to think it might fall out some day.

When I was a kid, "compost holes" (um, not literally, please guess) were commonly seen in the fields. A kid falling in a hole was a likely enough story. In fact, I saw a friend fall into one of them, which was a disaster. I would never want to experience it in my house.

A kind of horror story, isn't it? Fortunately (?!), we were safe. The house is still there, used as a warehouse for a supermarket, I hear.


I just returned from a camping trip at Lake Tahoe (Nevada) where our cabin had a composting toilet. It was a sit-down toilet, but it did not flush. It was odorless and quite pleasant and ecologically a very sound idea. If you are interested in knowing more about modern composting toilets, check out the Clivus Multrum site (http://www.clivusmultrum.com/products.html).

Is there a dark smelly hole left underneath the warehouse?!

Thanks for the info, Ms. Stevens. That sure is an interesting idea. I want to experience it if I have a chance.

Darren, I think there is. Nobody has lived there since we left it and nothing seems to have been done to it.

One unique 'toilet' experiences I've had was on a visit to with a friend in Alaska. He had an Incinolet electric toilet. (No problem with pipes freezing.) To use it, you first put a liner into the bowl to receive that waste. You then sat down and did your business. Once finished, you turned around and press a petal that allowed the liner and the waste in it to drop into an incineration chamber. A press of a start button begins the incineration cycle with the waste and liner converted into about a tablespoon of sterile ash. Very pleasant and efficent. Toilet can be used in the mist of an incineration cycle.