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Passing of the Outhouse (1981)

by Tom G. Murray

Passing. Heh. Eh.

Tom Murray is (was?) a Death Valley character, a friend of other Death Valley characters, such as Death Valley Scotty.

This book is one of those strange amalgamations that folksie desert types like to put out. Other than that everything in it has to do with elimination, it's uncategorizable. There are lots of photos of outhouses, lots of typos, elimination lore, and lots of poems.

Yes, poems. Here's one:

Of all the outhouses that I have seen
Most were neat and clean
This is the only one that I found locked
Brothers and sisters if you had the "runs"
That nasty owner you would want to sock!

Here's one that appears beneath a rear view of a camper that has "OUR OUT-HOUSE" on the door:

Through the windshield much to my surprize [sic]
I saw an "outhouse on wheels"
I pulled alongside and shouted
"Mister may I photograph your behind?"
He smiled and replied, "I don't mind if
you photograph my behind!"

Among the bits of wisdom in the book:

In medieval days toilet paper was unknown. They used balls of hay called mempiria to complete their toilet (must of [sic] scratched hell out of their butts!)

Perhaps the strangest passage occurs on the first page, marked "PREFATORY":

The author regrets that it does contain a bit of history which stews out of me like the precious ottar of roses out of the ottar, only the smell is different.

Tom, if you're still with us, would you mind explaining that?