The outhouse joke


Reach for it

The outhouse joke.

Recently, when coffinworks visitors Marshall and Donald toured our place, it called to mind their growing-up years on a dairy farm in Iredell County and the following outhouse story:

My father had an outhouse with two seats. One day one of the hired hands went down to use it. Well he was in the middle of his business when a second man showed up with the same intentions and sat down. Soon the first man finished, stood up, and started pulling on his overalls.

A nickel fell out of his pocket and went down the hole. The man looked in and spied his coin. Then he opened his wallet, pulled out a $20 bill, and threw it down the hole. The second man looked at him like he was crazy. “What’d you do that for?” he said.

The first man rolled up his sleeves and said, “Well you didn’t think I was going to reach down in there for 5 cents, did you?”

An outhouse with two seats

At an off-grid homestead, a two-seater outhouse is like the marble tub in a penthouse suite. Fancy. A sign of class. The upgrade. We have one here at Melleray Farmstead, the cottage-industrial home of Piedmont Pine Coffins. And not only is ours a two-seater, it also has a green metal roof and cypress clapboard. Yeah.

Our outhouse is county-approved and a pleasant enough experience. If you visit, you can use it. Take a friend. Use either seat you like and mind your change.


  1. Julie Byrne says

    I’ve used it, but yet to have the partner or lost-change experience. (Still laughing!)

  2. Paul Cuadros says

    I was speaking with some friends who were discussing where to put a half bathroom in their Carrboro home for guests to use. I joked why not build an outhouse in the backyard! But feeling like there was more to this thread I continued to riff and suggested that perhaps I was on to something here. Given the tiny house movement and sustainability issues are all the rage perhaps a tiny outhouse could be the next big thing! My friends added that Carrboro/Chapel Hill are home to the most concentrated location for high-end grocery stores like Whole Foods and Fresh Market in the country! I remarked that not only would that add to the tiny outhouse movement but other movements as well.

    • As a matter of fact, I (not really) have a proposal in committee at Whole Foods Chapel Hill for a two seater in the parking lot next to the cart return. With an inexpensive methane digester, they could light the lights for three hours a night. Especially with all the fibrous foodstuffs consumed in that cafe.