Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Poo, Piss and Pine-Sol™ - Part IV

For those of you who haven't read Parts I, II and III, a honeybucket is a chemical toilet which until recently was the only alternative to shitting in a snowdrift. In lieu of a flush toilet, it was basically a pail lined with a couple of garbage bags containing a couple of gallons of human effluent laced with Pine-Sol (or Mist-o-van) to kill the odor. Unfortunately, there was nothing to do to make it more visually appealing.

Pivotal to the understanding and full appreciation of the disaster below is that the entire honeybucket pail must be carried outside the house when emptying.

One teacher, newly arrived in the Arctic and not having had the drill for the safe disposal of honeybucket effluvia explained to him, deduced that the procedure was the same as removing a kitchen garbage bag from its container. Obviously Teddy, as he was called, wasn’t teaching physics, because he would have immediately factored in the weight of 3-4 gallons of sewage sloshing around inside a thin plastic bag into the equation.

On his maiden flight, he lifted the bags out of the bucket still in the bathroom, and starting walking outdoor over the living room carpet, the wall-to-wall living room carpet. Inevitably the bags burst, spewing poo, piss, Pine-sol, bum wad and used Kotex a couple inches thick between the couch and the television set.

So distraught was Teddy that he abandoned the apartment and started camping out at another teacher’s residence, and out of shame told no one of his mishap. Its existence became apparent a few hours later to the other residents of the apartment block when the stairwell began to smell like a pig farm in a spruce forest. However, it took a few days for someone to track down the source of the odor and, by that time, the sewage had eaten its way through the carpet, the tiles underneath down into the plywood.

It took a good two months to clear out the sludge, remove the carpeting and replace the tiles and sub-flooring. But alas, the psychological damage on Teddy was done – he was kicked out of town for sneaking into other people’s bathrooms as he had now developed a morbid fear of shitting at home.


Blogger amaruk-nanuk said...

Poor Teddy I sure hope that it wasn't you there nanuk in this episode. Lucky we have flush toilets now or we'd be going through a hell of alot of teachers. I'm glad I'm not in the maintenance department of that era.
Glad I never saw that happen inside a house only saw it just a few feet away from the 45 gallon drum that we put the bags in the early days.
Can't wait to see some more on this honey bucket era.
Keep it up as it brings back good old memories. LOL

5:39 PM  
Blogger nanuk said...

Hey A.N.: Twasn't I what done the deed, but I ended up living in that apartment a few years later. This apartment had a few peculiarities, not the least of which was a big window in the wall separating the living room from the bedroom. Thought of charging money for a peep-show, but that's another story.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Belle said...

I'm so thoroughly disgusted right now, I can't even begin to tell you, lol!

4:02 AM  
Blogger nanuk said...

Belle: do you know that when Queen Elizabeth visited Yellowknife, she brought her own toilet with her? A friend on mine was a protocol officer on that event and it's true.

9:14 AM  
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