Inspiration

By Charles Towne

Buster was a friend of mine and his mama hated spiders.

She didn’t just hate spiders, she hated spiders with a passion.  To hear her tell it spiders were fallen angels, the spawn of Satan.

One day his mama told us that if we killed the spiders in their outhouse she would give us each some of the oatmeal cookies that she had just baked. Wow, what a deal!
Buster told me that the reason his mama hated spiders so bad was that she was afraid one of the was going to bite her on her bum.

Well, it might happen!

Anyway, we went out to their necessary facility and started looking for spiders and soon realized the spiders were smarter than we were which really shouldn’t have surprised us all that much ‘cause even garden slugs were smarter then we were.

Yeah, the clever little boogers were pretty clever ‘cause they were hiding under the toilet seat where they could bite any unwary bottom that happened to intrude upon their domain.
(And in case you are wondering, thinking about oatmeal cookies while trying to eradicate spiders in a smelly outhouse was something we could wrap our minds around quite easily.)
Problem; we couldn’t murderfy the spiders because as much as we desired those delicious oatmeal cookies neither of us wanted to stick our heads through the hole in the toilet seat to hunt for spiders.

But we soon came up with a solution to our dilemma.  We would blow the spiders up!

I had some cherry bombs left over from the 4th of July and after giving it very little thought (which was the way we approached most of our schemes) we figured that if we dropped a cherry bomb down the toilet hole, BANG!  No more spiders.
I held the cherry bomb while my old pal Buster lit the fuse.  I stepped into the outhouse and threw the cherry bomb down the toilet hole and turned to jump back outside just as my old buddy Buster slammed the door trapping me in the outhouse!

Did I say he was my friend!

Well, my desire to get out was greater than his desire to keep me in so we were both standing outside laughing when the cherry bomb exploded.
Were we really expecting a very large BANG? but all we heard was a measly little, pop.
Neither of us had ever heard of a dud cherry bomb before.
Well, we put our heads together (which was probably dangerous at the best of times) and concluded that if we twisted the fuses together of half a dozen cherry bombs together it might do the job.

See, who said kids don’t think?

About the time we threw our spider killing bomb down the toilet hole Buster’s daddy surprised us by rushing down the path on a very urgent errand.

He threw the door open and had just sat down when our bomb exploded…quite spectacularly I might add.

Suddenly Buster’s daddy exited the outhouse without even opening the door.
I mean, he quite literally tore the door off its hinges.

He didn’t even look at us as he hobbled up the path to their house which was all the more humorous because his pants were down around his ankles and his backside was adorned, painted if you will, with the aromatic contents from the nether regions of the outhouse.   As he stumbled along he was mumbling something about, “where in the world did those boys get the dynamite!”

Well, Buster and I were given the somewhat stinky task of washing the inside of the outhouse but his mama did give us each a glass of milk and some oatmeal cookies.
It was about that time that Buster’s daddy began to develop a very peculiar twitch similar to my father’s. It must be hereditary because when my three boys were in their teens I began to acquire the same twitch.

Papa God’s children sometimes do some rather goofy things don’t we?  But do you know what?  He loves us anyway, and He is going to give us something a lot sweeter than milk and oatmeal cookies!

Papa God, thank you for being so very patient with us.  Let us hear your voice speaking to us and let us feel your presence each and every day so that we can be what you want us to be each day of our lives.  And oh Yes Daddy, fill us with your love so other will know we have been in your presence.  In Jesus’ beautiful name, Amen.

Live fully,
Love openly,
Trust God, and make a difference, today.


Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.

25 COMMENTS

  1. What an article, so absolutely hilarious! It was especially funny to me because I have had those joyous occasions of visiting my grandparents’ wonderful outhouse. As much as I loved going to their farm out in the country every summer, I dreaded the horrible outhouse!! My brother and I were both quite young, probably no more than 8 or 9, but those sights and smells were imbedded in our memory for years to come! So, reading your story was quite an adventure, bringing me to the point of tears from laughter!
    I thank God for memories to look back on…..memories of a time when family was everything and everyone together was delightful and we all looked forward to it. Thank you Lord, for allowing us to be ourselves and loving us despite our imperfections. We ask you to keep working on us, making us more like you each day.
    Thank you, Chuck! God bless you!

  2. Great way to start the day…laughing:) thank you Charles for sharing your childhood memories. Your mama was a patient woman…God Bless her!

  3. Yes NH, you are so right, my dear old sainted mama was patient until she wasn’t. Boy, do I miss her! Laughter is sooo very good for our overall health and though much of life is difficult and a challenge sometimes beyond enduring we can usually find something to laugh about. I have heard of folks that were unable to express emotion, like dead fish they are. Just think of it, no laughter, no tears, no nothing, just…being. Sort of sad when you think about it. Thanks, and I am sooo glad you enjoyed the article! Chaz, AKA, Old what’s his face. Blessings on you and yours dear friend. C

  4. Dear CSG, Back in the day there were three things that could be found in the privy; a Montgomery (Monkey) Wards catalog was nailed to the wall for the convenience of guests, a bucket of corn cobs for the use of family, (we were really tough,) and then there was a bucket of lye that we spread down below to sort of knock down that sweet and piquant odour. Outhouses are sort of like people. They need something to knock down the stench of sin which is where our Lord comes in. With His beautiful presence even the stinkiest old poop can be changed into a sweet smelling gardenia. Keep laughing my friend, folks will wonder what you are up to, Chaz

  5. Don, And I am wondering, just what do all you dear folks think i’m here for, only to entertain you guys? Come to think about it I suppose there could be some merit in that. Makes me think about the lady that was a tad overweight. She went out to use the necessary facility and due to those extra pounds and the age of the privy she crashed through the floor into the nether regions. It took several men with ropes to rescue her. I reckon that would be something folks would talk about for some time. Sort of embarrassing you might say. I
    have an idea even her angel laughed about that one. Chaz

  6. That “boys will be boys” story is pretty wild…lol, Mr. Towne. I don’t blame that boy’s mama for not liking spiders when she went to the use the outhouse! We have a big ugly spider, right now, under the high under hang of our carport from the wrought iron column over to the under hang, of the outside ceiling. It is up high, and has been there since the electrician came to our house and did some work outside the carport around at the power meter box area, last month. He was so fascinated that he got out his cell phone, zoomed it, and clicked that thing’s photo. It is big, has a white pattern on it’s back, and has a very intricate web, and some heavier webs that looks like cursive writing near the center. So far, all I have seen that spider catch is a dragon fly. I have let him stay, but I think it is about time for him to go. I’ll send my husband with the broom, to walk him to the woods, so he can find himself another home….lol. The electrician guy kept talking about wolf spiders, he has seen. I looked them up, but this spider, I couldn’t find out what kind he is, as I didn’t see anything that looked like him. I am not too concerned, as I know where he is all the time, and he is up high.

  7. Dear Mama Mia, an arachnid by any other name is still a spider. You wouldn’t hurt a poor cute little innocent spider would you? Chaz

  8. Ah the memories! when I was a young lad myself we would visit my grandparents who lived in the country, so it was always an adventure for “city boys”. they had a truly gigantic backyard and it bordered on some cornfields which in turn bordered on some wooded areas. sometimes it was just too far to run back to the house and there was an outhouse along the fence line of the backyard and the cornfield. I understand your mothers qualms because this outhouse had a nest of hornets in the corner of the roof, a terrifying experience for almost anyone! I remember grandpa teaching us not to be afraid as long as we could not be stupid and try to knock down the nest with a stick or something! (blow it up?) He explained a new concept to us, my brothers and myself, called détente, he explained if we didn’t bother them, they probably would not bother us but still don’t linger ’cause hornets have a contrary streak! To this very day, whenever someone sees a bee or something and starts running and jumping around or trying to swat it ‘ I can still hear grandpa saying “let it alone, be still” Over my years I have finally come to understand that Papa God loves us so deeply that he gave us parents and moreover grandparents to train us up in the way we should go and especially to guide us when we needed it! Thanks for refreshing the memories and if you need them I think I might have a couple of cherry bombs left from years past!!!

  9. Richard, ain’t it the truth and you can depend on it ALWAYS, sin is surely like a wasp’s nest, fool around with it and you are going to get stung. A good thing to remember about wasps or sin, don’t let either of them build their nests to began with. Thanks for the comment pal, Chaz

  10. Enjoyed the story. I am surprised that Buster’s father didn’t give both of you the belt, or at least the wooden spoon. Now that is a nice man. You actually got the cookies. Buster’s mother must have been quite tickled. Yes, it is amazing how God puts up with our shenanigans. And our parents for that matter. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Kristin, Imagine that you are in a tiny little room. Now imagine that you are sitting and relaxing with never a care in the world. You are thinking good thoughts when Quite suddenly, with no warning you are shocked from your reverie by an explosion. The explosion is much louder due to the confined space. Not only is the blast loud but it is spectacular! Afterward you are deaf and in shock. You have no idea what just happened, consequently you don’t even think of punishing the boys because they couldn’t be responsible for what just happened, could they? I have always enjoyed big bangs! Seeing Buster’s daddy walk down that path and enter their house with his pants down around his ankles and his discolored behind has stuck with me for a long time. I always wondered what Buster’s mama thought when her husband made his grand entrance? Blessings, Chaz

  12. It is interesting to read about how things used to be. I have to say I am glad we don’t have to use outhouses anymore! Kids will always be kids, but it seems like kids used to have a lot more fun and be a lot more creative in their adventures and antics and pranks. I’m glad you have such entertaining stories to share with us. Good memories!

  13. Dear Nicole, back in the day our password was, NEVER A DULL MOMENT! Our lives as followers of Jesus is just that way, never a dull moment. I see it as sad when a kids imaginer is busted and He is unable to see outside of the box. The real sad thing is that so often parents are responsible for the loss. “Will you act your age!” and, “Will you grow up!” are unrealistic demands place on kids. Children act just like, well, they act like children, and isn’t that wonderful? Chaz

  14. For Nicole, yes l remember a somewhat simpler, safer time. All summer as soon as breakfast was over, the rule was, “go outside and play!” ( stop bothering your mother!) Our bikes became horses to ride with Hopalong Cassidy, our red wagons became pirate ships and sometimes spaceships to help Flash Gordon or The Space Patrol! It seems nowdays the video games are filled with horror and violence and that makes me very sad for the kids today, things have changed so much that most kids don’t have a parent at home to make sure they ” go outside and play! ” The universe of imagination is boundless and I am glad I got to grow up when I did!… (That should read, grow older!)

  15. Richard, reminiscing about those good old days helps to keep the mind active. And then there was always the incentive of “chores” those menial tasks such as feeding the chickens, gathering eggs, milking the cow, cutting and bringing in firewood for the cook stove and the heating stove, cleaning the ashes from the stoves, filling the water bucket, weeding the garden, mowing the lawn and other menial tasks that fell to the kids on our little farmstead, (I think it was called servitude that we were born into.) And there was still plenty of time for fishing, climbing trees and creative play. Yes pal, life was good. Chaz

  16. Memories! Memories are great, and when you think back in time, very entertaining. I worked for Western Electric for almost 35 years, and we were the equipment instillation group for AT&T Bell Systems. One time I was sent to the west coast of Florida, to a little place called Yankee Town. Yankee Town was a few miles from the Florida West coast and pretty primitive. We were to install additional equipment in a small telephone building, which had no restroom. But, we had access to a primitive Baptist Churches outhouse, about 200 feet away. Since we only worked during week days it was no problem, just a long walk.
    I remember one day, sitting in the outhouse, and looking at the available catalog and heard some light laughter! Well, I knew that I was supposed to be in a fairly isolated location and wondered where the sound was coming from. Then, I heard it again! So, I bent down and looked through the open seat next to me. BIG surprise! I was the entertainment for a lineup of four children that ranged from (it looked like) 5 years old to maybe 10! They were all flat on the ground and watching the action! I yelled and they took off for a house next to the church. Wondering why they wanted that kind of entertainment, and when I got out, I looked and it was obvious they had no TV. No sign of a TV antenna, which would have been needed as isolated as the area was. We warned others, when they came to help us, but the observations continued and all you had to do was yell, and the kids would take off!
    There is a lesson in this. We all like to be private in some things we do, but we serve a God that can see everything we do, nothing is hidden. Isn’t it comforting to know that at our worst He still loves us and stands ready to forgive us when we ask!

  17. Don, I never imagined there was any entertainment value in watching other folks poo but I reckon I could be wrong. It just goes to prove that it doesn’t take much for some people? That Yankee Town was one sick neighborhood pal, Chaz

  18. Chuck, As to chores, my father explained it us (my brothers and myself) thusly, ” If the Good Lord wanted me to do those things,He wouldn’t have given me sons! “.

  19. Richard, my friend, as opposed to being a wise guy your daddy was a wise man! I don’t know who said it but some dude said, “Children are supposed to earn their bread by the sweat of their miserable little brows!” (The guy that said that was not married and never had any kids.) Chaz

  20. AND i HE! Each of us was created, gifted if you will by God himself, with a fertile imagination but it seems with so many of us that wonderful chunk of anatomy was removed, hacked away with a dull knife by insensitive critics. A POX ON ALL CRITICS! Thanks Judith, I am greatly pleased that you enjoyed the piece. Chaz

  21. Wow! all I can say is wow! This is going to be a fun one to share after breakfast with the group! Such a vivid imagination even if only half of it were true! But, huh being a Christian, I’m sure it is all true even if using a sanctified imagination!
    Love you unka Chuck,
    PS.i was laughing so hard, I was crying!

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