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 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 them 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’re wondering, thinking about oatmeal cookies while trying to eradicate spiders in a smelly outhouse was something we definitely could wrap our minds around to get through it!)

The problems: we couldn’t murder-ify the spiders. 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 threatening critters.

But, as boys often do, we soon came up with a solution: 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, 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.

We were really expecting a very large BANG… but all we got was a measly little, pop.
Neither of us had ever heard of a dud cherry bomb before.

Well, we put our heads together again, which was probably dangerous at the best of times, and concluded that if we twisted the fuses together of half a dozen cherry bombs, it might do the job.

See, who said kids don’t think.

Our plan B was genius. Unfortunately, we were not, leaving out the consideration of unexpected variables.

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.

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

Not even noticing us standing awestruck outside, he quickly hobbled up the path to the house, which was all the more humorous because his pants were down around his ankles and his backside 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 not knowing where in the world those boys got dynamite!

Reasonably I suppose, Buster and I were given the more-than-stinky task of washing the inside of the outhouse… but his mama did give us each a glass of milk and some oatmeal cookies.

I think it was about that time that Buster’s daddy began to develop a very peculiar twitch, very similar to my father’s. It must be hereditary or something, because when my three boys were in their teens, I began to acquire that 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 parents. I reckon there wouldn’t be boys if there weren’t parents. Lord, please help all parents and keep them safe. We love you and thank you for an interesting childhood that, for the most part, we survived. Amen

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.


  1. I am still laughing….what a colorful childhood you had and I am so glad you are sharing these stories. Thank you my dear friend!

    • Dear NH, One important thing I have learned is that a sense of humor, of joy, even the ridiculous is a wonderful gift from Papa God. I realize that to some that might border on the sacrilegious, but I back up what I am saying with the wild and whacky things we see in nature. Take monkeys for instance…no, lets not take monkeys! Bless you, Chaz

  2. Gives a whole new understanding to the phrase “blew the crap out of it” and the possibility of the etymology of the phrase being traced to Buster and Chuck. Great Sunday morning chuckle from the master story teller.

  3. Dear Mike, I can still see Buster’s daddy staggering up the path to their house with his pants down around his ankles! Life sure is fun isn’t it? Bless you folks muchly, Chaz

  4. WOW!! Now, that story sure got my endorphins going this morning!!
    It’s even funnier because my grandparents had one on their farm and all kinds of stuff happened. Like the time when my cousins moved it back about 3 feet!! When you mix boys and outhouses, well, just watch out!!
    Sure was a great, visual story!!
    Thanks Chuck. God bless you!

  5. CSG, O yes, I can taste them yet, scrumdiddlyicious! There probably isn’t a more simple cookie to bake but It just goes to prove that from the perspective of time and memory everything is more vivid. Bless you, Chaz

  6. Charlie, we sure enjoyed the spider hunt and left ourselves silly. Having never used an outhouse your description was wonderful and instructive. Thanks again for a great read.

  7. Charlie, we sure enjoyed this weeks tale. Having never used an out house I found the article both funny and instructive. Can’t wait till next week.

  8. Dear Herb and Susette, when I was a kid almost every home had what was known as a “necessary facility” in their back yard. Most were built of clapboard construction, only the wealthy could afford brick out houses, which the less refined referred to as s..tters, or s..t houses. Toilet paper or “Arbuckles” was not common but a bucket of corn cobs or a Monkey Wards catalog served the purpose very well. Oh, and by the way, I have seen a couple two story crappers in my time. Bless you folks, Chaz

  9. Many memories, my grandparents lived out in the country by a lake and their yard was BIG, especially for young boys, fortunately there was an outhouse on the far back edge which was used when it wasn’t possible to get to the house! This does not seem very frightening but there was a nest of wasps who had built a nest or hive or whatever it is called in that very outhouse so using it became a rite of passage into becoming “grown up”! It took courage to use that facility, all the while staring at the nest and planning how we would escape certain death if we even saw a wasp! Ah, the warm memories of childhood! To this day if I see a wasp or bee, I do not swat at it or even yell, I simply become very still and pray,” Father, please tell him I will leave him alone if he affords me the same courtesy ” !

  10. Ahh Ricardo me ol’ pal, Just yesterday I evicted a nest of wasps from a friends house. The friend was grateful, he wasps not so much. I have always had an agreement with the wild creature innature that if they don’t molest me I won’t molest them! That has worked out pretty well so far for all involved. Bless you, Chaz

  11. Little Brother, He He … Always with your Funny & Lovely Stories that remind me my childhood at the farms … We loved it and had some much fun. And also we’re still alive.
    Thanks GOD for this Beautiful Childhood and for giving us such a wonderful fathers.

  12. Leonardo my dear brother and friend, bless you and protect you always. It is hard losing someone but someday Papa God will restore that which has been lost. God bless you mmi brother in Jesus, Chaz


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