Tales From the Humboldt Hills: Bun Warmer

CaptureThings are getting pretty darn sophisticated in the Humboldt Hills but still folks can live mighty rough. There’s more than one outhouse still in constant use. Here’s a story I told in 2007 that still makes me smile.

According to my neighbor, one morning he was staring gingerly at the ice encrusted toilet seat on the wooden box he called an outhouse and he came up with a bright idea. After finishing his morning business hurriedly and from an awkward squatting position, he unhitched the still frozen seat, brought it into the house and hung it behind the wood stove.

There it dangles, a somewhat odd wreath, waiting for cold mornings, when he just takes it down, scampers out to the toilet, and reattaches the now toasty bun warmer.

Now this doesn’t strike me as particularly sanitary but there is a strange appeal to its simplicity.


Photo credit John’s Military History



  • actually, a compoting toilet is much more sanitary than a gross septic system. if you do a little research you will find this is a very simple and sanitary, and ecologically sound way to deal with the human waste we have all been brainwashed to think is nasty and unspeakable. so spoiled and uninformed we have become.

    • The seat itself isn’t the composting toilet. Nice try to bash an otherwise harmless tale.

    • “So spoiled and uniformed we have become”? The point of the story was that a lot of So Humboldtians still live simply. You where so busy reading between the lines that you forgot to read the actual lines!! Your grammar makes you sound like Barry.

  • Phineas Homestone

    I smiled and nodded when I read this the first time. Since then, during the cold months, the seat has a revered spot above the stove.

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