We had an outside toilet, of course, Sutherland not being sewered then; in fact I did not live in a place with a proper sewered toilet until we moved to Cronulla; Jannali and Oyster Bay had septic tanks. There were weekly visits by the dunny man, who came in a malodorous truck and left a Christmas Card in the toilet every year, a rhyming thing from “The Man Who Comes Around”. The custom was to leave a couple of bottles of beer in the toilet in exchange. It was good to keep onside with the dunny man, as he could easily spill his load where you didn’t want it, accidentally of course, if you offended him. Fear is having to go the toilet on dunny man day, knowing he might come barging in and take the can in mid act, so to speak. He never did of course.
Fear was also having to go there at night, since it was the abode of redback spiders (quite venomous) and one took a candle and newspaper to light, to flush the buggers out before you sat down. Happiness was being the first to use a fresh can. At night of course we usually used chamber pots, and the least enviable household chore for a kid was having to “empty the slops.” This is partly why every backyard had a patch of rampant nasturtium or pumpkin vines. I once caught my brother doing something strange into the chamber pot. He tried to explain to me there was something in his penis (a word he did not use — I think he just said “in there” as we rarely mentioned our bodily parts) and it had to get out, and not to tell Mum. I was suitably mystified.
Good heavens! Did I write that? True though.
The second post deals with a later time: Towns I’ve stayed in 2 — Dorrigo:
I was staying with a friend who was acting Presbyterian Minister at the time. Greg and Helen; no surnames, in view of the anecdote coming up, though I did get to recall it with Helen in much more recent days. The parkland I do recall, as desperation led us to “steal” (or swap) a pan toilet from the park in the dead of night one night; circumstances I won’t go into had led to a need for a replacement at “The Manse” — urgently! It was the only solution… 😉
And here is the dunny cart from Shellharbour History in Pictures:
Note the cigarette dangling from his mouth! Perhaps necessary, given the smell that hung around those trucks.