The Bomb-Proof Crapper

I've got to make it possible to cross this stream.

There are always problems associated with access. I don’t mind Billy’s cousin and other assorted people passing through my land, especially since I’ll be passing through the cousin’s land to get to my other 2+ hectares, but to get across the stream comfortably and semi-dry, they remove the planks from the weir, lowering the water level. Well, that has to stop. So, I’ve got to build them a bridge, of sorts. You might wonder what this has to do with a bomb-proof crapper, but I’ll get to that.

When I build the bridge, it will also be advantageous to raise the water level behind it by 20 or 30cm. This will make feeding water to my rainbow trout easier. The water will return just above the weir so that it can help generate power or just look pretty falling over the edge. I’ll deal with the bridge in detail later, so let’s get a little closer to discussing the bomb-proof crapper.

The access road curves towards the stream.

The access road down the slope is looking nice. I’m going to have them carry on to the stream, another 20 or 30 meters. Then we’ve got to get over the thing, but where there’s a will, there’s way. Meanwhile, I’m going to have them build me a small shack. This will be a temporary shelter for me, but will be fine for Billy in the future when he’s selling beer and other essential items to guests.  It will be years before I have gorgeous villas with splendid views of the waterfall, so I’ve got to start getting people’s attention as soon as possible. It’s just a matter of defining the “stay” in Wrong Way Farm Stay a bit loosely. Then I can put up a big sign on the main road at the entrance.

No, sorry, you girls have to put on bathing suits at my rotenburo.

I’ve got this darned formative period of my life which happened coincidentally in Japan. One thing I learned to love was the rotenburo, or outdoor bath. Usually it’s a natural hot spring, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s easy to imagine 16 or so beautiful, young Japanese girls soaking in one, chitchatting about their daytime work, getting pissed on bottles of sake which, of course, are floating on trays. Closer to my actual rotenburo experiences would be 16 old women suffering from varying degrees of severe arthritis,  rheumatism, and lower back pain, with droopy tits flopping about their knees. But that doesn’t make my idea to have a rotenburo down in the lower tier and in full view of the waterfall any worse. It will be heated with the dump load from my hydro-power installation.

What we all have in common, though, is the occasional need to crap, not to mention maybe shower and change clothes.  It’s important, however, to clear up one myth about crappers.

Myth: The word “crap” is derived from Thomas Crapper’s name.

Fact. The origin of crap is still being debated. Possible sources include the Dutch Krappe; Low German krape meaning a vile and inedible fish; Middle English crappy, and Thomas Crapper. Where crap is derived from Crapper, it is by a process know as, pardon the pun, a back formation.

The World War I doughboys passing through England brought together Crapper’s name and the toilet. They saw the words T. Crapper-Chelsea printed on the tanks and coined the slang “crapper” meaning toilet.
The legend of Thomas Crapper takes its flavor from the real man’s life. While Crapper may not be the inventor of the product he is most often associated with, his contribution to England’s plumbing history is significant. And the man’s legend, well, it lives on despite all proof to contrary

The crapper is to the left, the shower/changing room is to the right. And yes, those are coffee trees growing on top.

You can learn much more about Mr. Crapper at But why does the crapper have to be bomb-proof? Well, there were times on the Bolaven Plateau when a bomb-proof crapper would have come in handy. Specifically, between 1964 and 1973 when the United States, thanks to this guy called Nixon, dropped more than 2 million tons of ordinance on these lovely people as they crapped in their fields. Laos and its people have had more bombs dropped on them than any country, ever. So, since history is tenacious about repeating itself, better safe than sorry.

A little concrete may not be reassuring enough.

It is also true that I need to do a “proof of concept” structure before I drag Billy over the edge and leap fully into the big and complicated stuff. It’s easy to understand unease about building with bags of dirt, or earthbags as they are commonly referred to. I like the term “flexible form rammed earth” but it never caught on. Taking a crap with the full knowledge that there are several tons of coffee-growing earth above your head might just cure anyone who has irritable bowel syndrome. Anyway, that’s it for now. I’ll be back to the land on or about December 11. The access road and my shack/abode should be finished by then.

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