Last week, I told you about a Swedish outhouse, thousands of terrifying footsteps from a haunted farmhouse.
I’ve only been in four outhouses in my life; they’re going to scare me a little regardless of location. But 100 percent of Scandinavian outhouses have frightened me.
I can’t help but wonder if there’s a connection between things that scare me to the point of wanting to pee my pants, and the place you’re supposed to go so you don’t pee your pants.
I typically refuse to watch horror flicks on the grounds that sleeping at night is more important than keeping up with all aspects of pop culture. However, I’ve relented on occasion if someone promised it was “really, really good,” “not even a little bit scary,” and/or “mostly silly.”
Falling squarely in the “mostly silly” category is “The Cabin,” a horrible English flick wherein a giant disfigured man dressed as a lumberjack runs amok in the woods at night chopping folks up with a shovel. It was billed as a comedy, and English accents usually make me giggle (I am extremely mature for my age), so I thought I could handle it.
One weekend this summer, a group of us decided to watch it while actually staying in a cabin. Agreeing to this was my first mistake. My second mistake was downing a few pints of Guinness before the film started.
This was an extra bad idea on Scary Movie Night at the Remote Cabin Where It’s Darker Than A Black Steer’s Tuckus on a Moonless Prairie Night.
The cabin is situated miles from a paved road, its back against the dark sea and its front hemmed in by the woods. Never you mind the other little cabins dotting the jaggedy coastline — during the day, neighborhood families splashed in the freezing cold water, or popped out for a ride in the seaplane. At night, they either fled for town or were disfigured, dressed like lumberjacks and wielding a shovel.
I’m sure of it.
A half hour into “The Cabin,” the boyfolk were settled into chairs, stoking the fire and laughing at the lumberjack man, while I peered at the screen from behind another glass of Guinness and twisted around in my seat trying to figure out if I should run to the utidu or pee my pants.
I’d seen the utidu in daylight.
Like the Swedish one, the Norwegian loo was decorated with drawings of large-eyed people. Unlike the Swedish utidu, none of the people were crying, and the inside was painted red and yellow like McDonald’s. Despite the hefty lock, the door was one of those easy-to-break-in-with-a-shovel styles.
“A lady never pees her pants,” I reminded myself, and grabbed the flashlight.
After running and slamming the door behind me, I realized I couldn’t make out the shrieks of beshoveled Englishmen from inside the house. The flashlight whipped around as I reached for the t.p. and caught a web, sending the spider on it wriggling far too close to my head. I opened my mouth and air whooshed out, but no sound. And then I understood why I never saw other families wandering outside at night.
In the utidu, no one can hear you scream.
Jeanine Fritz’s musings on etiquette and shovel-wielding maniacs appear each Friday in the Colorado Daily.