Pee Pot Chronicles #3: The Idea Spreads

05 Jan

I handed the book to the Norwegian psychiatrist, who had dropped by to see my husband. Liquid Gold: The Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants. “Gross,” he smiled slightly, eyebrows raised. I explained that it was much less distasteful than some of the other historical uses of urine described therein, and that I was working on a related idea which I had not fully disclosed to my husband (although he was in the recliner beside me when I said this).

I like to tease this man. We are similar in a way, we–the four of us including our spouses–have discovered. INTP is the type in Meyers Briggs personality testing. For example, we enjoy similar authors and films, and share a love of food gardening, though his plots are much more carefully planned and neatly kept. But we are different, and not only in the ways our genders flavor that type. He is very refined and careful in speech, you see, also somewhat severe in matters of ethics, tradition and social norm. I am also a little intimidated by him, having experienced and witnessed several of his frowns and rather scornful remarks. Usually preceded by a silence and contraction of his eyebrows. My dear friend, his wife, seems in some ways under his thumb. But because of her loving and accommodating ways, as well as the values they share at a deep level, their marriage works. And I do appreciate his kindness to us (he has really been a faithful friend), his loving shepherding of his children, and tenderness to his wife and his over ninety-five-year-old mother. Sometimes I have been concerned that I have offended him, but his wife confided in me that he likes me and does not mind my teasing. I believe she enjoys it too, and watches for its effect.

My husband took up the topic of urine, and to my surprise did not reject the idea but considered how to make it work. We arrived at my previously envisioned idea of keeping a bucket of sawdust in the bathroom. Well, perhaps it was only I that visualized it in that location, but still, I felt it was progress. I shared with the men the importance of quick composting with a carbon-rich material in order to quickly capture the nitrogen before it escaped into the atmosphere and prevent odors, and that adding sugar was a quick way to begin the process, as sawdust breaks down slowly.

This week I found an appropriate piece of furniture for the pee pot at the used building supply store. It’s a two-door upper kitchen cabinet, about the height of a toilet, in good, strong plywood. I would cut a hole in the top, attach a toilet seat, and leave the box as is or refinish. Probably should paint the interior for liquid waterproofing and easy cleaning. Still, I thought it might be a wee bit large for the bathroom, so I’ll see if I can find a one-door cabinet. I do think I’d better finish my kitchen cabinet refinishing project first, though. I am trying to be organized like our Norwegian friend. Perhaps he will be so impressed with my urine composting system that he will make one and place it in his family bathroom, just beside the cat’s litter box.


Posted by on January 5, 2014 in Ideas, Interviews and Conversations


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2 responses to “Pee Pot Chronicles #3: The Idea Spreads

  1. jdawgsrunningblog

    January 6, 2014 at 5:19 am

    I like the profile of your friend—very insightful characterization and synthesis—makes me want to read more of it–and perhaps see it catalyze a ‘short story’, perhaps taking the pee pot notion further (a fictional variation, as it were)—reminds me of much of what Raymond Carver did back in the day (though I like yours better!)–have you read any of his work?

  2. toesinthedirt

    January 7, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    No, I haven’t read Carver yet. I’ve just put Collected Stories on hold; thanks for the suggestion.
    I keep thinking about your “All roads lead to fiction” statement, and I’m beginning to see how that can be. Still, short story seems a very daunting genre. I hope to get there some day.


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