Friday, July 8, 2016

Outhouse Humor - with addendum

This post is not what you probably thought it would be from the connotations of the title. Out at our country retreat, Shabo-Mekaw, we do not have indoor plumbing. (The link takes you to a post that has several more links to posts about Shabo-Mekaw, if you're interested.) The outhouse is actually quite pretty, as far as outhouses go, and was even decorated with charming cartoon drawings to amuse you while there.

These drawings were done by Ken Lobitz, the man who built the original cabin back in 1960. They were matted, covered with acetate, and well-secured to the wall. Because they had been there so long, and their condition was beginning to deteriorate, I decided to take them down in order to preserve them. I thought it would be nice to share them here, and that Ken might get a kick out of it!

I don't know where he got these, but I'm guessing he came up with them on his own. I'll have to ask him.

This one looks like the inside of the cabin, except for the chair. I wonder if there was a chair there that he had made, and if so, where is it? And was it really that uncomfortable?

This one is so silly, it just cracks me up!

So does this one!  The expression on his face is great.

This one might be my favorite.

The text was on the mat of this one, but I believe it said something like, "From time to time, a real man just has to get out and rough it."  Love these guys!

These have provided me with amusement for many years, so I thought I'd share them here. I don't think Ken will mind. Also, please check out Ken's beautiful blog (which contains no cartoons), Kinniconick Reverie. He shares many wonderful stories about his time and adventures at Shabo-Mekaw and elsewhere, along with poems, philosophy, and lots more. Thanks, Ken, for making the outhouse a more pleasant place to be!

Ken has contacted me with some further history and insights about these cartoons. Here's what he said:
"What a “hoot”.  Bob and I are still laughing about those crazy sketches.  I’m still amazed that they survived and that you have been able to reproduce them so perfectly.  PLEASE keep them at Shabo because they belong to the place.

Yeah, I must confess that most of them were inspired by cartoons in Field and Stream magazine, but I took some liberties of course.  The last drawing, without caption, should read:  “Does a feller good to git out and rough it once in a while”.  The chair in cabin was one of my own, however.  There was a real chair, with a story behind it.  I designed it and Dad and I built it in my folks basement, in their house in Mt. Airy.  When finished we sat in it and though I thought it not bad, my Dad (a perfectionist) insisted that it wasn’t right.  We took it apart and rebuilt it.  The cartoon was his favorite.

That silly one about getting a patent on outhouse holes also had some history.  One of my nieces was about two years old and would have fallen thru the hole, so Dad built a special seat that fit over the big seat."
Thank you for the additional information, Ken, and for building and caring for such a magical place all those years!

Ken's blog: Kinniconick Reverie


  1. They almost seem like the type of cartoon one would see in the New Yorker.

  2. Thank you for the morning smiles, and sharing the link to Ken Lobitz' site. I'm a fairly new follower here, so haven't read much of the history of your cabin In the woods. I've just spent the last hour reading through Kens's posts, becoming an armchair traveller from my home in Edmonton, AB., and finding myself dreaming of a similar place. It sounds like heaven on earth.


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