An Exciting Use for the Outhouse

Boring school subjects motivated students to escape to the outhouse.

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At school many times, the hum-drum of study sessions became somewhat boring. One grew weary of tracing Civil War battles, or of extracting the square root of six-digit numbers, or of diagramming "mile-long" sentences, etc. This was an ideal time to fake the necessity of going to the privey. By eyeing the improvised "signal board" at the back of the room, one knew the "coast was clear" when the white side, instead of the black one, was in view (showing that someone else was out of the room at that time). This was the time to hold your hand high with two fingers up, which meant, "May I go?" If the teacher's eye seemed to evade you, you could shake your hand more vigorously so she would assume an emergency existed and would likely nod consent. You then hurriedly turned the signal board and rushed through the door. 

Daisy Brown
Prairie Village, Kansas


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.