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U3A Writing: Where It Happened

When Fay White was a little girl she was frightened of long-drop toilets. Old people were horrified at the suggestion of toilets inside the house. Her mother-in-law said “They will be so unhygienic!” When toilets were installed in bathrooms her mother was appalled that towels would hang in the same room.

Years later, Fay's memories prompted her to write this poem.

Revulsion at the memory
Of that horrible smelly place,
Where overcome with the urge
Out there you would race!

Where you took a kero lantern,
In rain or hail at night
And prayed there were no spiders
To give a heck of a fright.

There never was a toilet roll,
Hanging on a silver ring,
Just squares of old newspaper
Tied up with bits of string.

Why tourists are obsessed with Dunnies
I’ll never understand,
‘cos personally I thought them
the worst place in the land.

Then the old folk were in shock
At a toilet in the house.
“How unhygienic, how embarrassing –
You’ll need to be as quiet as a mouse!”

Well, I’ll stick with the ensuite.
No more avoiding Wednesday’s Can Man,
Or nightmares of falling in –
I’ll sell my backyard dunny
To tourists from Japan!


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