Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The First Bin!

This is a transcribed audio interview with Nance and the fabulous winners of the 'first full bin' award...enjoy!

Nance: Do you want to say something about your first two weeks’ experience with Humble Pile?

Sara: Well, ah, my first two weeks of experience it wasn’t as trying as I thought it would be. Like, you know pooping in a bucket it kind of feels like camping inside my house. I like the fact that I get to get toilet paper now for free. I get the non-bleached napkins from Whole Foods and just snag a whole bunch, put them in my purse and bring them home. Sometimes it’s a little bit hard at night when I’m half awake and have to use the bathroom; sometimes I just use the regular toilet because I don’t want to deal with the bucket. So far so good. Every time I flush the toilet….

Andrew: I heard the toilet flush the other day I washed the dishes the other day and said, “Who flushed this toilet?”

Joanna’s been using the flush toilet because she’s been to lazy to come upstairs, she said “I know it’s such a lame excuse, but I just haven’t made it up to the summit” so I put a bucket downstairs for her.

Eduardo: She likes to save water. That’s why she’s not flushing the toilet all the time.

Nance: Any questions for the last two weeks of Humble Pile?

Chad: it’s been great it’s really like first nature. It’s intuitive. It doesn’t feel like anything different, to be honest. The smell of it, but that’s OK.

Mark: I had a near emergency which is I want to ask if I could spot on the bucket, and I thought, I wasn’t thinking and I did it like I would on a toilet I just stepped on the one side of the bucket and put my weight on it and the bucket fell over. And it was mostly full and like my heart stopped I thought there’s gonna be this big pile of shit on my bathroom floor. And I was like ‘oh shit’. So luckily I, while I was holding my breath, none of the logs did. That was my only close call.

Andrew: I’m, um, definitely a proponent of more that one or two handfuls per log.

Sara: Yeah!
Andrew: Because it’s definitely stinky if you don’t cover up the entire log. And here we turn to Chad!

Chad: Way too much sawdust!

Mark: That’s what I think. Me and Chad are kind of on the same page.

Andrew: That’s why it stinks!

Chad: It’s does not stink! I mean, you’re gonna have two different smells. You’re going to alternate smells one or the other. It’s not like it’s gonna get rid of one.

Mark: I kind of agree with Andrew. Like, I thought it smelled but I wouldn’t want to have any, like, I’ll just say uninitiated guests into the bathroom.

Andrew: Exactly.

Mark: Because, I was bragging to my brother was bragging that it “doesn’t even smell” and he opened the lid and he’s like “oh man!”

Chad: It’s poop, man! I mean, Jesus!

Mark: But is it going to be more palatable to people as a feasible movement? You know, um….


Nance: A “feasible movement” ?????!!!!

Mark: NO pun intended!


Mark: Because you know like my uncle said to me a couple of years ago, he was saying that Ireland was “backwards” He’s like, for example, people are still shitting in outhouses. You know and I’m thinking that we’re “backwards” because we’re shitting in flush toilets, ya know. And then my brother is like “this is like this: no one’s gonna NOT have a toilet in America. That’s why these expensive compost and dry toilets are being sold because they’re shaped like toilets and you could still feel like you’re using a toilet. And they have fans so you’re house doesn’t stink. So if there’s a way we could do it without all that contraption and plastic.

Chad: I don’t know man, I think it’s an enculturated response to poop. That it smells bad. If you could retrain yourself and reeducate yourself. Like it doesn’t even really smell that bad to me.

Andrew: But our poop is really close to our refrigerator! People who shit in the woods and do what we’re trying to assimilate here their poop is not anywhere near they eat.


Andrew: Nowhere near the river where they wash and get their fish.

Sara: Yeah we’re dirty.

Andrew: It’s think it’s a fine smell but there’s a reason that no matter where you’re at, no matter what culture you’re from shit is shit and it stinks for every person.

Mark: I’ve walked into our bedroom and smelled shit and that’s not good.

Sara: Then I don’t know what you guys are up to! Why isn’t it in the bathroom?!

Andrew: The bathroom is right off… The bedroom is just basically the same door to the bathroom.

Nance: I think you need to dump your bucket more often.

Sara: I don’t smell poop in my bedroom. Just to let you guys know, it’s not smelling anymore.

Andrew: I would like to share a little anecdote that didn’t get recorded yet. So, Sarah’s friend Nancy came over and I was in the kitchen doing dishes, and doing something, eating and Sara was in the bathroom and Sara shouts through the door “Nancy did I tell you yet that we poop in buckets?” And Nancy was like, “No, you didn’t but that’s so funny because just earlier today my coworker and I were talking about this lady on the Southside that’s spreading around all these buckets and having people poop in them!” And Sara and I were like, “I think that’s the same person! Is her name Nance?” So that was a fun time.


Chad: It’s not an obsession or anything but we would, I’m 40 and just a few years ago, me and my friends would send pictures of our shits to each other cause… who doesn’t look at their shit after they shit?

Sara: I look at my shit.

Chad: I know. It’s just a natural thing. There’s something about it.


Andrew: I have to look at what’s happening.

Mark: Eduardo, when you poo, do you look at it?

Eduardo: Um, yeah.


Mark: Do you look at mine?

Eduardo: I want a visual of what’s going on there.

Sara: I do have to say that pooping in the bucket, my poop does look a lot smaller than in the toilet.

Mark: I think mine looks bigger!

Andrew: It feels bigger than life in the bucket!

Chad: I tell you why. The amount of pressure that goes into a poop, I’m really fascinated by what comes out!

Nance: The product of your energy.

Chad: Yeah, basically.

Nance: You’re packing in one right now!


Mark: So how many people have you had conversations with?

Nance: You guys are the first. You guys are the first ones who loaded up a bin.


Nance: I have to put a #1 on your bin!

Mark, Andrew, Sara, Chad: Yah!!!!!


dorian said...

You guys are hilarious! Great stuff, so fun to be involved!

SpeedEBikes said...


Here's my humble thoughts.

I live in a house with a tiny unventilated bathroom on each of the first and second floor. So the bucket is in my basement next to the laundry sink.

I use sawdust fairly generously and the smell is tolerable in the basement but I think it would be much less pleasant upstairs.

I have a neuro-muscular disease which makes me wobbly and weak, especially when tired. I recently broke the wax ring seal under one of our flush toilets by falling on to it too hard when attempting to sit, so it shouldn't have been a big surprise when I once upset the apple cart when sitting on the bucket.

For now I only sit on the bucket when not fatigued. A taller wider bucket would be easier. There are other reasons for this too. I find it challenging to rotate forward to create enough access to wipe and still remain stably perched. Finally, unlike Elvis Costello, my aim is not true and when I choose to stand and not sit a bigger closer target would improve my odds.

Being only 5'10", I imagine that much larger men might also find these little buckets a pain in the butt.

Since I don't know where to get an ideal sized bucket and crafting a taller, wider bucket and seat is rather formidable I think I'll build a frame for the current one to elevate it, stabilize it and perhaps provide a handrail.

Anyway, my final thought is that it is surprisingly satisfying that something as unavoidable as voiding feels like an achievement when done in a bucket. My engineering side dreams of buckets more refined. Hopefully the use of a more refined bucket won't diminish the sense of accomplishment...

Esilli said...

Nance, can't find your email, but came across this photo of a squatting sculpture and thought of you


-bus trip Eric