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It must have been back in the early 80s. It was when spying was sorta cool but being spied on, well, it wasn’t so much of a joy. That was pretty much the case because you didn’t have the, what is the word, I am searching for, the “choice!” Yes, you didn’t have the f @#% n choice. Then, when you thought you might have or/had the “choice” you really didn’t know, you couldn’t be sure if it was yours. So, the First Amendment was essentially neatly tucked away in the barn between that ol’ thing they used to call a port-o-pot-i and the other port-o-pot-i. Why anybody’d have 2 port-o-pot-ies I’ll never know. But then, I had never even hear of a port..whatever it was. I did kinda wonder though. You see, I am a curious sort. What the hell was a port…I figured that if somebody would find a need for 2 of ‘em they must have been important to somebody at some time. I learned. I learned real quick. I don’t think I learned to not ask questions, to find out answers, but I learned about port-o-pot-ies. I’d just washed up, ready for bed, I was in my fresh jammies (pajamas) and set for our reg’lar nap tunes. Pa was usually late so he prob’ly would’nt notice any way. Shit were we wrong. I’m not gonna take the fall all on my own for this ‘un. My brother and cousin, they wanted to throw me under the bus, sayin’ that I tipped the wheel barrow, that ol’ barrel of horse dung and it soaked us all. Pa knew, even though he sorta smelled like tobacco and whiskey. And if a kid of my age could smell that stuff, you know it had to be something awful. I’m sure it was partly Ma’s reaction, too. I heard her say, not quietly mind you, “Go over there! Hide yourself, wash up you drunk…” and she threw a dishrag at him. He sulked off and made his way up the stairs. Us boys, no better. Maybe we got the gene only not the drink. All the while Ma’ she is and was then a Saint. Nearly playin’ tag with Pa’s foolishness, which you had to admit wasn’t quite ‘fittin a Pa. But she had to put up with him and us. Well, Ma was up for a special surprise tonight. Pa just got back from boozin’, he was good though, no cattin’ round, least that’s what Uncle Jamie used to say. But tonight the cousins and I went investigatin’ needed to find out what a port-o…was. It was like a bunch of really smelly manure, mud and hey, and manure and smell holes in a pool of water or piss. Not fun. Not fun at all. The bigger kids were able to hike themselves out. You think they helped me? Nope. They were already heading back to the house an’ tryin’ to make up whatever stories they’d be makin’ up. Sure, they’d be shovelin’ as much as they could on me. Meanwhile, I’m still tryin’ to dig my way out of the endless pile of shit. Ma, the only one with any sense ‘bout her comes out runnin’ then runs back to get a couple of clean rags. She, Ma, comes sprintin’ back to the far side of the barn, like a mad woman, heaves one, the other potty to find me swimin’ in a pile of crap. She yanks me out of the pool of crap and takes the rags to my eyes real gentle’ like. She wipes my mouth ‘n ears. I don’t think I ever got anythin’ but a real stern talkin’ to fer that. I know fer sure that the boys got the belt, but Daddy won the prize there. He was drunk, nearly let his littlest’ “drown in shit.” And Ma took him out to the porto-pot-i and it looked like she was gonna dump it on him. I don’t think he had a decent drink in ‘em since. That barn, it turned spic-n -span an’ there’ll never be nothin’ like a potty in there. Ma says.