The Australian Dunny is kinda legendary. An icon standing tall in the backyard, proudly. A place of contemplation, a place where you can hold court and solve the problems of the world, maybe even escape the mundane.
There’s the smell of sawdust scintillating your nostrils as you check to make sure there are no redback spiders hiding under the seat, lest you get a painful bite on the bum.
And for sure they’ll be a copy of last weeks Sunday paper to read and if you’re lucky maybe even a ten year old copy of Reader’s Digest, if you didn’t bring your own reading material. Crikey, you might even hear a gecko calling its mate and they’ll be a couple of hens scratching around the back, cackling as you go about your business. There’s something comforting about that. And fair dinkum, the flies, you can bet there’ll be a couple of thousand of those things buzzing in unison, hanging around like a morning fart under the sheets. And don’t tell your Aunt, but if Uncle Ted’s been up there before you, he’s bound to have forgotten his copy of last month’s Playboy magazine, but mum’s the word. Let’s face it, no one’s goin’ to admit to it, but we’ve all been curious enough to have a bit of a squiz at it while sitting around on the throne… And at the risk of getting a little off track, have you ever-watched one of those American sitcoms? I do, occasionally. Everyone must be constipated or something ‘cause you never see anyone going about their daily business. And I don’t mean we need a full account, but when was the last time you saw someone head for the dunny in one of those shows? Has anyone else ever noticed that, or is it just me? But I’m digressing yet again… Anyway, there is a reason to this talk about outback dunnies. You see when I was climbing in New Zealand last week we had an outdoor dunny up at Pioneer Hut on the Fox Glacier and it was situated right on the edge of a cliff… Seriously, it looked like one of those old-fashioned phone boxes. A ridgey didge example of the sort that Doctor Who hangs out in. It even had a view out over the glacier, nice one I must say, if you were lingering, but crikey this was the coldest place on earth and the term brass monkey’s comes to mind. The only thing worth contemplating was getting out of there as fast as you could and back to the warmth of the hut. And there was little chance that a red back would be biting you on the bum, the little blighters would be frozen to death before they could get their fangs into ya butt. Strewth, it was so cold I didn’t even bother checking for them… But here’s the thing… Last time I headed for the outdoor dunny I reckon I had a pair of thongs on and the most dangerous thing I had to contend with was a bit of chicken poo on the ground, or maybe a dunny door that swung open at the most inopportune time. They seem to have a habit of swinging open just as you stand-up with your pants still around ya ankles… Geez, up on that glacier as I tripped down to Doctor Who’s pill box I had to wear my $1,000 buck pair of boots and even then I thought I was going to slide over the edge and into oblivion… For crying out loud, every time I stepped foot on that glacier I was tied into my climbing partner with 60 metres of rope and a dozen different knots. And that was in broad daylight. But here I was heading down that icy track to the dunny in the middle of the night, possibly never to be seen again, while everyone was tucked-up in a down-sleeping bag snoring away in la la land… Did I miss something or is climbing safe at nighttime? Okay, the climbing in New Zealand was serious fun and I’ll be back again in a couple of month’s to further develop my skills and to climb Mount Aspiring. And I can’t wait to catch up with the friendly mob at Adventure Consultant’s in Wanaka. The Kiwi’s are a fun bunch with a great sense of humour, even if they are still are a little bit dirty over that under-arm bowling incident all those years ago.