Gyasi Ross: Those terrifying trips to the outhouse
"Corporal punishment apparently was not enough in my family.

I was a very spooky kid, always hearing stuff and getting scared and quickly burying my head beneath the blankets, not wanting to look up. My family is sensitive to spooky things – some folks call us “superstitious.”

Now, my family is certainly spiritual – probably even religious. We believe in spirits, a Creator, and getting “ghosted.” Perhaps as a natural extension of those beliefs, the kids in the family tended to think spirits were responsible for some rather mundane scary things – e.g. things that go “bump” in the night; boogiemen. My sisters always told me these boogiemen would get me when I was bad.

As if the spirits/boogieman didn’t have more pressing business to deal with; like making pottery with Demi Moore.

Anyway, looking back I’m not sure which was the scarier proposition – that there 1) WAS a boogieman or that there 2) was NOT a boogieman. Sure, the idea that there WAS a boogieman lurking around, trying to bite our fingers off like Armour Vienna Sausages for no apparent reason was pretty terrifying. Still, I found the idea of some arbitrary and vindictive monster relatively comforting compared to the idea that I could somehow have caused my own discomfort and pain.

An example of this boogieman/non-boogieman duality were those terrifying trips to the outhouse. Or, as I like to refer to them, “the Outhouse Hauntings.""

Get the Story:
Gyasi Ross 24.0: Lessons from the outhouse (Indian Country Today 11/23)

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