Posts Tagged ‘Blazo gas can’

To start reading from the beginning, go to May 11, 2008.

We all drank a lot of tea that night for dinner and in the middle of
the night I found I desperately needed to relieve my extended bladder.
It was very dark in the room and I didn’t think I could find my way to
the front door without running into one of the other ladies’ cots or
into the hot wood stove. Though Belinda and I had managed to find a
mutual “stay out of my way” respect, I didn’t want to incur her snicker
by doing something clumsy — like falling over her in the dark. I
actually didn’t want to go outside and stumble over a bear either. I
wished I had posted a flashlight near my bed. I wouldn’t be able to
sleep with such a full bladder, nor would I be able to hold it until

Maggie had set an empty 5 gallon Blazo can with a roll of toilet
paper in the center of the room for this purpose. I could just see it
there in the dark. It was an 18″ tall blue rectangular shaped can with
the top cut off. The edges were sharp so one couldn’t sit on it — one
had to stoop, balance, and trust the stream would enter the can. I
dreaded using “the can” as I knew the stream hitting the sides and
bottom would make some noise, but I had no other options. Either I made
some noise or be mauled by a bear. I had to make some noise.

I felt for “the can” in the dark, pulled down my pants and stooped
and shifted feeling for the sharp edges to center myself and prepared to
go. I waited and waited but the stream wouldn’t come. I had held it so
long, the muscles wouldn’t release the contents. I shifted and shuffled,
my legs aching and thighs burning from stooping in mid air. My leg
muscles gripped while trying to relax my bladder. My legs were about to
give in when the stream finally let go. The sound was thunderous in the
silent room — water pelting like rocks against the can’s metal side. As
long as it took to finally “let go”, it took longer to empty the
contents, an embarrassingly long time. I expected Belinda to make a
disgusted Eskimo comment, but she was quiet.

Finally I was relieved and more than ready to disappear once again
into the silent darkness. No sooner had I gotten into my sleeping bag
when one of the other ladies had decided to relieve herself. I suspect
she probably went through the same mental turmoil I had gone through and
was happy someone else had already christened “the toilet” with the
shattering sound of pee against the inside of a hollow tin can.

(to be continued) copyright Tamara Ann Burgh, all rights reserved


The top of the hill after setting traps on the way up.

Sunset at Omalik camp site

Sunset at Omalik camp site

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