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Care-o-Prvies-art - 11/10/02


"On the Care and Feeding of the Wild Porta-Privy" by Lord Iain mac Caradoc.


NOTE: See also the files: p-privies-msg, Roman-hygiene-msg, camp-showers-msg, cmp-courteses-art, cld-weath-cmp-msg, trash-storage-msg.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set

of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at:



Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be

reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first

or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


                               Thank you,

                                    Mark S. Harris

                                    AKA:  Stefan li Rous

                                         stefan at florilegium.org



This article was originally submitted to the Florilegium by Cecily, "Patricia Collum" <pjc2 at cox.net> and updated by the author later.


On the Care and Feeding of the Wild Porta-Privy

by Lord Iain mac Caradoc


Because I am usually awake and alert when the porta-potties are emptied and cleaned, I've had more than one occasion to speak with the drivers of the "honey-wagons."


Their single greatest complaint about the War seem to be that people put things other than bodily waste and toilet paper into the privies.


The vacuum system used to empty the privies is *not* designed to handle *anything* other than bodily waste and toilet paper.


Among the items "retrieved" from the privies:


Used diapers

Kotex (or other "pads" - neither he nor I were interested in the brand)

Beer cans

A pair of jeans

Various undergarments

Assorted bits of jewelry


..and *all* of these items resulted in various clogs of the vacuum system, making necessary the manual (and messy) retrieval of said items. Items should not be placed into the privies, but instead should be sealed into watertight plastic bags, then placed into a trash can. This includes tampons as well as the regular pads.


Vomiting (or placing any form of semi-solid or solid waste) into the urinal is also frowned upon. I have no idea how the latter situation happened, but I think someone was *really* drunk.


The privies are equipped with vent pipes such that the fumes and stench will be evacuated through said pipe. This doesn't work if the seat lid is left open. This has nothing to do with the standard male/female argument of leaving the seat up or down, but simple mechanics.


On a warm day, the fumes can accumulate inside the privy, and cause all kinds of wonderful reactions for the next person who uses it (there has been at least one case of someone passing out upon opening the privy door during a warm afternoon at Pennsic.) Closing the lid forces those fumes out the vent pipe.


If you bring your own portable toilet to the War, please do not drop the bags into the privies. You should either double-bag and place it in a trash can, or make nice with the honey-wagon drivers and they'll empty it for you without clogging their hose with the plastic bag. Coffee and/or hot chocolate are well-appreciated by these drivers, especially if you're able to serve in disposable cups.




1) If it didn't come out of your body or off of the roll, it doesn't go into the privy.


2) Don't vomit (or take a dump) in the urinal.


3) Close the lid when you're finished.


4) The honey-wagon drivers are our friends. We want them to come back and clean the privies at least daily. Please be nice to them.




Lord Iain mac Caradoc, F.T. Dream Chaser, Sundragon, Atenveldt.



Copyright 2000 by John Groseclose. <iain at caradoc.org>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org