It was a busy Saturday in Brown County, so after the Etsy art show I skipped over to the village to witness the famous Abe Martin County Picnic and Outhouse Race. Yes, outhouse, as in the outdoor potty. We’ll get to that shortly.
It’s an annual community event with food, fun, and music put on by a local organization, the We Care Gang. Community businesses and groups compete in several rounds of games consisting of a cornhole tournament, plunger toss competition, and outhouse race. Cue banjo music. This city girl has officially arrived in the country.
I grabbed a hotdog and coke and settled in to watch the plunger toss. Similar to any toss game, players attempt to get the rubber part of the plunger within a hula-hoop target. Bonus points for landing it up-right. I thought it appeared pretty simple, but I soon had dozens of plungers bounding past me, most bouncing in then out of the hoop. This was clearly an advanced sport that was going to require focused concentration and keen wrist motions.
Taking a break in between games, I went to admire the line-up of outhouses. It’s amazing how many real outhouses I have come across running around on the back roads of Brown County, so it only seems logical to turn the unused ones into “racecars”. Right? Right. The rules are they must be gravity driven, have steering to maneuver, be built in “good taste” (I guess that’s loosely defined), resemble an Outhouse, and above all, must be soundly built, sturdy, stable, have 4 wheels and tires. Some were ornately decorated and others simple, with names such as Don’t Poo-lute, Crap Shooter, and Phantom of the Poopera. One even “cut the cheese” at me (several times actually). The event was opened to the public this year, and for a small donation, fans could race in the outhouses. That made for quite the spectacle as grandmas dueled and macho tourists (stumbling unknowingly upon the event) paired up. There were even celebrity appearances by Boomer (Indiana Pacers mascot) and Rupert Boneham (former Survivor contestant and current candidate for Indiana governor). Some racers had a knack for maneuvering their outhouse to the end of the hill, prompting cheers while others puttered out half way down leaving the crowd in giggles. Definitely a silly event to experience and a fun way to kick off fall!