In Chapter 3 of my book, The Stained-Glass Kaleidoscope, I write about how my sister Alyssa and I built a snow toilet back in ’94 or ’95. (See above photo of Alyssa and I, taken circa January 2002 on Missouri State campus in Springfield, MO.)

I was not lying. Below is an actual picture of said snow toilet straight from the family vault. Desperate to tout our toilet triumph, we called our hometown’s local radio station and told them all about it. Within a matter of minutes, a reporter showed up and interviewed us on the air and gave us two complimentary two-liter bottles of soda. I promptly poured the Dr. Pepper into the bowl of the toilet to add an air of realism to it.

I suppose we thought we were supplying the neighborhood snowman with a Frosty-on-the-Spot. We cared about outdoor plumbing because we cared about snowmen. We were also tired of seeing yellow snow everywhere, and we knew the snowmen were responsible for it.

It really should have stopped there. It really should have. But it did not, regrettably. We built another snow toilet the following year. And after that came the ultimate snow pas. I hesitate to even post this picture. Frankly, what is most embarrassing about it is the notion that we really thought we were building a “snow turd.”

“It will be eight-feet tall,” I told Alyssa. “It will be the biggest snow poop in all of Phelps County! No – the world!!!”

But when we erected it (pun intended), it did not look like poop, apparently. It looked like something else that began with a “p” though.

“Uh, son, that looks a little phallic there, doesn’t it?” Dad said.

“No Dad, you see, uh, it’s a giant snow turd. It is. See? Look how tall it is and – uh … um … oh boy.” After building this sizable, accidental ode to the male organ, Alyssa and I went back inside the house and drank hot chocolate in silence. Nothing weird going on here, folks. Nothing to see in our backyard. Not a giant snow penis. No sir.

My sister Alyssa has a blog and an Etsy store. I promise she will not make anything in the shape of a toilet or a phallus unless you ask her to do so. Please visit her store and tell her I sent you. Discounts available if you can bring her the ID of one of the snowmen who used our Frosty-on-the-Spot all those years ago.