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by Abigail Van Buren

The Door With the Moon Will Have the Longer Line

DEAR ABBY: What is the significance of the moon or half-moon on an outhouse door?

I recently visited the birthplace of Herbert Hoover and saw this freshly painted outhouse with the moon on the door, and in�quired of the security guard as to what it meant. He just laughed and said he'd been asked that question many times, but he's never been able to come up with an answer.

I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who are as curious as I am to know the answer. What is it? -- BOB HESS,


DEAR MR. HESS: Before indoor plumbing, American privies usually had "two-seaters." The one with the "moon" on the door was for ladies and the one with the "star" was for gentlemen. That way, people who couldn't read could stay out of trouble.

P.S. I was privy to this information when I came upon "The Classic Outhouse Book," by Janet Strombeck.