Letter Re: Sanitation: Can You Burn It?

Dear Editors,
Regarding the question: “Has anyone tried taking the poo and simply tossing it into a hot outdoor fire?”

I can answer that question in the form of a personal reminiscence: When I was serving in Vietnam if someone screwed up our Platoon Sergeant would take the offending person in the morning to old papa-san. Papa-san’s job was to take the cut down 55 gallon drums out of the latrine pour some diesel fuel into them and then burn the contents. Papa-san’s face would light up with a huge grin as the offending troop was delivered to him for this smelly work detail, along with a pack of cigarettes. He would squat down and watch you burn poo while he smoked cigarettes that he rolled. (He would trade his pack of American cigarettes on the black market.) This punitive work detail was a good motivator to not screw up. (Not that I ever had to do it.)  – Oldalaskan.