Back in the late 70s, I read my first Steve King book, Night Shift. After that, I read a few more, but then didn't touch his books for years. On a recommendation, I picked up On Writing a few years ago and loved it. I'm re-reading it right now. In fact, I just read this scene out loud to Jonah in the kitchen. He loved the "shitting like a cowboy" part.
"Dave, " I said. "Take me home! I have to push!" (This was the word we were given for this particular function.)
David didn't want to hear it. "Go do it in the woods," he said. It would take at least half an hour to walk me home, and he had no intention of giving up such a shining stretch of time just because his little brother had to take a dump.
"I can't!" I said, shocked by the idea. "I won't be able to wipe!"
"Sure you will, Dave said. "Wipe yourself with some leaves. That's how the cowboys and the Indians did it."
By then it was probably too late to get home, anyway; I have an idea I was out of options. Besides, I was enchanted by the idea of shitting like a cowboy. I pretended I was Hopalong Cassidy, squatting in the underbrush with my gun drawn, not to be caught unawares even at such a personal moment. I did my busines, and took care of the cleanup as my oldest brother had suggested, carefully wiping my ass with big handfuls of shiny green leavesd. These turned out to be poison ivy.
Two days later I was bright red from the backs of my knees to my shoulderblades. My penis was spared, but my testicles turned into stoplights. My ass itched all the way up to my ribcage, it seemed. Yet worst of all was the hand I had wiped with; it swelled to the size of Mickey Mouse's after Donald Duck has bopped it with a hammer, and gigantic blisters formed at the places where the fingers rubbed together. When they burst they left deep divots of raw pink flesh. For six weeks I sat in lukewarm starch baths, feeling miserable and humiliated and stupid, listening through the open door as my mother and brother laughed and listened to Peter Tripp's countdown on the radio and played Crazy Eights.