You guys aren’t going to believe this but … back in the old days, there was no toilet seat lid on the toilet. In fact … there was no toilet. Now, granted, I’m being pretty liberal with my use of the word “toilet.” I mean, let’s be honest: it’s a metal box with a toilet seat lid on it.
But really, back in the old days, you didn’t even get that metal box. Not so long ago, folks used ammo cans for the toilet. What’s an ammo can? Those little white and blue metal boxes in the picture are ammo cans. We use them on our trips to store other stuff — trash, condiments, toilet supplies, etc. But people used to use ammo cans as toilets! Really! They would sit on the ammo can and the hard metal walls would leave — you guessed it — grooves in their backsides. And so, that’s where the term “groover” originated.
You might hear the groover called a few other things on your river trip. I’ve heard it called “the unit” or “Oscar.” I believe — and this is just my best guess here — “the unit” is simply guide shorthand; I don’t think there’s a story behind that one. I’ve heard a few stories about the origins of “Oscar.” I’ll leave it to the guides on your Grand Canyon Whitewater trip to tell you their favorite “Oscar” story, but I’ll also tell you what I believe may be the truth: I believe “Oscar” is actually an acronym; I think it stands for something along the lines of “Outstandingly Superior Constipation Alleviation Receptacle.”
At any rate, if you aren’t impressed by now with our super modern, super comfortable, super high class toilet system, just check out this video for more information about it.