Our Rock is an Alcoholic and We are Happy-Hour. Part One

My shower is an idiot. There are two in the house but they are identical and I choose the one with ventilation because I value being able to both breath and see when I am in a confined space.

On the road I’ve gone weeks without a proper wash; I’ve also nearly drowned a couple of times. This isn’t about such severe ends of the bathing spectrum but more to do with an apparatus that was invented by a person and constructed by another; about the methods of its operation which I assume must have had a certain degree of reasoning behind.

Before you think it’s been nothing but golden faucets, heated marble and champagne enemas for me up ’til now let me set you straight. After Rugby at school, mud or no mud, they’d make us strip balls naked and shower in a cold concrete stall together; a games teacher would often stand watching us, arms folded; either to make sure that we’d be clean and presentable when we put back on our uniforms and went out into public as figureheads for the school or he wanted to fuck us.

I’ve lived on farms and had my fair share of train station strip washes. I’ve run out of coins when there’s shampoo in my eyes and I’ve remained mindful of deadly arachnids whilst trying to maintain an erection. Who cares, that’s life; swings and roundabouts, as they say.

Where I live is pleasant enough. The teenagers can be raucous and annoying and messy but then I’m on their turf, these are student flats after all, so it wouldn’t be right to judge them too harshly; the cunts. There are really only two frustrations here: both maddening, both avoidable.

I’ll mention the recycling conundrum at a later date, for now I’ll concentrate on my aforementioned shower; basically a stiff button and a dribbling teat in a tight plastic box. Unlike usual showers it is not operated by dialling between hot and cold, no: one temperature, one strength, one direction. The button has obviously been removed from a public toilet in a rough part of town circa 1982; you press down hard and you get fifteen seconds of spit and steam before it cuts out.

You can’t really move out of the way so you have to decide which part of your body gets to be scalded for the first five seconds before you scramble to make use of the remaining time and scrub off the grime; repeat until clean. I have a lot of hair on my head and I also have a foreskin; this isn’t the best environment to get either of them squeaky clean.

One of these days I swear I’m going to have at the bastard with a hammer.

I understand that the logic behind such a shower is that people may tend to waste water, perhaps even flood the room below; maybe it’s to dissuade people like me – those that like to relax for at least five minutes without some swine coming and interfering with their good mood – from wallowing beneath such a delightful waterfall. But isn’t this a University? Aren’t people here supposed to be at least the tiniest bit savvy?

And then I take a look in the bins.

To Be Continued…

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