That awkward moment when…

Eureka! The light switch is finally found.  No separate switch for a ceiling fan, I muse. A buzz alerts me that there is a fan (of sorts). It comes on along with the admittedly adequate light, but I suspect that it will be inadequate for mist control.

OK, I’ll get my facial stubble softened, get back out of the shower and shave before the bathroom is enveloped in a pea soup fog. Disrobing, I position the postage stamp sized foot towel on the floor and prepare to face the next challenge: operating this particular style of plumbing fixtures.

Hmm…rotating, single handle main control…but what is that little toggle lever below it?  I’ll worry about that momentarily. First, I must crane my neck downward and squint. OK, it looks like hot is left and cold is right as usual. Wait! You know sometimes these things get installed backwards! Careful…

Pushing the shower head as far back toward the wall as possible, I notice another lever on it. I’ll deal with that after figuring out the toggle lever below the main handle, which I now gingerly rotate counter clockwise. Whew, good! The water is coming out of the tub spout, not the shower head. Strangely, it remains  quite cold although by now I have moved the handle ninety degrees, hoping for a tepid water temperature which I can “fine tune.”

A minute…two minutes elapse. OK, the hot water must be traveling from somewhere deep in the bowels of the hotel, be patient. A couple more minutes go by. The title lyrics of Foreigner’s pop oldie pop into my head. “You’re as cold as ice!”

Yep, the hot/cold indicators must be wrong! Hot must be on the right! I rotate the handle accordingly. See the last three sentences of the preceding paragraph…

As the frigid incoming water reaches ankle depth, I reject the impulse to abandon shower. No, I will not wildly twist every visible control, including the one which I assume is for the drain. I’ll deal with that after I address the lever on the shower head and the one just below the main handle. Think, man! THINK!

Got it! Let’s try turning the main handle counter clockwise again, passing that ninety degree point! What’s this? A hint of warmth? Quickly I turn the handle as far in that same direction as it will go. Immediately I become thankful for the temp of the now upper ankle depth water. It prevents my feet getting first degree burns from the scalding torrent now emerging from the tub spout.

OK, easing the main handle back clockwise I reach that aaah…just right point. But now I must change plans for addressing the other controls. I flip the one I assumed is for the drain. Hmm…no discernible decrease in the water level, but it does not seem to be increasing either. Let that alone for now.

OK, this lever below the main handle must redirect the incoming water from the tub spout to the shower head. Yes! Yes!  But why is the now just right temp water not coming therefrom in a way conducive to good hygiene? How can I wash here and there with this throbbing dribble? No, the shower head does not detach. Must figure out how to get the water stream just right as well.

Throbbing dribble becomes useless sprinkle. Useless sprinkle becomes piercing miniature fire hose. Finally, the right setting. But wait! I need a reasonably clear mirror to shave! Now knowing how to control the water temperature, I bravely increase it and hold my stubbly face in the stream as long as I can stand it.

Confident that I can remember the expertise I have just learned by trial and error, I turn the water off, step out onto the postage stamp sized foot towel and look at the mirror. OK, dimmed but I think I can still see well enough to shave.

Then I realize that the width of sink counter is far greater than that to which I am accustomed at home. Will this extra challenge to myopic vision result in an accidental incursion into my beard or ‘stache? Will I leave some miscellaneous growth on one cheek? Maybe I can put on my glasses…no! They are hopelessly fogged up.

Meanwhile, I’m losing the heat induced softness of what I must peremptorily scrape off of my face at my wife’s request, despite my forlorn idea that vacation time is NO SHAVING time. Just slap on the shaving cream, go for it and hope for the best…

OK, back into the stall. Fear not, this account does not include a fall. That happened a few days ago walking outside, and is a story for another day. Like a past master, I am quickly under the just right temp and just rightly streaming water in moments. Scrub a dub…rinse…voila! Showered!

Uh-oh. What about the now over ankle depth water in the tub? Still one more control to vanquish. I look closely right above the drain. What’s this? It appears to be a diminutive funnel. More lyrics to muse. “There’s a hole, there’s a hole, there’s a hole in the bottom of the sea…”

Will I get all the way to flea on the fly on the nose on the frog on the bump on the log before the tub is empty? Let’s try turning the drain lever the other way. The funnel vanishes. OK, evidently it’s just slow. Get out, dry off, dress and check that out later.

I’m about to make that investigation…just before five A.M. on Friday March 24th here at a motel in southern Virginia. But before I do so, I must remind myself and any reading this who have had a similar experience.

To this day for many people on Earth, the idea of running water located steps away from one’s comfortable bed is a far fetched one. That the water could be hot and cold or a mixture of the two would make them even more incredulous. Let us consider this, be thankful, and live as those who have received much. Luke 12:48.


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