Steeplechase shower


A gas-operated water heater

Low shower curtain and thick rod

Washing machine outlet inside the bath (with stone)

Donkey-skin towel

The list of ingredients alone should give you an idea of the setting. However, I will elaborate a bit further so that you can get an idea of the predicament I was in. The rains this year in El Gallinato, Salta, Argentina have been abundant so there is plenty of water in our borehole, a welcome change from previous years. The end result of this is that “abundant” and or frequent showers are possible if you so wish. This is not our case as we are programmed to save water but the possibility is there.

Getting ready for the dentist appointment, I decided to shower, as smelling foul would surely increase dentist’s aggressiveness above my perceived Mengele’s level. So I went for it.

To have a shower with a gas water heater requires opening the tap so that the flow of water triggers a flow of gas that gets lit by the pilot lamp and hot water comes out the other end. For the system to operate, the water has to have pressure and the gas cylinder gas! Both were estimated OK and I went for it, after opening the tap for the water to reach the right temperature.

Regrettably, the shower curtain to enter the bathtub where the shower is located is lower than me so “bang” went my bold cranium and, although severe, I managed to keep my balance and the hot water relieved my pain so that I could proceed with the cleanup. After finishing the operation to my satisfaction – though probably not my family’s – I decided to close the tap and leave, this time minding the wooden bar to avoid further brain damage.

I aligned my agile physique to avoid the bar and, again, unlucky I stepped on the stone weighing down the outlet pipe of the washing machine, which is also located in the bathtub. The pipe spluttered all over the place the first time the machine was used and I attached a rather large stone to it, to hold it and the shower curtain down. This time I lost my balance and went into the start of a headlong and inelegant fall that I managed to control by holding onto-and ripping off- the shower curtain. Thankfully the rod that hit me earlier withstood my weight and somehow I survived this second attempt on my life!

Remembering that I am retired and should look after my health, I paused, took a deep breath and I promise you I did not curse… I recovered and looked forward to a good drying and rub down with a dry towel. The final disappointment was waiting for me in the shape of a well known and hated towel known as the “donkey hide”, an ass-coloured cloth that I hate as it has the unbelievable property of only moving the water around your body without absorbing any water or drying it! So, after pushing the water down my body and into the floor drain with the assistance of the donkey hide, I ended up -still wet- sunning myself naked in the garden in an attempt to get dry, under the midday sun, with a bump on my head and checking to make sure that my ankle was OK.

Farm showering for you!

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