all things engineerical
When you wake up in a hotel at three in the morning and can’t get back to sleep it can be a long night on the best of days.
This was not the best of days… considering it was night.
Wow, I really fucked up that first sentence. Even for me. I always begin hoping for a “It was the be best of times, it was the worst of time” and I end up with “it can be a long night on the best of days.”
Let’s just ignore the shitty start and just right to the point. Earlier that day, in the morning, I’d lived through a very frustrating event.
No more frustrating, no doubt, than reading “Earlier that day, in the morning” after already agreeing to forget an inauspicious, dare I say shitty, beginning. Be honest though, you only have yourself to blame. What crazy set of circumstances has you reading a story from someone named Lance Manion in the first place?
I’m done apologizing.
But anyway… I woke up groggy in a hotel room in need of a shower. Seemed like a pretty simple expectation in a technological juggernaut like America. Right?
Even in Alabama. Where I, and the hotel, were currently situated.
I walk in and turn on the water and feel it start to warm up. Just to give you an insight into how sophisticated my understanding of engineering is, and I swear to give up an unnamed yet loved obscene act that I do on a daily basis if I am lying, I have no idea how a large hotel has enough hot water to provide showers for hundreds of people. If I had to guess I would say that underneath the hotel there is a large cavern inhabited by giant red dragon who constantly breathes fire on a subterranean lake and that hot water is sent up the pipes by a powerful wizard, dressed in a blue robe festooned with moons and crescents, who works for the hotel and feels completely under-appreciated and has considered leaving for a better gig with more time off and better benefits at least a dozen times but always ends up back under the hotel muttering and casting his powerful spells.
It was with this deep understanding of all things engineerical that I first notice a profound lack of a lever or knob to bring the water from the faucet to the showerhead. I’m not a particularly bright man but I’m also not an idiot. I stand there watching the faucet gushing away yet I can find no possible way to turn the flow northward.
Seconds turned to minutes and minutes turned to more minutes. I had already stripped down to my underwear (settle down ladies!), anticipating that the shower would hold no hidden challenges for me, so I’m beginning to get a bit chilly. This adds an unanticipated sense of urgency to bring the showering scenario to a satisfactory conclusion.
Judge not lest you be judged. When you realize how I finally solved the riddle of the showerhead you will have to concur that it borders on the demented. It was only after reading a small instruction on the wall of the shower that the shades fell from my eyes and I realized how the water went from nyah (the faucet) to nyah (the showerhead).
Under the faucet there was a little lip that you had to pull down for the water to begin its journey upwards. The stupidity of it was breathtaking. I kid you not, I have never heard of such nonsense in my life.
Was I really that upset by this that I couldn’t get back to sleep the following night though?
Yes and no. It wasn’t the fact that the hotel wasted upwards of seventeen minutes of my precious time, it was the realization that somewhere there was an engineer who hated people who slept in hotels. There could be no other explanation for the design of the shower. The evidence is overwhelming in the light of day but let me tell you, at three in the morning, after you’ve put the pieces together and taken a look at the big picture implications, it’s the stuff of nightmares.
Somewhere out there lurked a very intelligent sociopath who lived to torment weary travelers.
He or she had purposely designed the shower to fuck with people who stay at hotels. And where was I sleeping? In a bed at a hotel. The very picture of a weary traveler! I might as well have been laying there with an apple in my mouth. What other terrors could he or she have planned for me? I was at his or her mercy. Why do I keep saying he or she when we all know it was a he? Just like if there was an issue with the towels for the room I would say she.
Every fifteen minutes or so the ice machine in the hall would let loose the ice with a crashing noise I can only imagine is on par with the ruckus raised by sheets of ice falling off a glacier. And even this was sometimes difficult to hear over the sound of the air conditioner starting up with all the quiet grace of a 707 taking off directly over my bed, only to feel it had done enough to cool the room after thirty seconds of effort only to change its mind again a minute or so later and start up again.
When finally six o’clock rolled around and it was time for me to get out of bed and start my day I realized that I would once again have to march into the bathroom and face the shower. To steel my nerves I went to the window and threw open the curtains to drink in the daylight only to remember that I was on the ground floor. I was reminded of this fact by the reaction of the family of four that was getting into the car until I suddenly appeared at my window clad only in my boxers. Ta-Da!
Can you hear the little girl’s scream? I still can. They drove away and left her teddy bear sitting on the pavement where it had fallen from her little hands.
I was actually surprised to find Norman Bates not waiting for me behind the shower curtain.
This is usually where I like to wrap things up with a moral or, very rarely, a point but I must admit I got nothing.
Don’t shower in Birmingham…?
Don’t read stories from writers you’ve never heard of…?