Friday, November 2, 2007

The Smallest Thing Known to Man

Anyone out there ever listen to the Dr. Demento radio show when you were a kid?

To be honest, I didn't. But years and years ago I was about to embark on the annual 8 hour drive to see the family in Ohio and High School Boyfriend loaned me a set of tapes he'd recorded from the radio when he was younger (remember when we used to do that?). For those unfamiliar, Dr. D's show consists entirely of ridiculous--and highly entertaining--songs, such as "Star Trekkin'" and "The Existential Blues," which provided many hours of entertainment on that otherwise uneventful sojourn on the PA Turnpike.

Hmmmm... you know, I really ought to give those tapes back. It has been nearly a decade since we split.

At any rate, I bring this up because one song in particular--the title of this post, in fact--has popped into my head every morning this week. It's by a man named Lorne Elliot, and here are the first few lines:

The smallest thing that's known to man's a subatomic particle measured scientifically under lab conditions to be ten centimeters taken to the minus thirteenth power.

But though this thing is very small, it's really not that small at all compared to the line that is ever so fine, that separates the hot from the cold on the handle of my shower.

But even if you manage to adjust it just exactly like you like it, there are still one hundred thousand different combinations different permutations; things which can and maybe will go wrong...

At which point he goes on to describe an incident involving a lady friend and unfortunate unexpected change in temperature--and at which point the similarity to my own life ends, my recent showers having all been solo expeditions.

That being said, I think my shower is possessed.

Ever since I moved into the apartment, adjusting the temperature on the shower has required a great deal of patience and trepidation. The steps heretofore required have been:

1. Turn on hot tap (which is on the wrong side) all the way. Wait for water to get scalding hot.

2. Turn on cold tap all the way.

3. Turn hot tap all the way off. Hold a finger in the stream and wait until the moment when the water just begins to cool down.

4. Turn hot tap back up maybe 1/4 turn. Wait a minute and check temperature. If water is...
...Too cold: adjust tap by millimeters until temperature is acceptable.
...Too hot: return to step 3 and repeat.

Pain in the ass, yes?

Well for the past week all that careful planning has been for naught, as my shower seems to have limited itself to two temperatures--Cold and FUCKING HOT--between which it chooses to vacillate at intermittent intervals with neither rhyme nor reason.

It makes showering a bit of an adventure (though more in the Indiana-Jones-in-Room-Full-of-Insects way than the Kathleen-Turner-and-Michael-Douglas-Necking-in-the-Jungle kind of way) and the result of which is that I have been late for work every day this week.

And I always arrive with that song stuck in my head.

It's been a long week.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

I had this issue with the shower at the hotel I worked at over the summer. The workers heard more screams coming from my room, and unfortunately, it was just because of scalding, boiling water or frigid ice water not because I was having any sorts of fun!