March 6, 2009

The Guest Alarm

I am shy about some things. For example, if I happen to be over to someone's place for dinner, I am not likely to help myself to the last piece of chicken, even if I am famished. It is just one of those things... you never know if the host is thinking that they might like leftovers for tomorrow's lunch or something. It'll sit there and get cold first.

I bring this up because I am out of town this weekend, and I am staying at a friend's place. I have a hobby (ham radio contesting) that calls me away for a weekend at a time, and a number of us get together at our friend's place pursue this particular hobby.

My friend is married, and his wife is occasionally there when we do these weekends, so being a respectful guest isn't just about respecting the sensibilities of my host, but also his partner, who is a very sweet woman, but has no interest in the hobby herself.

Invariably, after a number of hours doing this, it comes time to freshen up. This means rummaging through linen closets to find a towel, and then going to take a shower.

I feel uncomfortable about just helping myself - I imagine the situation where someone is visiting my home, and I suddenly discover them in my shower. On one hand I imagine that my guests should just make themselves feel at home... but then I imagine the situation where my expectation was not that they would be in my shower at all.

So the first time this opportunity presented itself at my friend's new place, I fought through all my petty insecurities, grabbed a towel, and headed in to take a shower. I got undressed and turned the water on, and got it just to the right temperature. I pulled the handle on the valve, and the water cascades out of the shower head. So I get in, and I am just getting settled under the warm water, and I realize that the water pressure seems to be dropping ever so slightly. I start to pay attention to this, and I can actually hear the sound of the water moving through the pipes change slowly.

All of the sudden, the showerhead starts making a sound that is just like a teakettle. It is this loud screeching sound that water makes when it is somehow restricted as it flows. I am imagining that sound as it reverberates through the house... like an alarm: Wigi is in the shower! Wigi is in the shower!

I am thinking to myself, my host is going to start banging on the bathroom door and start screaming, "Hey! what are you doing in there? Are you trashing my bathroom?" Of course, that never happens... but as time goes on, the pitch of the water-siren gets higher and higher... like it is saying, "Hey, if you didn't notice, Wigi is in your shower! Aren't you going to do something about it?"

It is almost like my host saying, "Hmmm... taking the last piece of chicken, huh? I see how you are."

The screaming shower gets higher and higher (and I am imagining, louder), and then all of the sudden it stops screaming. The water pressure jumps up... and now the only sound is water coming from the shower head.

Now I can relax.

So I go through my usual shower ritual, and I am forgetting my insecurities. I start rinsing off, and all of the sudden, that infernal racket starts again!

"Hello! Wigi is in the shower, you idiots! You installed this alarm for a reason!"

Copyright © Wigi Tozzi, 2023
Proudly designed with Oxygen, the world's best visual website design software
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram