Monday 2 January 2012

Showers are rubbish and for the weak

I prefer baths to showers. I will always have a bath instead of a shower wherever possible. I don't understand the modern obsession with viewing the bath as somehow an extravagance, a pamper or a whole evening's work.

And yes, in the words of Cosmo Kramer, there is an aspect of lying around in a tepid pool of your own filth to it. But I suppose I must just be into that.

The strength of the bath is that it provides me with thinking time. When I'm in the bath, I don't listen to music or the radio or read (the pages get wet, you mad people, what are you thinking of?). I don't watch television or play with plastic battleships and re-enact some of the key naval engagements of World War II. I don't even sing. I don't even wash myself. I don't even put any water in it. OK, the last two things were lies.

So it's just me and some soap and my rubber duckie (which, tragically, I do not have and if I do anything this year it should definitely to be to get one) and my beautiful, brilliant mind. The same mind which conspires against me for the rest of the waking and unconscious day, telling me how rubbish I am and how it would have been better for everyone if I'd died that time, is somehow placated entirely by warm water and the partial immersion of its associated body therein. Bathtime allows me to think with a clarity, constructiveness and rationality of which I simply do not seem capable in any other situation. Standing up brings out the absolute worst in me. I also get all my best creative ideas in the bath, including ideas for blog posts. I thought up the idea for this one and drafted it in my head in the bath this morning.

I've worked through a lot of stuff when in the bath. If I switched to showers I think I'd be dead by now. In fact, that's not even a joke.

You can't think in the shower. You can sink and wank and clean your stinkables, certainly, but you can't think. Ray Mears taught me that. He said that when you're in a survival situation in the rainforest, you should make your shelter before the afternoon downpour starts, because the simple unrelenting pounding of raindrops on your head makes it difficult to think clearly. He's right. Try and do some algebra in the shower. It is hard. In the bath, in the meantime, you are able to start to see the meaning of the cosmos.

You can learn a lot from Ray Mears. He espouses survival, which is a wise thing to espouse. But the key thing he teaches you is humility, an understanding of what human beings truly need. Not what they think they need or might like to think they need. Just what you have to have to get by. A foundation upon which one can then start to build comfort and happiness in time. It's an important lesson, and it's remarkable that we have to rely on a man whose diet primarily consists of ants and wipes his bottom on leaves to teach it to us.

I tell you something: I bet Ray Mears is a bath man.

1 comment:

Fran said...

I too am a bath lover but I adore reading in the bath! I tend to swing my legs out as dangle then over the side. I can't understand how people who never have baths have time to think! Even if I read I spend at least 5/10 minutes just having a think. I have a bath if I'm feeling sad - its a great distraction. Tears don't last as long in a bath. They soon dry up. That feeling of immersing yourself into a hot bath - well there is just nothing like it. It just effects my emotion directly. Instant calm.
If I'm feeling happy a bath just makes me feel even happier! I adore it. I could never ever live in a house without a bath.


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