Time and Time Again Part Two

Time and Time Again Part 2

by Rex Hurst

            Now that the delicate matter of facial hair had been dealt with, Schultz had the difficult matter of showering to deal with. There are many philosophies on the topic and most violently contradict the other. Schultz was of the opinion that one had a long shower hot show, allowing the room to fill with steam. Get the pores opened up and really let the soap in to scrub the suckers clean. 

            His wife however, was of the school that such a long shower rotted the wood behind the walls and weakened the dry rot, which would eventually cause all bathroom walls to fall in upon itself. If Schultz spent more than three minutes scrubbing himself under the water, she would bellow and rage from below stairs. Screaming that he was single handedly destroying the property value of the house and if he didn’t watch himself a lynch mob from the Home Owners Association would storm their home to string him up. 

All the properties are connected after all. If one went down, then so did they all. That’s why everything mattered so much. Lawn maintenance, garbage can placement, the color of the venetian blinds. If one element was out of place, it was a slippery slope towards the whole neighborhood becoming one of the worst slums settlements in a third world country. 

The wife seemed a little drowsy this morning, maybe Schultz could sneak in a few extra minutes… 

“You’re taking too long!” came the familiar roar from the other room.

Now the inevitable time came for Schultz to step into the shower. A moment, he dreaded every single day. One he wished he could avoid. Ever since he was a child the blast of water on his skin, sent shockwaves of revulsion down his body. The problem was, the water was never quite right. First, there was always that frigid blast of near-frozen water, then the hot water which followed was always too hot, nearly scalding him to death. It was like being tortured in an old time asylum. 

            No amount of planning or fiddling had ever given him the upper hand in this shower feud. He had tried standing to the side, out of the tub, and adjusting the water. But he had always been splashed by both ends of the water extreme, which rebounded out of the tub. He tried hiding behind the shower curtain, but that never worked because he still had to stick his hand in to alter the water flow. Baths were out of the question because he could never get himself up early enough to draw a proper one. 

No, the crushing reality of his life told Schultz that he would have to endure this torture day after day for the rest of his life. It was almost enough to make a man weep. But, like a trooper he endured. Shultz disrobed and leapt into the tub. He sighed then turned it on. 

FREEZING! 

His hands rubbed about his body, rubbing vigorously to keep the blood flow moving. The water changed again. 

HOT! HOT! HOT! 

After the ordeal of the shower, Shultz liked nothing more than to wipe himself down with thick, fibrous, items suited to such up as much moisture as the laws of physics would allow. The majority of people found that bath towels were the most effective in this area, Schultz was not among this group.

No towel he had ever found did the job properly. Or, to be more exact, as quickly as he wanted. He had tried them all from the flimsiest dishrag stuffed under the rancid mattress in one-star flophouses, to $200 a pop Hotel brand thick towels – the type which most people fell into a deep coma of ecstasy the moment one touched their skin. Comfortable as it may be, it did not absorb all the liquid on his body in one gulp. 

            His salvation came at his neighbor’s house when he accidentally tripped on their cat, spilled a cup of coffee on himself, and fell face-first onto their shag rug. As he scraped his cheek across it, he noticed the rug had completely dried his face. He rubbed the rest of his body in a similar fashion across the carpet to gauge how it handled moisture on clothing. Perfection! 

            The neighbors never invited them over again, but Schultz didn’t care. His problem was solved. Instead of towels, he used carpet samples from shag rugs. What would take two minutes would now take two seconds. Schultz was satisfied. 

            “You’re gonna be late!” his porcine wife bellowed a third time.

That reminded him of a quote by  Confucius, “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”  

And he would learn how bitter his boss could be, if he didn’t get to work on time. But first breakfast!

For more reading, try books by Rex Hurst. 


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