RUNNING THE BATH GIVES you a certain amount of quality time to do other things like shaving, getting undressed, folding the laundry or creosoting the shed. Bear in mind that if you take more than eight minutes, your next job will be re-laying the floor in the bathroom. You should also be especially careful when pouring a strange bath. Other people’s baths seem to be connected to some kind of major hydroelectric project, and you only have to turn the taps on for the bath to overflow in seconds.
Baths should be hot enough so you can just about stand in them, but you can’t move your feet around. It should take a good half an hour before you can lower your extremities into the bath. Baths are too hot if you have to get out immediately with agonised whooping noises and then spend half an hour reading your magazine on the bathmat.
Bubble baths come in all sorts of stress-relieving formulae, which work by producing enough bubbles to cover all the bits of your body you’re stressed about. Some people have big scrubbing brushes in the bath that they claim are invigorating. Generally, baths are for indulging yourself, and you should make sure you have a magazine, tea, biscuits, radio, and a selection of ducks within arm’s reach. Also, make sure the phone is on silent, you’re totally up-to-date with all your friends, family and neighbours, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been cancelled.
When you get in the bath, you immediately sink down into the hippo nostril-up position, which unfortunately gets your hands too wet for reading. At this point, you’ll be glad dressing gowns are hung on the back of bathroom doors. Failing that, you can wave your hands about vigorously, run them through your hair, and give them a final polish on the curtains. Finally, when they’re bone dry, you can reach over for the magazine and then drop it in the bath.
Singing in the bath always sounds absolutely fantastic; you can reach notes well beyond your normal range. You can also reach neighbours well beyond your normal range, so remember they may not be as keen as you on ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ first thing on a Saturday morning.
Drying after a bath is a specialised activity; women like to wrap themselves up like Cleopatra and pat themselves whilst men like to saw vigorously at themselves (except for one area where they suddenly slow down and pat very gingerly).
© GUY BROWNING IS AUTHOR OF ‘NEVER PUSH WHEN IT SAYS PULL’ AND CREATOR OF ‘TORTOISE IN LOVE’ (DVD) – USED BY PERMISSION.