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Just Letting Off Steam

Right now on these pages, there are many liberal ideas being dissected, diagnosed, debated, defined and destroyed. This is good. This is necessary. My grandson’s future depends on it. But I’d like to digress for just a moment’s rant on a topic that really burns me up.

Some of the finest showers in the truck stop world are to be found in Indiana, at the Fort Wayne Travel Plaza (intersection of US 30 and I-69, please stop in for some good eats too). The architect of these wonders of hygiene even thought to design the shower so that the water temperature can be adjusted without having to stand under the shower head, which means that you walk into a deliciously hot blast of water from the very start.

This was accomplished by building the shower on the design of the letter “S.” You walk in at the bottom of the letter and the water controls are on the wall of the southeast curve, see? The actual shower head is at the northwest curve. No need for curtains to keep the cold air out .. no need for a sliding glass door either, as the cold air never makes it around the curve. Just adjust the water temperature to your comfort before ever setting foot in the shower, and life is good. In a job which doesn’t afford a daily opportunity to bathe, this humble innovation made me as happy as if I had good sense.

I don’t know who designed it, but that person deserves to live in comfort without any further knowledge of life’s worries and hardships. And if that genius is no longer with us, I hope he has a nice headstone celebrating this singular accomplishment, because he can’t be the same person who designed the plumbing system which connects water temperature to the flushing of toilets in the same vicinity.

The first sign of trouble is a barely perceptible decrease in the water pressure, after which all of the cold water evidently is evacuated to assist with the toilet flush, leaving the hapless victim in the shower on the receiving end of a good scalding. As best I could tell, someone must have heard me yelp, because it wasn’t long before another sadist got in on the act. I would have ceased with the shower right then except I was already lathered up like a poodle at the Hot Diggity Dog Wash and Boutique. Reduced to performing an impromptu version of the Hokey Pokey, I experimented with first one foot, then the next … then a knee cap, and so on until I was convinced it was safe to resume.

That’s when a whole busload of flushers arrived at the truck stop. At first, I judged that a group of them flushed simultaneously. But the results were not much different than a single flush, since a single flush removes all the cold water in any event. And so that attempt was a wash. So they began to organize. One after the other, with only the slightest pause between scaldings. This is called a Royal Flush, and will fricassee your vital statistics 13 ways to Sunday.

And this was no haphazard effort either. No sir, this was nothing short of a full-on convention! There were ladies and gentlemen’s delegations. One would perform a medley of synchronized flushing, which would be answered by the delegation down the hall. This is called the [Redacted] flush, so called because the [Deleted] cold water was [Redacted] away from my part of the [Expletive] building and sent like an [Expletive Adjusted] out of the [Rectified] recesses of the [Expurgated, Bowdlerized and Overhauled] (sounds like a law firm) building. I don’t know what these people had eaten, but they all registered their votes with relentless efficiency whilst I was just down the hall doing the Mexican Hat Dance with the agility of a cow on a pogo stick. It was the worst nice shower I’ve ever had.

I thought to complain about it. I had plenty of time to think of what I would say while waiting for the flushing to stop, after all. But I knew in advance what the answer would be.Yes, they would be sorry. And yes, renovations are scheduled for this year, during which time all the showers will be closed, and after which time the perfect design of the showers will give way to the telephone booth design found at most truck stops. And someone will complain about those too. After all, some people are never satisfied and would complain even if you hung them with a new rope. So I made the best of the situation, ate a hot breakfast in the restaurant afterward, and here I am! But I’d sure like to know what causes this phenomenon …. and which bus tires to slash.