My shower exploded on Friday night.
I must admit, living alone has serious disadvantages, as far as I’m concerned. Although I would estimate that I am by no means stupid, and would probably at least attempt to put myself into the “fairly intelligent, actually” category, I have never tried to claim that I have any useful or practical skills whatsoever. I mean, I can read a book in a day and argue my opinions about it – but I have no idea how to properly attach the washing machine hose that has just been kind of propped up in a floor drain since I moved here. I can skim over a set of course notes and instinctively pick out exactly the right pieces of information to cram into my brain for an easy grade A – but I can’t for the life of me successfully get off a motorway or around a major roundabout without step-by-step instructions from a GPS or a nervous passenger. I can write pages and pages of flowery drivel, all grammatically correct and occasionally amusing or poignant – but I can’t fix a wobbly door handle.
In times gone by, when Things Happened, I would call upon whoever else happened to be around at the time. Whether it was a parent, my ex-fiancé, my sister, a university roommate, a boyfriend, or my friends next door, it seemed that when I had a practical difficulty, Someone Else always knew what to do. I tended to stand there flapping my hands despairingly and looking confused until they rolled their eyes and dealt with it for me. Someone Else knew what to do when a particular light came on on my car’s dashboard. Someone Else knew what to do when the heating wouldn’t work. Someone Else knew what to do when my toilet seat broke, when my cat got stuck on the roof, when I accidentally duplicated a ridiculously expensive order at work and only realised when everything arrived in pairs, when my washing machine door wouldn’t open, and when a DVD got stuck in the player. Honestly, it only ever ended in disaster when I tried to deal with these things by myself. (Like the time I did try to get Kat the Cat off the roof. Or the time I tried to drive to Lisburn alone and without SatNav. Or the time, fairly recently, when I tried to fix a broken light switch in the bar toilets and was hurled backwards across the Ladies’ by the inevitable electrocution I received.)
In the past, living either with Someone, or next door to Someone, or in a community filled with Someones that I knew and could call upon in emergencies such as the front door handle falling off, I managed fairly well with my condition. Since setting off into the Big Wide World, however, I’ve been pretty much on my own and at the mercy of inanimate objects and household pests. That’s how the number of scars on my body has effectively tripled over the past few years. That’s how I glued myself to a cupboard door a few months ago. That’s how I ended up being presented with my own underwear by a Cockney journalist at a railway station in the Hungarian countryside. I’m telling you: I try to deal with a situation, and it inevitably goes wrong and/or has embarrassing results.
Wow, I can really digress. So, my shower exploded on Friday night. This particular emergency situation has never happened to me before, so I was understandably quite surprised. One minute I was shampooing and singing along to Queen on the radio, and the next I was being pelted rather forcefully in the face with a powerful and out of control jet of water that gave the shower head a life of its own. The fecking thing leapt into midair, I desperately caught it by the hose, and proceeded to wrestle with it as it flailed around like an angry cobra being held by the tail. To make matters worse, I had been showering with the bathroom door open as I was listening to the radio using my computer, so the now apparently demon-possessed shower not only drenched the entire bathroom and knocked all bottles and jars to the floor, but also managed to soak my bedroom floor, laptop, and bed. Perfect. I don’t know how long it was before I realised that I was achieving nothing whatsoever by leaping around all crazy and naked and shrieking, trying to gain control of an exploded and runaway shower with the newfound superhero power of flight, but at some point I had the presence of mind to simply turn it off.
We stood there looking at each other in shock (me) and defiance (the shower).
Eventually I unscrewed the head, pulled down the spiral metal cover thing, and found the problem: a hole in the rubber hose (I mean, that’s if it’s called a hose; how on earth would I know what it’s called?!). Part of my problem is that I don’t know enough about practical things to understand whether a problem is something trivial that I should be able to fix by myself (meaning I get laughed at by whatever professional I bring in to deal with it), or something more complicated that needs to be dealt with by a professional (meaning I make matters even worse when I try to deal with it by myself). As Sod’s Law generally prevails in my life, I usually guess the wrong one.
This is how I spent much of Saturday evening swearing in angry frustration, with my fingers repeatedly and entirely independently supergluing themselves to a shower. And apparently, Superglue and Sellotape do not a waterproof seal create. I admit defeat.
The landlord has been notified. I shall no doubt be sternly chastised for the extra damage I have caused with the glue and the tape.
I have been bathing in the sink for 3 days now.