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The Dirty Truth About Your Bath

English: A woman takes a bath in a bathtub.

Just add croutons

Bath is a lovely city in the county of Somerset, but that’s entirely beside the point. Baths in the home are deceptive little temptresses and mongers of filth. I couldn’t care two hoots about the vast quantity of water that a bath wastes in comparison to the frugal shower, my trouble with the tub lies in the way it promises to be a decadently relaxing treat of heavenly cleansing, when it is in fact the most disappointing and disgusting thing you can do with your day and here’s why.

Temperature: Your bath is guaranteed to be either too hot or too cold. You may use a measuring jug, you may use a NASA approved thermometer, hell, you may even have the demon mixing skills of an Ibiza DJ but, like an aquatic Goldilocks, you will still have a bath that is either too hot or too cold. This leaves you with scalded feet (or a sizzling undercarriage for the very hasty) or the distinctly unsettling feeling of being a tad chilly. Your only option here is to alternately fiddle with the taps, letting just enough water out the pug hole to refill it with even more of the wrong temperature until all the hot water has run out and you’re stuck in a sea of lukewarm despondency.

Products: Bubble bath is great for all of the 60 seconds that the foam holds, creating the illusion of billowing decadence second only to a bath created by the special effects team on a James Cameron production, only to fizzle into a few cold wispy suds not fit to cover a mermaid’s nipple. It’s a little known fact that bath salts are just perfumed road gravel and were designed as a buttock torturing device for the baths of Victorian mental patients.

All of the novelty bath product gift sets sit gathering dust and soap scum on shelves and crowding the edge of the bath as stark reminders that your relatives have the olfactory senses of an onion. These poncy perfumed products serve only to pollute the water so that once you’ve lathered up, you can’t rinse your hair properly. It will forever more wear the residue of a “Fanciful Frothy Ferret” bath bomb.

Even Submersion: The average bath is 5′ 6″ in length, take into account the taps and the end that doubles as a shelf and you’re left with an average of 4′ 5″ in occupiable length. The average PFPT is 5’3″ (and a smidge) so no matter how you try and configure it, no matter how yogatastic your limbs are, you are never going to be able to achieve a complete and even submersion. Your delightfully relaxing bath then throws up a sorrowful conundrum, a Sophie’s choice of anatomy; are your shoulders left to shiver above the bubble line and your breasts to become fleshy chilled iles flottantes, or are your knees and your feet subjected to the bitter position of lifeguard, looking down at you from the cold hard tap end?

Sharing: What can be more romantic that a candle lit tub for two? Just about anything, actually. Forget even submersion, this becomes a fight for survival and the right to not have ‘H’ and ‘C’ imprinted on your back. You have to accept that only your buttocks will know water while the rest of you jacknifes awkwardly into the cold bathroom air like a couple of broken marionettes jammed into a coffee cup. Don’t even think about getting fruity unless you’re both qualified circus freaks with the emergency services on standby.

Entertainment: Past the age of 10, toys in the bath are just plain ridiculous and are the sign of someone whose mother still scrubs their back when she visits, regardless of their marital status. That said, without the rubber ducks and battleships of our childhood, baths are pretty dull and so you’re tempted to take entertainment with you. Good idea, right? Well know this, iPhones sink, books are apparently highly absorbent and your beautifully chilled glass of Champagne will be warmer than a dog trapped in a car in mere seconds.

Human Soup: Your bath, like it or not, is a single-portion human soup (family-size human soup is a jacuzzi or public swimming pool but that’s a whole other 1,000 words). You think you’re getting clean? You’re really stewing in all the detritus that your body didn’t want. That water you just thoroughly washed your face with has been swilling around your pits and particulars for the past 10 minutes. Face it, wet does not necessarily mean clean; the dish cloth at a greasy spoon may be wet but after its been used to wipe every egg-smeared table and the chef’s moob sweat, it may still contain moisture but you probably wouldn’t want to use it as a face cloth.

Timing: Exactly how long does a bath have to last to be enjoyable? You’ve “washed” with all the potions and novelty back scrubbing paraphernalia, you’ve lost your book, now wedged under a broken ankle somewhere near the tap end, so you lie there getting bored, feeling guilty about getting out and wasting all that water when you’re supposed to be enjoying this, so you stay in for just about as long as you can bear, only to find your fingers now look like the cast of Cocoon. It’s been 11 minutes.

Cleaning: Now you’ve “cleaned” yourself, you have to do housework and scrub your personal effluence residue from the entire bath, getting sweaty in the process and thus needing another bash at the personal cleansing routine. You may as well have just hosed yourself down in the garden and saved yourself the bother.

All things considered, isn’t standing in a nice hot stimulating shower of fresh running water a far more civilised thing? Although, having said that, there is one advantage the bath has over the shower, and that is doing your best wind-powered Bill & Ben impression. Just don’t attempt an impression of Weed, that’s plain wrong.

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About prettyfeetpoptoe

I live in London and have both my own legs so I am fortunate enough to get out and about on occasion. I form many views on the things that I see and do and love nothing better than a session of linguistic gymnastics in order to share these views.

52 responses »

  1. Here here, I was going to mention the boredom part but you got to that. Once a year I think I will have a bath (I do wash the rest of the time), as soon as I do I am bored shitless after a few minutes and thinking about what else I could be doing instead.

    Reply
    • I do the same. I’ll sometimes forget why I don’t swap my daily shower for a nice hot relaxing bath on occasion. Then I have one and I’m reminded of what a miserable waste of water it is, have to rinse off under the shower anyway and vow never to make that mistake again.

      Reply
  2. What I am hearing is that the only possible proper bath would be a tub, 6′-3″ long, 3’5″ wide with a thermostat and that fills continuously from the head end (immediately beneath the 3’5″ in deepness) and where water is also sucked continuously from the drain at the other end. In other words, a bower or a shath. Am I on the right track here?
    Scott

    Reply
  3. And, of course, there is always the fun prospect of nodding off whilst bathing which will forever deposit you into the Land of Nod.

    Reply
  4. Last time Andy had a bath he overfilled it so once he got in the water went into the overflow, leaked through the ceiling into the downstairs (hardwired) smoke alarm which set that and the one upstairs off. Both were ripped from the ceiling only to find that they have back up batteries. 20 minutes later with an air of destruction about him he declared he was never having a bath again. Thank god he showers! I don’t use the bath as the cleaner won’t chisel off the scum ring..

    Reply
    • Sounds like a very expensive lesson for Andy to learn but it had to happen. Baths are neither relaxing nor cleansing, less so when they form an evil alliance with a smoke alarm. As for your cleaner, she sounds far too sensible to be a cleaner.

      Reply
  5. Oh, it’s all too true. Even when I ignore the need to scrub out the tub after I’ve lounged in it, it’s all too true. Add to that the problem of an unhappy spine – there is no contortion save drowning that will rescue bad discs from the delayed misery a bath provides. And my new house’s bath is a jacuzzi. Which means now I have to clean the jets, too, even though they’re never used. Bother.

    Reply
    • Considering a bath is often prescribed to ease a sore aching back, they do their very best to break it into a relaxed position, don’t they? As for your jacuzzi, the sales people should be forced to tell you exactly how much cleaning is involved before they’re allowed to sell it.

      Reply
  6. Well if you plan on sharing you should get a tub that allows for “maneuvering” and preferably water jets! Lol

    Reply
    • How rich do you have to be to enjoy a bath?! Just take it in turns showering after you’ve “shared” the bed.

      Reply
      • What has one to do with the other? Personally I find a variety of places to have sex gives to a thrill or enhancement! Now I am not saying I am about to go boinking down the 50 yard line during Super Bowl halftime, but trying new things can lead to interesting experiences.

        Reply
  7. How perfectly said.

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  8. Water is evil. End of.

    Reply
  9. The bathtub in my apartment is so narrow I have to lay on my side, wait for the exposed hip to freeze, then try to uncork and flip to the other side. Certainly not worth the pot of human bisque it cooks up.

    Reply
  10. Hey, I know you are very busy, but check out my post tomorrow as I have nominated you for an award (well, two, actually).
    Scott

    Reply
  11. Pingback: I Would Like to Thank… | Kindredspirit23's Blog

  12. Been a while since I’ve popped in… glad to see that you’re up to your usual, scathing witterings PFPT. Nothing is safe from Ms. Pop Toe; not even the bath 😀

    Reply
    • Well hello! I take it you’ve been busy on all kinds of wizardy adventures (with and without Dr Who). Well, there are a few things that are safe, but only because I haven’t discovered them yet.

      Reply
  13. If I wasn’t already happily married I would ask you to marry me on the basis of this post alone. Absolutely bloody hilarious! I really don’t get the chance to tell you enough how well you write and funny you are while getting it completely spot on every time! I’m reblogging this and making it compulsory reading for all my followers, friends and, in fact, every stranger on the street that I can find.

    Reply
    • You are too, too kind and thanks for sending your lovely readers this way.

      Your wife is doubly safe, I’m not exactly the marrying kind. Sounds too expensive. 😉

      Reply
  14. Pingback: The Dirty Truth About Your Bath | kenthinksaloud

  15. Kenthinksaloud sent me here, and I’m glad he encouraged me to read this. I’m in my office with a hot cup of tea and I almost sprayed a mouth full of tea on my LCD and the chap sat opposite to me…this is bloody hilarious…I’m reading it again.

    Reply
  16. OMG the cleaning part! I always manage to slip in the bath or outside the bath and my towel and legs are everywhere. bahaha.

    Reply
  17. My bathroom was built for someone who stood under 5″ tall. My tub is a perfect example. It is wonderful to house the shower that we installed within it. That is all it is worth since my hubby is 6″ 4″ and I am 5″ 8″. I could not imagine the two of us in the bathroom at the same time, much less that tub lol…It is tough enough to clean it.

    Reply
  18. I love this! I could never take baths, my silly Diabetic body going all wobbly at the slightest increase in temperatue, and all. Or at least that was until recently when my shower broke and I was forced to take a bath for the first time in years… I do have to admit it was slightly euphoric, although the little bits of grime floating around near my eyeballs was a little unnerving.

    Reply
  19. To be honest, I really don’t understand the bath tub bath…. You soak yourself in your own grime and dirt…. just take a shower.

    Reply
  20. Pingback: Grandma’s Salt Beads | familyrecipebooks

  21. All things considered I still enjoy a nice bath. I’m 5’7 so I understand the length part all to well, of course it does make it a little bit easier to turn the tap on with my feet for a hot water top up when the water cools down (we have one of those single taps that you just go further to the left for hotter or to the right for cold, or all the way to the right for off – it’s some how easier) because I probably spend too much time in there. I’ve been busy the past month finishing up with final exams and papers for University and was reading a book in the tub one night, and when I got out I was started to discover it was midnight; and I had gone in there at 8pm, oops. You are right about the filth though, I always end up showering after – we do like wasting water in North America, I blame all of the clean looking lakes and rivers giving us a false sense of security.

    Reply

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