Our horribly temperamental boiler has been up to it’s old tricks again. It’s making banging sounds in the dead of night. It’s like sharing our loft with a sadistic poltergeist who gets his kicks from rationing our hot water. So on Monday Guido had what he thought was a really terrific idea. We’d start sharing our baths until we booked U-benders Plumbing back in.
It certainly proved to be one of his more insane suggestions.
When I fill a bath I flick out the lights, burn a scented candle and switch on a relaxation CD which sounds just like waves lapping on a beach in Barbados. If I shut my eyes I can imagine I’m swimming with dolphins. Unfortunately it’s when I re-open them again I discover I’m actually doing the breastroke in a chipped metal bath in Bermondsey.
Guido’s approach to bathing is polar opposite. He jumps in with a bar of cheap soap and a old flannel and then he leaps straight out again. That particular tsunami spills a shed load of water all over the floor. If you go in after he’s come out you’d best take your flippers.
“I like my bath to resemble an extra hot and steaming cappuccino,” I said, “warm and milky underneath with a comforting coating of froth on top.”
“I know you do,” said Guido, “but I prefer my bath to resemble, well, a bath. Nice and wet and full of water and not a single trace of a mud face pack floating on it.”
He doesn’t exfoliate anything like I do.
“Okay here’s how it’ll work,” said Guido, “we’ll both strip off then, as you’re smaller than me, you’ll climb in first. I’ll lower myself into whatever space is left whilst you distract the poltergeist by turning on the taps. Oh and while you’re down there, soap my loofah would you?”
It was an offer no husband could realistically refuse.
I slid naked into the empty tub whilst Guido began a very weird nude balancing act. He placed both of his elbows on each side of the bath. Then he pressed his huge feet onto the tiles behind my head. He looked like he was levitating above me. Which is more than I can say for the hairy vital statistics hanging ominously between his legs. If he moved they started to swing hypnotically from left to right. Though I was worried that when they eventually hit the water they’d projectile towards me like a couple of rogue scud missiles. They could’ve taken one of me eyes out.
“Quick, turn on the water,” said Guido, “I’m not sure how long I can keep this up.”
I twisted the left tap. I twisted the right tap. Water from both was stone cold. As it gushed past my chest I suddenly realised how Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet must have felt when the Titanic hull got breached. Let’s just say there were definitely no Dolphins. In fact the last thing I can remember yelling was – call a priest.
Later, as I lay corpse like on our bed shivering, Guido said that he’d once seen Bear Grylls say on TV that the best thing to do for someone suffering from hypothermia was to rub the victim very vigorously.
Well, I thought, it was the least Guido could do.