The power of shower
The first thing Alex did on my first morning in Italy was point me to the shower. The three plane rides in 24 hours had left me a little stale, but I was hoping to avoid the shower today. The Shower of Power is the most intimidating appliance I have ever had to use. I stood outside it and repeated, “it’s just a shower… It’s just a shower,” but I was lying to myself. It has more options than my Mazda.
I could say that this shower is smart enough to balance my checkbook, but this shower is so smart, it would probably tell me that I should check my balance online, and it is snarky (and Italian enough) to sniff as it would say it. It would probably also mutter disdainfully that Italians haven’t used checks in years. Showers simply shouldn’t have the power to say such things, even in my imagination.
You have to turn three knobs to get the right temperature water to come out of the shower head. Turn the wrong knob, and you can be greeted with ice cold water shooting straight at your rear. I say that from experience. I was trying to wash my face. That was particularly humiliating. I have not since tried to move that knob, but I count 10 separate water dispensing heads.
Then there is the display panel. That’s right. Display panel. If you push the wrong button, talk radio can come on, all the lights in the room can suddenly go out, an alarm can go off, hot sauna air can come sputtering out, or the neighbors can start banging on the walls. To be fair to the shower, the neighbors banged on the walls when I screamed when one of the things mentioned above happened. I must be careful to be fair to the shower. I think it goes online.
The really pathetic thing about the situation with the shower is the buttons on the display are in English. I don’t even have to translate the buttons that have caused my torture. I just keep failing to understand them in the context of a shower. The digital options that show on the digital display, however, are in Italian. That’s right. The digital display. In a shower. So I end up not knowing which option to choose when I push a button, and that has led to further torture and discomfort.
Today, I showered in the Shower of Power. I turned the wrong knob and pushed the wrong button to shut it off and managed to turn off all the lights in the room while being sprayed with icy water… Again. Tomorrow, I will try again without pushing any buttons. I will not even look at the display, but I suspect it will be watching me for good stories to put on its blog about the silly, dirty American who doesn’t know how to use a proper Italian shower.