Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Just Universe, But a Little Petty

I installed a shut-off valve on our shower so that we could righteously conserve water and the natural gas we use to heat it. It's a small cylinder that installs between the water pipe coming out of the wall and the shower head. But the barrel of the thing is so short that the button that allows or restricts the flow of water prevents the shower head from screwing on all the way. That prevents the washer inside from compressing all the way and keeping it from leaking, or whatever. I don't know the mechanics of the thing exactly. What am I, a plumber?

Anyway, I can't tighten the shower head all the way and so it leaks. Consequently, every morning when I turn on the shower, I get a spray of cold mist to the face. For weeks, I would forget from day to day that this was going to happen, and I would be surprised daily by the cold jolt. Then I started trying to sneak up on it. I tried turning on the water while standing behind the shower door, but I couldn't reach. I'd stand on the edge of the tub and lean way over. Still, that cold shot to the face. Then I figured out that if I rotated the shower head, the spray shot of harmlessly into the wall. Ha ha! Success! But Aerie, being fifteen inches shorter than I, rotated the shower head back to what is apparently the optimal angle for her showering needs, and the next morning, Pow! Surprise!

So instead of doing something effective, like removing the valve or searching for one with a longer barrel that won't impede the proper level of torque on the shower head, I spend several minutes each day standing in the shower and brooding about the injustice of a universe that punishes good intentions.

Of course, the universe may instead be punishing me for the fact that, while I installed the shut-off valve, I never actually use the shut-off valve. Hey, I enjoy the soothing sensation of warm water cascading down my body. Is that so wrong?

9 comments:

Living In a Girl's World said...

That shut off valve would never be used in my house. Waking up before 7:30 in the morning in my mind deserves a nice long hot shower. Use it, and I'd be cold for the rest of the day, which would make me grumpy, which would then lead to everyone else being grumpy!

Aerie (aka Mrs. Rodius) said...

Um, yeah, hey...something has been screwy with it for the last several weeks. It wasn't always spraying out like that...or at least not at that angle. I guess that's due to your "adjustments." Know that I'm now getting sprayed with cold water every day as well.

I'm sorry my small stature is causing issues, but you NEVER use the shut off valve? Wasn't it your idea? I use it 99% of the time...cold winter mornings and first trimester of pregnancy excluded (was ALWAYS cold then). Additionally, I "powder" in the shower to decrease dust levels, rinse away all powder evidence each day, squeegy the glass to decelerate the hard water/soap residue, take great precautions to avoid hair clogs and sometimes try to shift the shower head back to a higher position when I'm done so you won't bonk your head. (Oh, hey! Remember the shower at the house on Mansfield St? Surely that was worse!)

Surely I've violated blog comment length etiquette here, but I've barely seen Thumper or you today, and I guess I'm stuck leaving you messages on the computer. I should be in bed with you, but I haven't finished decompressing from my day. Be sure to tell the Thump-Man I'm sorry I missed his bedtime and will be home early tomorrow.

Pops said...

Try installing it turned around, end for end.

Aerie (aka Mrs. Rodius) said...

Made adjustments this morning. Let me know how that works out for you, Stretch.

Pops said...

Did you use Teflon pipe tape on the threads?

I, Rodius said...

I did use teflon tape, like my Daddy taught me! It actually leaks not from the connection between the pipe and the shower head's collar, but between that collar and the shower head, which leads me to believe the washer's not compressed far enough. But maybe it just leaks for crappy manufacturing reasons.

I, Rodius said...

@Aerie: No shot to the face today. But now I feel guilty that I added another item to the list of things for you to worry about: making sure you've turned the shower head just right so it won't spray me. God knows your worry list is long enough. Speaking of which, I guess I better go take down the bird feeders before Ike arrives.

You actually use the squeegee, too? Wow, I thought that and the shut-off valve were just sort of symbolic.

And I don't bonk my head on the shower head, I crack it on the lintel stepping in. And then again when I'm stepping out. I think that's why my hair is thinning; I've scraped it all off on shower doorways and car doorways and subway handles and the like.

Living In a Girl's World said...

Aerie, I'm impressed you do all that every morning. Heck, if I remember to hang the towel on the rack and not over the door, I think I'm doing good. You have my kudos!

Aerie (aka Mrs. Rodius) said...

Once again, I find myself talking to you through the computer. Tonight, though, you are the one working and it's me and the boy at home.

Don't feel guilty, sugarplum. The adjustment I made was a one time thing unless one of us bumps or moves it. It was annoying me, too. The height of the shower head can be adjusted gently without repositioning the base where the problem seems to be. How is this boring a topic getting so much commentary? *L*

Living in a Girl's World: I may be borderline OCD. *L* It makes me a "challenge" to live with, but it also comes with a lot of perks. Just ask my hubby...

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