The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

September 1, 2012

Mike Pound: Shower interruptus always prompts fall from grace

There is no graceful way to leave a shower before you want to.

I’ve tried and I can say with a certain degree of certainty that it’s not possible. Of course, the good thing about having to leave a shower before you want to is that, most of the time, no one is around to see you do it. The bad thing about having to leave a shower before you want to is — follow me here — leaving the shower before you want to.

Years ago, I would leave the shower if I was home alone and the phone rang. Years ago, I worried that someone important was on the other end of the phone and desperately needed to speak with me.

“Oh no, the phone!” I would say. “I bet it’s the president with an urgent question about national security. I must leave the shower.”

And then I would stumble out of the shower and run to the phone leaving a trail of water behind me deep enough for Chris Christe to swim in and answer the ringing phone. But you know what? The president was never on the other end of the line. Usually my wife was on the other end of the line, and most of the time what my wife had to say was pretty much the exact opposite of important.

So I no longer leave the shower when I’m home alone and the phone rings.

Now it takes something really important to cause me to leave a shower before I want to. Something like — I don’t know — shampoo. It seems to me that one of the reasons most folks take a shower is to wash their hair. It also seems to me that if a person gets into a shower and begins the process of washing his hair only to discover that he has no shampoo, that person needs to leave the shower and get some shampoo. Otherwise the whole shower is wasted. It’s like making a trip to the grocery store and then not buying any food.

One day last week, after our 14-year-old daughter, Emma, had gone to school and my wife had left for work, I began taking a shower. I got into the shower, turned the water on and reached for my shampoo only to find that someone else had reached for my shampoo and hadn’t returned it to its rightful home. I know who that someone was.

“EMMAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!” I yelled. That, by the way, raises an interesting philosophical question. If a parent angrily yells the name of his or her teenage child when the parent is home alone, does a tree fall down? OK, so maybe it’s not an interesting philosophical question.

My point is my shampoo was missing and I was pretty sure where it was. So, I climbed out of the shower and sloshed my way down the hall to Emma’s bathroom where I found my shampoo. Emma, apparently had run out of her shampoo and in a pinch borrowed mine, used it, and — as 14-year-olds are prone to do — forgot that she borrowed my shampoo.

By the way, sometimes I want to tell Emma how lucky she is to have her own bathroom. Sometimes I want to tell her that, depending on what sort of housing the Army offered my parents, there were times when I shared one bathroom with my mom, dad and six brothers and sisters. Memories of those days still haunt me today.

Later, as I was leaving work I called Emma and asked her what type of shampoo she used.

“Why?” Emma asked.

“Because you are out of it,” I said.

“How do you know?” Emma asked.

I told Emma how I knew she was out of shampoo.

“Oh,” she said. “Sorry.”

Then Emma told me the name of her shampoo. Then she asked me if it had stormed recently.

“No,” I said. “Why?”

“Because a tree in our yard fell down,” she said.

So, maybe it was an interesting philosophical question.


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