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More Mysterious Bathroom Stuff

May 23rd, 2008 · 2 Comments · Travel

Okay, so you’ve read my blogs and you know that all Italian bathrooms have a bowl to wash your junk in. Which, I guess is a good thing, because the showers are very, very small (at least in the hotels we’ve stayed in, and I think Charlee spent some serious Author Guy dollars for some of them, although not rock star dollars, because I don’t have the energy to trash the room at the end of the day.). In fact, unless I learn how to do a bunny dip (guys, ask your girlfriends who have cocktailed), it’s much like being in jail (ie. if I drop the soap, I just go on without it). I have not yet had the, uh, fortitude to use the wash your junk bowl, except to rinse out a couple of shirts, but I’d much rather have that foot or two of extra space in the shower instead of the junk washing bowl. Maybe my priorities are wrong, and like most people, I like to keep my fire engine clean, but I’m not sure I require a whole appliance just for washing one part of my body.
But that’s not what I’m writing about. I’m writing about the string.
Every shower in every bathroom in Italy has this string in the shower attached to a switch. For the longest time I thought it was to an exhaust fan — and perhaps the string to keep you from touching a switch with a wet hand. So, I didn’t figure I need to vent the steam, so never pulled the string. Turns out that’s a good thing, because the hotel last night had this:

So now I’m completely confused. And I haven’t met an Italian who speaks good enough English to ask them what’s up with the string. Take another look at it from a little wider angle.

See where the string ends. Right! So it can’t be for, “I’ve fallen in the tub and I can’t get up, right? Because, well, you could: a)just scream or b)make a sickening but loud thunk when you hit or c)not be able to reach the string if you’re paralyzed on the bottom of the tub.
So, is it that you are falling and you have the presence of mind to pull the string as you go down, so the alarm goes off and summons someone who saves you from drowning because your big, unconcious ass has blocked the drain? Seems unlikely, huh?
And say it is because you fell, but no one can hear you scream, but you can reach the string; how fucking loud is the alarm? I mean, are you going to set off an air raid siren. Because it seems like that’s going to scare a lot of people in the other rooms to death.
What the hell is the alarm for? Soap in the eye? Presumably, you could, oh, I don’t know, use your alarm string hand to flush that bad, bad shampoo out of your eye, right?
No towel?
Water way too cold? Please. No one else needs to be alerted to that. And let’s face it, unless you’re the Wicked Witch of the West, fire is a very unlikely event in the shower.
I honestly don’t know, so I’m asking you guys, because you always seem to know everything about traveling I don’t. What’s with the shower alarm string? And remember, there are no wrong answers, only wrong people, so if you don’t know, use your imaginations.
Comments: http://bbs.chrismoore.com/viewtopic.php?p=198695#198695

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Felicia

    Hello Chris im a big fan and i stumbled upon this blog. I guess it really makes no sense why they have that string there. I was thinking maybe the bar thats right below the string maybe if someone were to fall they could grab that bar and pull themselves up to pull the string. But that makes no sense either because why dont they just make the string longer to pull in the first place. Well then maybe its because their afraid the cord might get around a person neck while falling and strangle them??? I dont know just a thought :) Now you have me wondering hehe…….

  • Elvish

    scenario 1: you’re blow-drying your hair, washing your junk, ironing your shirt and boom! the iron falls in the hot, hot shower (which you’re using to steam your suit, hello)! What do you do?! Pull the alarm string! You’re saved!

    scenario 2: You’re using the bathroom when alas!, a burglar has come into your room and having barricaded yourself in the bathroom you pull the alarm string! Problem solved!

    scenario 3: Having washed your unmentionables you need to hang them out to dry! Alarm string to the rescue!

    Completely unrelated side tangent rant: I’ve always hated the shower system in Europe, I prefer my shower hung on the wall not handheld. You always know you’re in a “modern” hotel when you don’t have to hold your shower head. Yay technology.

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