Capturing the moment may not always be the wisest idea
Consulting can be a transient business that revolves around living out of suitcases in hotel rooms small enough to make sneezing dangerous. Faced with a rare long-term assignment that capped daily living expenses, I rented a furnished apartment off a list supplied by my new employer. Expecting the worst, I was reduced to happy sighs when I went to look at my temporary home. It came furnished with everything a consultant on long-term assignment could want, including the jetted tub I had just discovered in the master bathroom. In fact, the bathroom with its’ shower stall, double sink vanity and huge tub was larger then my bedroom at home. I nodded my head at the rental agent, accepted the keys, shut the door behind him, and spun in reckless circles, relishing the spacious surroundings.
Working days are long for a consultant so I would shower quickly each morning before heading outside to meet my ride. I promised myself a long, luxurious bath on the weekend as a reward. Saturday we worked a half-day and then I went shopping and picked up some aromatic bath salts, a candle, and a huge natural sponge. My bath Sunday was going to be perfect. I didn’t have to work and could sleep in, float in that tub and relax until Monday morning if I wanted.
Sunday morning I made a thermos of coffee, and then grabbed a book, my cell phone, bath supplies, and several huge fluffy towels. I headed into the bathroom arms and thoughts happily laden with treasures to enjoy. Putting everything within arms length on the vanity chair, I started up the water flow into the tub. I poured in the bath salts, lit the candle, and crawled into the tub as it filled. This was going to be my first jetted bath and I was looking forward to the pulsing water kneading the knots out of my shoulders.
After some pushing at buttons and turning of knobs, the water jets began spewing perfumed spray out and I sank against the backrest gratefully. I was languidly thinking about reaching for my book when I somehow twisted the wrong way and was grabbed from behind abruptly. I have hair that cascades down my back in a braid fully a foot long. However, at this moment my discernable hair ended about three inches from my head where it disappeared into the gaping mouth of the jetted tubs intake valve. I was stuck. Looking around frantically, I saw the off button at the other end of the enormous tub. I stabbed the button with my big toe and was rewarded with silence from the jets. A moment of false hope, and then the realization that the intake valve had not released its’ death grip on my braid, the tub and I were still one.
Twenty minutes later, I was still firmly glued in place and was rapidly reaching the frantic stage. I reached under me to drain the tub, grabbed a towel from the chair to cover myself, and stared at my cell phone with active dislike. I could call for help but pictured my bath experience turning into one of those fillers used on the six-clock news to titillate the viewers. “Consultant gets sucked into tub and has to be rescued by firemen, pictures and story at six.” Just the thought of those men breaking down the front door and coming in to stare at me was enough to galvanize my efforts. They would probably want to cut my hair to free me, ten years of growth was not going down that drain!
Slowly, painfully, over the next two hours I freed my hair, one strand at a time. The last few bits were the worst, my arms screaming in torment over having to repeatedly bend backwards to grab and pull. Only the thought of those grinning firefighters’ faces kept me going. When I could finally crawl out of that tub, I fled the bathroom as if it was possessed.
It took me a couple of hours to calm down enough to go back in and clear the tub of what hair it had retained. I had to put my nose down to read the small lettering that surrounded the intake valve. “Warning: People with long hair should not rest their heads near the intake valve.” It should have said, “If you can read this, kiss your hair good-bye!”