The road to big city sophistication is fraught with danger and excitement.
Many of you might realize that Mr. Pap Smear and I are approaching the one-year anniversary of taking the plunge and purchasing Chateau Pap Smear, right in the heart of metropolis. I was born and raised on a farm with 5,000 sheep in a small Idaho town of 250 people, so you can imagine what a life-changing event moving to the capital city might be to this ol’ country girl.
Being the size queen that I am, I was excited to see that Chateau Pap Smear is slightly larger than all her neighboring bungalows of the same vintage. The bathroom even includes a garden-size jetted bathtub. Before we even purchased the house, I had dreamy visions of this tired old queen filling the bathroom with scented candles and rose petals, resting her beehive hair against a silk pillow, and relaxing in the steaming hot, swirling, regenerative waters. “Oh Calgon, take me away”!
This private luxurious bath experience would be much preferable to an excursion to Crystal Hot Springs, as I would avoid the horrified, yet well-meaning, onlookers as they ceaselessly keep trying to push “the Great White Beached Whale” back into the pool. It wouldn’t be such a bad experience, if they would only stop using 10-foot poles to do it.
We hired an inspector to give the house the once-over before the purchase. He informed us that the water heater was 35 years old, and was in desperate need of being replaced soon, but was still in working order. Undaunted by his warning, we proceeded with the acquisition of our dream home.
On move-in day, later that evening, when I had finally located the soap and towels, I decided to treat my poor aching body to an initiatory soothing soak in the jetted tub. I went into the bathroom and flipped on the light switch. Nothing happened. No light. Shit! Well, a resourceful queen such as myself could certainly bathe using the braille method. So I proceeded with my spa preparations. Expecting a torrent of steaming hot water to gush forth, I turned the hot water faucet on full bore. I was shocked at what happened next.
There came from the tap what could only be described as a minuscule dribble of tepid water, flowing ever-so-slowly under no pressure, into the tub. I got a food thermometer to measure the temperature of the water. It was an underwhelming 90 degrees, right from the tap. I waited and waited, hoping for better results. Forty-five minutes later, the tub was finally full enough to be able to turn on the massaging jets, but by then, the tap was spewing forth nothing but cold water.
I again measured the temperature and it only reached 80 degrees. It was so cool that I did a quick sponge bath and called it good. Since that day, while impatiently waiting for the tax refund us to replace the water heater, we suffered for 10 months with that pathetically, slow, lukewarm shower, with much less pressure than most queens’ teardrops after the season finale of Downton Abbey.
Then last month, Mr. Pap Smear got extremely painful blood clots in his leg. The only way to relieve his pain was to soak in a tub of hot water. So there I was, at 2 a.m., heating up huge pots of water on the stove, to fill the huge garden tub with water that would not freeze the man. We ended up repeating this laborious scenario every night for about one week. I complained bitterly about my water woes to anyone who would listen.
In frustration, I ventured one night into the basement to see what size water heater we should be shopping for, and in the glow of my flashlight, I could see the temperature dial was set to almost off. I nudged the dial one quarter-turn to the left, to the hot setting, and I heard the heater flame jump into action.
With much anticipation, the next morning I stepped into the shower and turned on the hot water faucet full force as usual. It was still a pathetic dribble. So with low expectation, I stepped into the dribbling stream of water. I screamed as loud as if they had canceled my membership to the Sequins of the Month Club, when the hot water made contact with, and immediately par-boiled, my testicles. Scrambling to escape this torture and to preserve what little might be left of the family jewels, I slipped and fell, tearing down the shower curtain in the process, this time with my ass directly in the line of fire. The only thing missing from this familiar scene was the screeching sound track and N-N-Norman’s plunging knife from Psycho.
As always, these events leave us with several burning eternal questions:
- In Idaho, how many sheep are required to live in a town before the town can incorporate?
- Were the neighbors alarmed when they saw me measuring their houses in the dark of night?
- How many scented candles can you light in a bathroom before the house catches fire?
- If the candles sucked up all the oxygen in the room, resulting in my asphyxiation, would the obituary read, Death by Scentsy?
- Where the hell is that “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” button when you really need it?
- If a queen screams in a bathroom and no one hears it, do you end up making a hot meatball sandwich with the buns and balls?
These and other important questions to be answered in future chapters of The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear.