Rendered Fat Content

OtterSummer 8.24-Show-Her

After about forty five minutes, I notice that the shower’s still running so I knock on the bathroom door.


”Time to get out of the shower,” I yell through the door, “You’re gonna run out of hot water!”

”What? I can’t hear you.”

Later, The Muse comes home and the water’s still running. I ask her to please go in there and tell The Otter to get out of the freaking shower. “I already tried,” she replied, “The door’s locked. We’ll talk with her when she gets out.”

Even later, The Otter shows up at the supper table smelling of perfume. I suggest that five minutes should be plenty of time for a shower. The Muse disagrees, citing that she’s a girl. I know I shower in about two minutes, so I felt generous suggesting two and a half times more. “I can’t even shower in five minutes,” the ever-helpful Muse adds.

In conversation, it becomes clear to me that The Otter can’t imagine how she might shower in under a half hour, so it can’t matter what I tell her to do. Like with so many activities in this life, telling amounts to so much spitting into the wind. Showing might help, though, again, like so many activities in this life, I’ll be damned if I’m crawling into the shower to demonstrate my mysterious technique. Can’t tell. Also can’t show.

It’s a wonder anyone ever learns how to do anything. Left unconstrained, we behave profligately, as if hot water were a free and infinite good. I’d asked The Muse if she knew where the hot water shutoff was hidden in the basement, thinking that this small dilemma could benefit from the sudden appearance of a decent constraint. She didn’t know where it was located, either.

Even watching another turns out to be an unreliable source of meaningful instruction. So much involves personal technique and practice. I remember learning to swim. I first got really, really good at sinking, expert almost to the point where I was convinced I would probably drown. I hated the feel of chlorinated water in my sinuses or I suppose I might have become a submariner. Instead, I dog-paddled, swallowing more than my share of the pool, for the longest time. I learned to dive before I learned to swim because diving in, I could let the momentum carry me almost across the pool before having to resort to the swallowing dog stroke that would carry me to the other side. I learned to hold my breath before I ever learned to float, let alone swim.

I suppose it’s gotta be the same story for The Otter. She’ll over-use the available resources until she figures better, and my well-intended telling won’t influence much. I’m hoping that she’ll find the opportunity next time to catch herself slipping into whatever trance warm flowing water induces and start checking for shortcuts, if only to avoid my heavy hand hammering on the bathroom door.

”What? I can’t hear you!”

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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