Dateline: Glasgow, Scotland, on a speaking tour with the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.
Man stays in fancy Strathclyde University Business School residence for final presentation in Airdrie, Scotland. Checks in late in the afternoon with bespoke host and shepherd, Dr. David Munro, Director Royal Scottish Geographical Society.
Man’s given 42 minutes to relax in hotel room before driving to Airdrie to setup. Once in room, man notices bidet in bathroom. Man has never had room with bidet before. Man opens suitcase, irons and few clothes before curiosity gets better of him.
Man goes to bathroom. Looks at bidet. Thinks, “It does look like dog drinking bowl.” Sees taps, hot on left, cold on right, spigot in middle (strategically placed he thinks).
Man tries cold tap. Water strikes bowl with such force that front of ironed shirt is soaked. Man moves to quickly shut off tap but inadvertently increases pressure. Water jet, with increased pressure completely misses bowl, shoots out in wild arc like baby boy on change table and strikes opposite wall, through bathroom door.
Man shuts off tap, noticing water everywhere, now even wetter (because of various richochet splashes from door, walls, bowl and flailing hands). Man considers swimming possibilities on bathroom floor. Then decides a mop up would be in order. Only one towel on rack. Worried about flood in room below. Mops floor anyway.
Man tries hot tap, gingerly. Water hits bowl with impressive force and sprays shirt. Man thinks warm is better than cold but quickly turns pressure down. This time, man is right. Water arcs gently into dog bowl. Water gets hot. Man adds a little cold until temperature is right for first use of bidet. Man leaves water on, not wanting to mess with the gods by trying to power up the unit a second time.
Man retires to room, changes wet clothes and returns to bathroom.
Man uses toilet, pondering how much paper must be saved in countries with bidets. Toilet business complete, man sits down on dog bowl noting, as he turns and bends, how impressively in-control the geyser is.
However … man has no idea that in big fancy Strathclyde Business School Residence that turning on cold water in one room (where colleague Dr. Munro is powdering his nose before the big trip to Airdrie) makes cold water absent in the room next door.
Man sits down on dog bowl, blissfully unaware of temperature change. Boiling water in bidet stream enters bottom rift and strikes ever-so-sensitive “bulls eye” (as it were).
Man rises with such vigour, to avoid further scalding, that he slips on wet floor and launches headlong on to sodden carpet without, striking his shoulder on door jam on way through.
Man is in agony, not sure which is more sore, shoulder or par-broiled behind. Man grabs wet towel, heedless at this point of any and sundry diseases that might have been picked up from the bathroom floor, and dries sensitive bits. Shoulder is just a minor flesh wound. Sensitive bottom bits feel much better. Man laughs, thinking of wife’s need for resuscitation when she hears the story.
A close call, to be sure. Man is a touch rattled as he continues to dress in slacks, tie and jacket, still smiling.
Appointed time arrives, and man walks as best he can to elevator, cheeks slightly closer together than they might have otherwise been. Man steps casually into lobby of fancy Strathclyde University Business School lobby to meet colleague Dr. Munro for the journey to Airdrie.
Dr. Munro enquires, “Did you get a chance to freshen up?”
Composed as possible, man says, “Yes, thank you. Kind of you to ask.”
Oh my….this is still one of the funniest of your travel stories. I am still laughing!
Man, that was a funny experience. Nice retell.
Hilarious!!! Way to go James.
A better outcome, at least for the bidet, than my friend who traveled to Europe immediately after graduating high school in 1971 and seeing a bidet for the first time thought one used it exactly like a toilet. What was she thinking? Was there not a perfectly good toilet right there alongside the bidet? Je ne sais pas. The concept was completely foreign to her. Mishap wonderfully retold Jim. Hello from OEE 1988!