The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

7:06pm on Friday, 1st April, 2005:

Needle Shower


I thought there was something odd about the room I checked into yesterday at the Express by Holiday Inn hotel in Portsmouth, because I noticed it had two eyeholes. One was at normal eye level and one was at about waist level. Inside, I discovered the reason: it was a wheelchair-friendly room, with a seat in the shower and rails next to the lavatory. OK, so no problem there, it's good that they provide these facilities and I quite like the idea of its not mattering that the floor is covered with water when I have a shower.

It was therefore with some pleasantness I looked forward to having a shower this morning. Little did I suspect...

The shower had to be the highest-pressure jet I have ever experienced. It had about 25cm of recoil just from switching it on, and it didn't so much as spray water as inject it. It was like being poked by 30 knitting needles simultanously. There was no facility to reduce the power: all I could do was enlarge the spread or change the temperature. I'm sure I have bruises where it first struck me. It's a miracle I have any hair left on my head. Maybe it was some kind of valeting facility for wheelchairs and I missed a notice somewhere...

And I was awoken at 4:35am by a fire alarm (beginning with a flashing red light then launching into the familiar "get out before you go deaf!" klaxon). According to the front desk, it had been set off by someone smoking in a non-smoking room.

Smoking? At 4:35am? Yeah, right. It wouldn't be a fault in the system or anything, it could only be a guest.

In common with pretty well every other guest, I determined that I preferred the prospect of being burned to death than losing sleep, especially as it kept stopping and starting. Besides, if there really had been a fire, I could have put it out before it got within 30 metres of me with my jet shower.

Referenced by Selling Points.

Referenced by The Longest Day.

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).