#165 – Showers of Discontent

My brother and his wife have finally completed their expansive home renovation, except for a few punchlist items. They’ve even hosted their first houseguests already: Ellen’s parents. Yesterday, her folks departed after a single overnight visit. They’d intended to stay two weeks.

My sister-in-law’s 76-year-old mother and 80-year-old father arrived from Florida on Saturday for a holiday visit. Frank’s been dreading their appearance since the moment his wife told him they were coming. Why? Because he’s convinced his father-in-law hates him. If true, it’s probably because Mr. Bloomberg once caught Frank mocking him. My brother constantly ribs Ellen about her father, describing him as “one of the two most boring people currently gracing the face of the planet,” and “so cheap he even bought his toupee on sale, at Wal-Mart!”

After welcoming her parents, Ellen gave them the grand tour. They seemed impressed. Ellen’s mother, Nancy, especially gushed over the guest bedroom and bath. At Ellen’s insistence, their home’s new visitor lavatory features the same amenities as the master bath, including a shower with a traditional sprayer mounted above head level and four adjustable body jets affixed to the same wall at waist and chest levels. A separate knob activates the four body jets.

Nancy tested out the shower Saturday night and loved it. More importantly, she extolled its virtues to her husband: “Manny, you must try the body jets; they’re better than a massage!”

Manny showered upon awakening Sunday morning. He operated only the head sprayer at first. Then, recalling his wife’s recommendation, he decided to give the body jets a whirl. He faced the wall and turned the knob the same degree as the other, assuming the water would expel at a like temperature to the head sprayer. It didn’t. Unexpectedly, four bursts of ice cold water assailed him. Compounding the problem, he’d neglected to customize the directions of the body jets as his wife had done. The frigid blast from a lower jet consequently nailed him in his aged gonads, causing him to double over in pain. The angle of his tilt unfortunately exposed his noggin to the powerful stream of the head sprayer, from which the water regulator had been removed. As a result, the liquid pounding his toupee pried it clear off his skull. That’s when Manny discovered an item to add to Frank’s punchlist. While shifting in agony, he stepped on the drain grate – which hadn’t been properly screwed down – and dislodged it. Still clutching his aching nuts, he watched his toupee sluice down the newly uncovered hole.

By the time Frank extricated it with a plumber’s snake, the hairpiece resembled in his words “a raccoon run over by a Semi.” Manny spent the entire breakfast bemoaning the cost of a replacement. Unwisely (in Ellen’s eyes), Frank picked the wrong moment to voice one of his sarcastic comebacks. After handing his father-in-law a twenty dollar bill, he exclaimed: “Here Manny. Get yourself a new toupee on me, and keep the change!”

In response, Manny tersely informed his wife he wouldn’t spend another night in “this deathtrap” and moved them to a hotel for the duration of their New Jersey trip. Of course, the penny pincher booked them into a Super 8, not the Hilton. He also kept Frank’s twenty.

An affordable place to stay … for those watching their pennies

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