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The Fine Art of Spite Showering


My friend Emily was going to be out of town for a week. The week before her trip, she sent me a message over Facebook asking if I would keep an eye out on the house for her. Feed her cat, Muffin, and make sure that things were generally decent looking and that no marauders had invaded. Emily lives not too far from a walking path I use regularly as part of my whole “hey, let's stop eating pizza and be active” initiative. So it would be easy to just swing on by after my walks.

As the week began things were fine at Emily's pad. I would go on my walks, listen to my podcasts, then pop in and check on things. I'd sit for a while, pet Muffin, feed him, then leave without my presence being known. The entire cycle would repeat for the next few days. As my weekend approached, and I had a full bill of shows to do at the theater I haunt, I asked Emily if she would mind if I brought my weekend bag and took a shower at her place between my walk and heading straight to the theater.

Emily had no problem with this, but did inform me that her young brother, Chip, might be coming by the house to get the birthday gift for their mother which had been hidden at Emily's. It was Emily's way of telling me “If you see a high school senior roaming around my house, don't be alarmed.”

Friday arrived, and I went on my usual morning walk, listened to my usual podcasts, and jotted down my usual notes about life and love and all the other things artistic people do on a walk. I arrived at Emily's with my weekend bag. Considering that it was a very hot morning, I was quite damp as I placed the key she had given me into the lock and turned it. As I opened the door, I was a little alarmed. The pristine house that I had left the night before looked like party had threw up all over the place.

I made my way to the guest bathroom, walking up the stairs slowly, trying to avoid stomping any more dirt into the carpet with my shoes. Right outside of the guest bathroom there is a couch, and as I made my approach, I found a strange young person sleeping on the couch. They looked to be hungover, as if they found a stray blanket and pillows and threw themselves onto the couch at some point during the night. They were restless, and noticed me walking by.

I was greeted by the strange fellow, and I simply said “hello” then went on about my way. As I was in the guest bathroom, and began unpacking my shower gear, a thought crossed my mind. I was being very adult and feeling angry that a hung over student was trying to rest just feet away from where I was going to cleanse myself. I had with me my portable bluetooth speaker set, as I always like to play music while I shower and get ready. That is when the idea hit me, a wicked idea, but an idea none the less.

Much like in a cartoon, a transparent devil appeared on my shoulder and whispered into my ear “What's the worst thing in the world to play loud at a hungover person?” I began to scan my iPhone to see what I had on it, my iPhone serves as my utility belt of music, and I keep some basics on it to have on hand for any and all occasions. Then, as if a cloud had parted, I found it. “I'm Stranded” by The Saints, the late 70s debut album by the beloved Australian punk rock group.

I turned the water on, the loud rush of the water hitting the tub floor echoed around the bathroom—the room had good acoustics. I switched the water to the shower head, turned on the music, and cranked the volume as loud as I could. The music began to play, loudly echoing around the room as well. Being an album I am awfully fond of, I began to sing along to the tunes. Singing that was mixed with intermittent loud gargling, and pounding on the sides of the shower walls with my fist in time with the beats of certain songs.

In total, I spent about twenty minutes in the bathroom. Finished and dressed. I turned the music off, and packed everything away back into my weekend bag. As I walked by the couch, I noticed that the sleeping person had piled the blanket and all the pillows up on their head. I called my mission a success and moved on with my day. Did Emily ever find out about what took place? Not my events, but I think she learned of what Chip did. Monday the following week, photo's from their mother's birthday party hit Facebook, it seemed Chip had a black eye that I didn't recall him having before. He looked terrified, and Emily looked satisfied.

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