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Jon Mark Beilue column - Posted October 23, 2015 10:04 a.m.
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Showers of blessing beat a bath every time

“It’s disgusting. I’m sitting here in a tepid pool of my own filth. All kinds of microscopic parasites and organisms having sex all around me.”
Kramer on “Seinfeld”

Not that long ago, we had a little issue with the shower drain. It was a wee bit clogged, forcing me to do something for one morning I hadn’t done since I was 12.

Take a bath.

What a miserable experience. How do you women do it? If there were nothing but baths and no showers, I would just function in my own dried sweat and stink with that constant look of a week-long camper and never once apologize.

To each his own – and certainly what goes on behind closed bathroom doors needs to stay behind bathroom doors – but taking a bath for the male species should not occur unless under emergency circumstances.

A clogged shower drain is one. Busted shower head. Snake coming up through the drain. For me, the flu is an acceptable reason.

I have actually had a few baths since I was 12, but, outside of a clogged shower drain, the reason was I had a 102-degree temperature and shaking with the chills. A steaming hot bath seems like a good idea, not because it’s a great way to get clean, but it’s a great way to curl up and die.

But if you’re a male and no longer in elementary school, and your temperature is 98.6, and in your home is a perfectly good shower and also a bath, and you’re taking a bath for no particular reason, well, I’m sorry. Turn in your man card right now.

As for women, look, there are 4,212 things – and counting – of which I don’t understand about females, and preferring a bath hovers between Nos. 1,216 and 1,219. Must be that Calgon-take-me-away desire, and the fluffy bubble bath and the candles. A bath for women seems more justifiable, more feminine.

The few times I’ve had a bath I feel like some cowboy in an old Western movie shoe-horned into a No. 2 washtub on a Saturday night. There was a reason cowboys took a bath back then only once a week. It was not pleasant.

What’s to be gained by a bath? For one thing, it takes 10 minutes to fill up the tub. For a shower, turn it on – boom – you’re in.

A bath is not made for a man. When I’m sitting in a tub, it’s all knees and trying to maneuver around them. It’s a water-logged version of Twister.

Then, there’s no telling what comes floating by. What is that, a flaky toenail? Do they float? It’s just like Kramer said – it is tepid filth, and I, for one, am not crazy about soaking in it.

There are other issues with a bath. It might be hot when the tub finally fills up, but it’s lukewarm at best and the water is the color of dishwater when finally climbing out.

And how is it worked with the shampooing of the hair? For the sake of argument, pretend I had hair. The shampooing part is simple enough, but what about getting that off? How is that done?

I’ll tell you how. You have to lie back and immerse everything but your face and hope that’s good enough. Or take some plastic souvenir cup from a football game and keep dumping water over your noggin until the shampoo is gone.

How is any of this better than a manly shower? Less water used, less hassle, less time spent, plus the body is cleaner. If baths are so great, why aren’t they at health clubs, workout facilities and locker rooms?

Baths are fine when a child is 2 years old, and sharing a tub with a brother or cousin. There’s a lot of laughing and squealing and pictures taken by beaming parents. But I’m not 2 years old, and no way am I sharing one with a brother or cousin in the presence of a camera.

And I’m probably past the very last reason a male should want to take a bath, and that’s having a GI Joe Frogman and pretending he’s going under the mound of suds to capture the bad guys.

I’m just no fan of immersion, and this is coming from a Baptist. Yea, verily, give me a good sprinkling every time.

by Jon Mark Beilue

Jon Mark Beilue is an award-winning columnist for AGN Media. He can be reached at jon.beilue@amarillo.com or (806) 345-3318.
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