Films and television bombarded me with various clichés about university life, giving me certain expectations: that by December I would be eating cold Aldi value beans with my bare hands, that a year later there would be more drugs in my system than some shuffling nutter roaming the corridors of Broadmoor. What I didn’t expect was the shower. No feeling I’ve had matches the sheer vertical cliff face of hatred I feel towards the ‘Mira Sport’ shower in unit 4a’s bathroom. Mira is the Hamlet of the shower world, a whiny teenager vacillating between oxymoronic temperatures of arctic frost and uncomfortable ‘shouldn’t have worn this jumper by the log fire’ warmth. If Mira were a person this would be their awful first impression, but an actual conversation would reveal their greatest flaw: water pressure. Akin to having a pervy giraffe lasciviously swatting flies off my face, on a good day Mira might rouse itself to the water pressure equivalent of a heavily medicated old man dribbling slowly on the top of my head.
I’ve always had a deep suspicion of showers – the skin blanching heat and the banal inevitability of the accompanying full-length mirror that forces confrontation with the frank inadequacy of the human body. Yet showers are constantly thrust at me as acceptable as with Nando’s, reading on a Kindle and collaborations between Jay-Z and Kanye. Just like Amin, Gaddafi and Mao, shower lovers create a ‘regime’, a regime that orbits entirely around showering in the same way that a Catholic Mass revolves around chanting nonsense incantations whilst simultaneously playing Simon Says. Its no wonder that Bret Easton Ellis had his charmingly sociopathic serial killer protagonist Patrick Bateman slavishly following a strenuous showering regime in ‘American Psycho’. Showering is the kind of maniacal, narcissistic activity that Charles Manson and Ted Bundy enjoyed. Now, don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with good personal hygiene but my preferred method of washing – the bath, has been cast into cultural purgatory along with four piece guitar bands and thinking the Royal Family are vile. Still, I’d probably rather drink bleach than get back in the Mira Sport.