It’s been a funny old day.
Dave’s electrician friend, Jim, turned up first thing. He’s as short as Dave is tall, and portly past a point his doctor must consider healthy. Dave, as I’ve previously mentioned, is on the narrow side, so as a pair they make a curious sight.
At Dave’s suggestion we have opted for a digital device to control the shower. This, its makers insist, will ensure ‘optimum temperature’ at all times. We will never again, says Dave, have to shove our hands into the cubicle to see if the water’s ready. It will be ‘ready’ the moment a little blue light stops flashing.
If Dave, or the manufacturers, think I will ever enter a shower without first shoving my hand under the water to ensure it’s not reached a temperature likely to either sear the flesh from my body or send me into some cryogenically-induced form of hibernation, they can think again. Digital device or no digital device.
Our decision to embrace technology means that Jim has to heave himself into the loft to install a small computer.
It looks like one of those little ‘black boxes’ an aeroplane carries to tell you why it crashed into a mountain in broad daylight. The ones that nothing on earth, not even a nuclear bomb, can destroy. So if our house is ever wrecked by lightning, it will probably survive intact, even if we don’t. If nothing else, the world will know we once possessed a digital shower.
Jim smokes a pipe and shares Dave’s views on Europe. He tells me that my fuse box contravenes at least 47 regulations and that, by rights, he should have me shut down. He won’t, though, he says, because then I wouldn’t be able to put the kettle on and make him a cup of coffee with three sugars.
I’m not sure if this is a joke. It’s hard to tell as he never smiles, and when he laughs it sounds like a cat having too many kittens at once.
After he’s finished, he huffs and puffs for a while and mutters something about not being as young as he once was. Dave tells him that none of us are because if we were it would mean we had managed to reverse the space-time continuum, which is scientifically impossible.
That’s presumably another joke. At least I think it is. Jim doesn’t respond, largely because he’s still struggling to get his breath back and looks as if he might have to lie down in the loft and sleep it off till he feels better.
Eventually he recovers, calls me up and tries to explain which buttons I need to press and in which order should the computer ever ‘go offline’ and need to be ‘rebooted’. I’ve no idea what he’s talking about, but nod several times and tell him I do.
Before he leaves, Jim gives me his card in case I ever decide to make my fuse box legal. I tell him I’ll give it serious thought, though I don’t suppose I will.
After Jim has gone, Dave switches the shower on and off several times, and looks very pleased with himself.
I take his word for it that the water has reached ‘optimum temperature’, though neither of us shoves our hand inside the cubicle to see if it has.
Thought for the day
‘My uncle was killed by lightning. That was a shock.’
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)