There’s a shower at the Cincinnati Athletic Club that scares hell out of me.
It looks like it was built in the 1920s based on a 15th century Tomas De Torquemada design. It obviously doesn’t get along with the other showers because it’s segregated away from them. It has it’s own little piece of the basement facing the pool. It’s like a small closet enclosed in tile with a simple clear curtain forcing the bather to be exposed to anyone wishing to view the torment.
It’s water feds through at 2″ pipe rising from the floor. The only faucet is a valve about 3 feet above the floor that looks like it may require a boilermaker’s arm to turn on. The pipe continues upward and over the head of the bather. It splits into two. One split goes to a shower head that’s the size of a dinner dish at a Myrtle Beach all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. The other split leads to a network of pipes that wrap around the bather from about knee to shoulder height. Hinges would make it a passable iron maiden. The pipe feeds 6 smaller – and more forceful shower heads that I sure the Cincinnati Zoo used to bath the elephants before they decided it was too cruel. Each pipe has small holes – about 50 in total – that spray out like a water saw.
As the single valve indicates, there’s only one water temperature choice. That choice is cold. Throwing the valve down leads to 9 seconds of creaking while the water gurgles its way through the apparatus. When it finally does come, the force is stunning, but you brave against it. “It’s not too cold,” you think to yourself, but about 30 seconds in the truly cold water kicks in. Your manhood is shamed. Not only your life – but your grandfather’s life flashes before your eyes. The force and volume of the water is so immense that the four inch drain can’t handle it so after 45 seconds your up past your ankles in arctic H2O.
Finally, you can’t take anymore. You grasp for the valve. It doesn’t give at first but with the force of both hands and your knees it gives.
On days approaching 100 degrees, the cool stays with you for hours. Very Nice.