Dead skin, clumped together with body oils; itchy, flaky scalp; dried perspiration; rank-smelling secretions from the sebaceous glands; accumulated grime; beastly bacteria hiding in belly buttons and other very dark and uncharted places.
Isn't that why we have showers – to do all that essential recovery work?
Yes – but research tells us something else. Because five per cent of Bay of Plenty respondents to a national online survey admitted to eating in the shower. During their ablutions they eat – the workshop becomes a cafeteria.
“That's disgusting, very weird,” said one young, smart tech-type respondent to The Weekend Sun's own research into the research.
What would you eat in the shower, and why? Breakfast perhaps, multi-tasking because you're late for work. Or chicken nuggets.
Because online you can buy an apparatus that attaches to the shower mixer. There's three compartments – two of which are for tomato sauce and the other for the chicken nuggets, or fries or whatever.
“Nuh, eating in the shower's definitely weird,” says the tech-type. We will call her Ctrl-Alt to protect her dignity. “But,” says Ctrl-Alt, “I do drink in the shower. That's quite normal, isn't it?”
Seems it might be. A few other female 20-somethings unscientifically surveyed by The Weekend Sun all admitted to drinking alcohol while taking a shower. Apparently the experience, the therapy of a lingering hot shower is significantly enhanced by a tipple of your choice.
Then Ctrl-Alt explains how she will sit on the bathroom floor with a beer playing computer games while her partner takes a shower – with a beer of course. “It's a half hour shower. And we chat a lot.” Suppose the communicating rationalises the behaviour.
We also have an explanation for the other compartment on the shower mixer attachment. It's for the wine glass, or the beer bottle, or both. In fact a whole industry has blossomed on the back of this bathroom behaviour. “Finally drinking in the shower has become a whole lot easier with SipCaddy” boasts one online ad. There's another holder that boasts a locking suction cup that'll support five kilos.
So Ctrl-Alt is not alone. Another vivacious, driven and achieving 20-something explained that drinking alcohol in the shower is a “time and economy thing.”
Before she goes out for the evening, she does all the important stuff in the shower.
“If you're going to spend 1000 hours in there shaving your legs and washing your hair, you may as well use the time to pre-load as well. You don't drink in the shower to enjoy it, you drink in the shower to save time. That makes sense doesn't it? That's quite acceptable, isn't it?”
But with age and wisdom bathroom behaviours are modified, refined.
“I never drink in the shower,” says a more mature and ever so slightly superior Deborah. “However, drinking in the bath is completely different because having a long, leisurely bath is an event. It's not part of one's ablutions.”
And because a long hot bath is an event, it also lends itself to eating. “Snacks and nibbles,” says another subscriber. “It's just nice.”
The blokes just didn't get it. The shower is a functional place, somewhere where you might ready yourself for a drink, but not a place where you do both.
The rest of the commercially driven national survey of 1000 people was underwhelming. We believe we do our best thinking in the shower. We sing in the shower, we listen to music in the shower and we share the shower with a partner.
The Weekend Sun survey sample tells us the sharing experience is generally in the formative days of a relationship. There are anecdotes of cold butts, one partner hogging the hot water, and unfulfilled moments. And if the shower is over the bath, you can be guaranteed of a failed experience and a lot of water on the bathroom floor.
The official survey also tells us WiFi, smartphones, coffee and hot showers are the basic necessities of life. Water, food and shelter are just so passe.