Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (and Whimsy)

Posted on May 18, 2022 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with one comment


Rub a dub dub. An old man in a tub


Substitute teaching. 3.0

The variety of opportunities for a person to embarrass themselves are limitless when they are substitute teaching. In no particular order, my latest assignments included pre-calculus, science, guidance (nobody needs more guidance than me!), resource room, math and Gaelic. I don’t speak a word of Gaelic. The only three words that I can easily identify are cead mile failte – one hundred thousand welcomes.

If you don’t know the story of the slaughter of the MacDonald clan at Glencoe, you can skip this part and go look it up on your own time. Taking the attendance in period 1 of Gaelic class, the first student on the class list was a Campbell. I looked at him and asked him if he knew about the massacre of Glencoe. He nodded in the affirmative. I joked with him and warned him to be on his best behaviour. By the way, the MacDonald’s have gotten a lot of mileage from that ancient story at Glencoe. I am told by some historians that the MacDonald’s were well known horse thieves and may have had this coming to them! At the end of class, I pulled out my guitar and sang a few Scottish and Irish songs… including The Massacre of Glencoe.

I’m “mailing it in” folks.

Three years ago, at this very moment, I was walking across Spain. (The Camino) This is one of my fondest memories of this great adventure and one of the funniest. I had just walked a very long stretch the previous day with Charlotte, a lovely woman from Texas.

I woke before dawn today and listened to the birds.

Having discovered this small treasure along the Camino in the remotest of locations, I had decided to stay an extra day. I was on no fixed schedule and my body was telling me that a rest day was required. I was also aware that several of my friends were a day or two behind me, so it made perfect sense to stay put and relax.

Charlotte and I had a simple breakfast. I told her my plans, but she was determined to forge on. I walked her back up the steep incline until it connected with the trail. We bade each other farewell and that is the last I saw of her. I watched her disappear over a hill and I returned to “the spa”.

When I’d been lying in bed earlier that morning trying to decide on my plan for the day, the number one reason for staying had been the Jacuzzi. Spending another day here afforded me the luxury of having a relaxing soak without worrying about tying up the bathroom. When you’re on the road, you’re always conscious of other pilgrims and their needs. Taking long, hot showers in albergues is frowned upon, because everyone deserves a bit of hot water at the end of a long day of walking.

I must admit that I can’t ever remember being in a private Jacuzzi. I have been in several outdoor hot tubs and the ones they have in hotels, but never in a bathroom. Every muscle in my body ached from the wear and tear of nearly three weeks of walking, combined with yesterday’s travails. The sides of the tub were so high that I wondered if I would be able to get my legs to cooperate. I turned on the hot water and put my head back. It was rapturous even before turning on the jets. My entire body—particularly my feet—were deliriously happy.

It took quite a while for the tub to fill; this was a beast and required a lot of water. I watched carefully as the levels rose to cover the half dozen jets, and I hit the start button. It didn’t make the smooth, soothing sound I had expected. Rather, it sounded more like an angry bull that had been poked with a cattle prod. There was an explosion of water and, despite the fact that this was a very large bathroom, the spray seemed to find its way to all four walls, the floor and the toilet. Let’s not forget the ceiling, as water now surrounded me and even dripped from above. I turned the jets to the off position. I wasn’t sure what to do next.

I concluded that there hadn’t been enough water in the tub and now there was even less, as half of it adorned every square inch of the bathroom. I stepped out and turned on the hot water tap again. I grabbed my bath towel, which was only moderately wet, and started wiping down the entire bathroom. I prayed that there wasn’t a secret camera taping this entire escapade. I was terrified of falling, but not because of the possibility of broken bones. No, I was worried that I might not be able to get up off the floor and someone would eventually discover me sprawled in the midst of the large mess I’d made.

I re-entered the Jacuzzi, which now contained enough water to float an ocean liner. I gingerly turned on the jets again and could hear a low thrum. I was in business. The jets blasted water at every square inch of my body. Every sinew, muscle, ligament, tendon, organ and extremity sang the Hallelujah chorus. There was even a jet at the back of my neck, a perpetual thorn in my side (neck!).  After about 25 minutes of luxuriating, I pulled the plug, fearing death by relaxation.

I dried myself off with a wet towel.

Have a great holiday weekend.


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