Tap Dancing

Have you ever dance Salsa or Fox Trot in a bathroom under a spray of water? If you have a chance encounter with ill-designed washbasin taps (faucets for Americans) in a public toilet, then you would have. Of the many designs of washbasin taps, there is the spring-controlled type where you palm the top of the tap and the water shoots out. As long as your palm is pressed on the tap head, the water is released. The moment your hand is lifted, the water is cut off. It’s designed this way to conserve water especially for a public toilet. If the owner of the public toilet is to install the conventional turn-screw taps, there’s a greater chance of water wastage.

As you know there are uncivilized public who would not be bothered to turn off the tap after use. The water would gush out like the rainstorm of Noah’s days, and, lo and behold, flood the entire washroom and given time, deluge the entire city. Of course, I’m exaggerating my point.

The problem – and it’s no joke – of this spring-controlled design is that when you palmed the tap, the water is propelled like a watery cannon. There’s no mercy here as you would very soon find out when the vehement jet of water slams into the wash bowl, and ricochet in a myriad of directions. And inundates you like a runaway garden sprinkler. Then, there are some that you simply can’t palm-press with both hands – and even feet –  because it’s so adamant!

If you think you could outsmart the tap (and runaway water) by a quick sleight of hand pressing on and off the tap, hoping that the small burst of water would not give you a free public bath, well, think again. The spurts of water would still possess the unbridled power of the Niagara Falls and assail you like a semi-automatic weapon. Instead of bang, bang and bang, it’s shush, shush and shush! You get soaked. No, make that drenched. It’s also the best time to test if your Pierre Cardin shirt and pants and Charles Jordan 100% silk tie would shrink or not.

That’s not the end of this encounter. You would think that the other washbasins in the toilet would not be this merciless to you. Think again. You could jump from one basin to another with the agility of a Salsa dancer, shifting your sinewy hip (assuming you have such hip) from one side to the other trying to avoid the jets of water. You get drenched anyway. You would think from all the hours of watching the Dirty Dancing video, you could dart away dry with the Swayze swing.

By the time you ran the gauntlet, your lower half of your clothing would stick to you like mucous at the back of your throat on a cold Monday morning. And you still have not really washed your hands like you intended to before the start of this madness. It would also be a sight when you sneak out into the open. Suddenly hundreds of pairs of eyes would home in your direction while you sheepishly attempt to cover the dark drenched patch of your clothed groin – of all places – with some pages of the Times.

Who’s the moron who designs such taps? Who’s the moron of an owner who installs such taps? Because of their moronic invention, now you have a moron-looking fellow – and poor man that he is – scurrying out of the mall scantily clad in the Times newspapers, leaving a watery trail.

Dang! How did that happen?

Dang! How did that happen?