In my time, I’ve had several encounters in the shower which have left me shaken.
For the record, I never intended to shower with any of the creatures I’m about to document. (No, Mr. Parker is not on that list.)
Part of the jarring nature of these run-ins is that they were all surprise guests. The other jarring part is that things just seem more desperate when you’re wet and naked.
Shower Guest #1
My most recent encounter happened on a trip to Austin. Mr. Parker and I had gone for a business conference and were treated to a fine room at the facility where the event was being held. Swell.
On the second morning, while in the shower, I looked down and saw movement. My first thought was to have a movement. But on second look, I realized that in the tub was not a giant insect but a little lizard.
Now, I’m not afraid of lizards, but it kept moving towards me. I didn’t trust my ability to pick it up or slide it away with my foot without killing it. So I kept sending water its way until I could get the conditioner out of my hair and myself out of the shower.
Once our communal washing was done, I got out, toweled off, and looked back in the tub. Here’s where it gets sad. The lizard wasn’t moving. Was he dead? Was it the water? Was it me? Did I have lizard blood on my hands? And what did it mean? (We’ll come back to this.)
Shower Guest #2
The Austin encounter had me thinking back to when we were in Nicaragua and found a scorpion in the bathroom. Except in Nicaragua, I wanted to kill.
We’d been warned about poisonous scorpions. And someone we’d met there related what had to be one of the worst scorpion run-ins imaginable. She’d shaken out her dress before putting it on. That’s standard operating procedure to make sure no scorpion is hiding inside your clothing.
But either she didn’t shake hard enough, or the scorpion wanted it too bad. When she pulled the dress over her head, the creature clamped onto her nipple with a its claw and began stinging her repeatedly. And yes, this scorpion was the poisonous kind. Fortunately, a friend rushed over. Still, she had a harrowing twenty-four hours.
So when we found our own scorpion in the bathroom, and even though Mr. Parker didn’t want to kill our scorpion, after several failed attempts to shoo it out of the house with the tiny beast trying to sting him, he finally gave in to the wits of his reptile brain and smashed it with a shoe. Repeatedly. Mr. Parker: One. Scorpion: Dead.
Shower Guest #3
My last crazy shower encounter left me startled without inspiring blood lust. I was living in NYC. My roommate was a long-haired Persian cat named Yosef.
I was letting the hot shower water pound on me for as long as it would last. Hot water was a precious commodity in that apartment. Without warning, it could turn icy cold or scalding, and the session was over. I never knew how long I’d have.
This session was enjoyably long. Too long for Yosef’s liking. I was ignoring him. He was in the bathroom, and kept batting at the outside of the shower curtain to get my attention, which I thought was funny—until...
He decided to leap at the curtain. The next thing I knew, the cat was standing in the tub with me, looking up at me in panic. That of course filled me with panic. Was I about to get clawed or just covered in wet fur? Remember, wet and naked and now afraid.
The cat began scrambling like a cartoon character. His paws were moving so very fast but getting no traction. He was running in place. Yosef eventually got himself out and never again bothered me during shower time.
Shower Guest #1
Back to Austin. I called to Mr. Parker and told him there’d been a lizard in my shower. After a moment, Lord Look-It-Up (as we often call him) said, “Good news. Lizards are good luck and a sign of positive change.” He also read that I was destined to win over all I faced. So, we both looked back into the shower. And, the lizard was, in fact, dead. Had I killed my positive change? Drowned my winning destiny? I wanted to give it CPR.
I’m now left assessing each new moment of my life and wondering what effect my dead shower-mate is having on it.
Honey Parker has been writing, writing, writing for decades, decades, decades. In there, she has also been a standup comedian, a Hollywood screenwriter, a director, and a co-author of edgy business books. Careful-ish is her debut novel. It is the first in a trilogy. It is comedy-ish.