Spent the night listening to Pi moan and the Dads discuss whether I’d taste more like chilli sauce or peppermint chocolate when they ate me.
As the sun rose, the EMOs left to huddle inside. I saw their eyes, watching me. Watching my blood-flushed face. Getting ever thirstier.
I said, “You’ll have to climb up here. And what’s the point? What does it really mean?”
They discussed it, and I bought myself one more day.
Since our hero isn’t able to bath at the moment, it’s more or less appropriate to share a passage from a book I just finished. It’s “Victorian London”, one of a series of historical books by Liza Picard. Like most non-fiction, it’s often a wade through educationalness (can you believe I finished uni?) but there are many moments of sheer brilliance.
This passage discusses the various methods used to heat baths (at the time, they were made of metal):
. . . Or you might prefer the more direct application of heat to the bath itself, such as Defries’ Magic Heater, which for the expenditure of 2d-worth of gas would produce a hot bath in six minutes – and, one would imagine, a pool of molten metal and a violent explosion fairly soon afterwards. Then there were those terrifying contraptions aptly called geysers since they were as unpredictable and uncontrollable as anything in nature, often resulting in blowing off your eyebrows. They assumed (1) a room free of draughts which would, and usually did, blow out the vital match which you held at the pilot-light nozzle; (2) presence of mind, at that point, to turn off the gas supply; (3) strong nerves; (4) an unquenchable desire for a hot bath, then, there, and not later or elsewhere: all to be coordinated while appropriately dressed for the bath you hoped to take.