Friday, March 18, 2011

Newspaper and Bathtubs Do Not Mix

When I was around four or five I caught a bit of wonderful 80's television. I managed to see a man with a mustache reading a newspaper in a bathtub while smoking a cigar. For some reason this image stuck in my young brain, teaching me that real men did such things. I'm pretty sure it was Magnum PI, but after scouring the whole internet for about an hour I could not find a clip or a pic to support my claim.

I did not have access to cigars, thank goodness, or a mustache, but I did have access to a bathtub, water, and a newspaper. Can you guess what I did next?

Okay, I know I draw myself in the bath a lot...like this post about my lovely wife and this post about joyous bum warmers. I have good reason to draw myself in the bath. I love baths. I always prefer them over showers.

I think it goes back to coming from a large family and not always being able to take them. I also have fond memories of long days picking blackberries in the Louisiana woods, dodging water moccasins, slapping away mosquitoes, and watching the fireflies blink in and out of existence in the thick night air. These days always ended with me tromping home slick with sweat, covered in mud, and dripping purple juice from my mouth. My mom always sent me to bathe. There is something about the hot water hitting aching muscles and tiny scratches that exhilarates me. Did you know blackberry bushes had thorns? Now you do. It is a good pain, like the ache after a good exercise. You know the hot water is doing its job.

Or, maybe, it goes back to when I was sick. I'd eat a huge bowl of tomato soup, take a crazy hot bath, and then crawl into bed. Worked every time. I would sweat the cold out while I slept and feel so much better in the morning. Maybe it goes back to the time I lived in Mexico where bathtubs are very rare and the showers are infested with worms and the mother of all cockroaches. That is a different story though.

No matter the cause, I like baths. I will continue to draw them...back to my story at hand. I dragged a whole newspaper into the bathroom, ran some hot water, and climbed in.


My little four or five year old hands didn't hold the paper very high.



The paper touched the water and started to get soggy and leak a little ink into the bath. I continued reading, despite the fact I could not really read yet. I was being a real man. I did not need to read to be a real man, just sit in the tub with the paper and grin at the world like I owned it.


The ink spread further and deeper into the water and the paper soggified even more. At some point my wet fingers could no longer grasp the paper and down it went, bubbling up ink as it sunk.



I had planned for this contingency. I reached for another page.



This page also refused to stay out of the water. The ink swirled around me and my page got soggier and soggier.



Can you guess what happened next? I dropped that page and reached for another. That one got wet and I grabbed another. The cycle continued for some time, each new page releasing more ink like some perpetual squid kicking machine...I may have to invent that. I was oblivious as I struggled to fulfill the task at hand, read a stupid paper in the bath like a freaking man. Maybe I would grow a mustache right there and then. I didn't know! Thank you, Tom Selleck!

Each time I reached for another paper I left dark smudges. I wiped the steam from my face. I smoothed back my hair. So, this is more or less how my mother found me.



I do not recommend you attempt this. Tom Selleck was wrong. It is not cool to read newspapers in the bath. It does not make you a man and it does not grow mustaches...unless you are happy with newspaper smudge mustaches. All it does it leave you an inky mess with a very angry mother. Don't live with your mother? All grown up? Doesn't matter. Wherever your mother is, she will be angry with you, and Tom Selleck for gifting it to the world, and me for bringing it up. Just say no!

13 comments:

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm far too large for the one bathtub we have in our house, but I would love to be able to soak from time to time.

When I've lived near larger tubs I've taken books into the bath, but never a newspaper.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Also KINDLES and bathtubs don't mix either, just so's you know. :)

Oddly, I only ever have baths when I'm visiting my mom's house. She has a big, luxurious, lounging bathroom full of scented good things and candles. At home it's a fast shower and that's it.

Now what's this about joyous bum warmers again?

Michael Offutt said...

Charlie, here's another look at a great eighties moment. I present to you, the single greatest moment in television history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgM_WFUPhBM

Chanel said...

I've taken books into the bath with me, but not newspapers. The point of taking a bath, for me, is to relax and decompress. Newspapers are depressing and stressful. They never say anything good. So books are the better choice. Also, books are smaller and will not get in the water.

But when I was five years old I took my Barbies into the bathtub with me. I didn't worry about being a real woman. (I don't even know what a "real woman" would do in a bathtub. Drink champagne and listen to Mozart?)

How long did it take the wash the ink off of you and the bathtub? And did your mother spank you? Mine totally would have.

Brent Wescott said...

Newspapers? Newspapers? What decade are you living in, man? I know you were a little kid, though, back when they still put ink to paper. What happens to a newspaper read on an iPad in the bathtub?
I, like Chanel, am curious as to what you looked like out of the tub. Blue Man Group covered? or just spotted owl covered? And did it come off?
It Just Got Interesting

dbs said...

I suspect that my Mom is angry with me right now just for reading this. Thanks a lot dude. ;)

Candice said...

I've never been much of a bath person. I'm all about showers. Somehow, sitting in my own wet dirt is not appealing to me. However, I do have an odd sort of story about bathtime and a newspaper...(This is all second hand information from my very trustworthy mother)

I was about 1 1/2 to 2 years old. My mom was drawing a bath for me. Apparently I was just hanging around the bathroom, waiting for my bath to be ready. I guess there was a newspaper on the floor, and I was sitting on it, with my bare toddler tushie.

When I stood up to get into the bath, Mom says an entire article had transferred in ink onto my backside. She took a picture. I have not as yet been able to destroy it. It's one of her favorite stories to tell about me and my childhood. Sigh...Moms.

Alex's outlook said...

Hahahaha That is just priceless!

Doug Stephens said...

I laughed at that last line, but after reflection I think you are right. My mother would get angry if she someone how learned I got newspaper ink all over my bathtub. And she might write you a strongly-worded letter.

Apoliticism said...

I love Nancy Reagan!

Emily White said...

Baths are lovely, and yes you *can* read your kindle in one. I do it all the time. :)

And for the record, I'm a mom and am angry just thinking about all that ink I'd have to clean up if one of *my* sons did that. :)

Alyson said...

LOl cute story. The pictures really bring it to life. :) And the beginning reminded me of picking berries when I was a kid.I used to love doing that.

Charlie Pulsipher said...

Matthew- I would love to have a bigger bathtub to soak in. My current one is okay, but I miss the floating in a sea of warmth feeling I got as a child.

VA- You haven't read about my bum warmers? Shame on you. That is a post I'm sure you would enjoy...it has bums in it.

Michael- Thank you. That was odd, so I liked it.

Chanel- I'm pretty sure real women have bubble baths, drink something bubbly, and blow the bubbles off their hands in a dreamy fashion. I saw that on many a tv show and movie. Must be true.

Brent- Blue Man group covered. I toned down my drawing a bit. It took some scrubbing to get it off the tub and my skin.

dbs- You are very welcome. Ü

Candice- Nice. You should add that story to your blog. Moms are so good at embarrassing us.

Alex- Thanks! Miss you.

Doug- I look forward to the letter from your mother. She has good reason to be upset.

Jared- You make lots of sense.

Emily- I would be afraid for my kindle's life in a bathtub. Don't think I'll risk it. My mom says she wasn't that angry...she laughed about it, but the anger came out as she removed the outer layer of skin getting the ink off. Ü

Alyson- Thank you. I miss blackberries so much sometimes. And honeysuckle.

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