Steam and Snow

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Steam and Snow

Without a doubt some of the best lessons learned in life are the ones that don’t actually happen to you. Like learning that dirt is not the only brown thing on the side of the road and warm spots in the pool are not generated from the pool filtration system. Its upsetting the number of people who don’t have close friends to learn the lessons and pass them along to them, easing their learning curve. A close friend of mine, who I’ll refer to as Kate to keep her identity anonymous, has made it especially easy for me to learn from her mistakes. She recently graduated from high school and is now learning lessons in college, some that can only be described as “learned the hard way’’. And from some of her most unfortunate experiences I am learning exactly what not to do. A good lesson for example is: don’t take really hot showers. About a month and a half into the new school year she decided to enlighten me with this well learned lesson.

Kate attends a small private college in New York; she was about three weeks into college when this particular predicament happened. First off, dorms at colleges, whether they are private or not, tend to have certain floors dedicated to a certain gender, and it just so happens that at Kate’s college the first and fourth floor are reserved for the males and the second and third floor for the females; she resides on the second floor. At 9 o’clock in the morning Kate’s alarm on her cell phone went off in a series of violent vibrations, signaling the time to get up. She gathered her shampoo and towel and headed for the communal shower; unfortunately both showers were occupied at that time, so she returned to her dorm for a short morning chat with her roommate, Alana who is a short rather stocky girl majoring in Art History, who someday will probably be harnessed up to the ceiling of one of Constantine’s great cathedrals repainting the exact shade of Jesus’ beard.
Unable to be deterred by the occupied showers or her conversation with Alana, Kate returns to the bathroom several minutes later, to find that a shower had opened up. No sooner had she turned on the water and begun lathering her hair in shampoo, does the blaring noise of the fire alarm announced the need to depart immediately, much like a loose tiger vacates the zoo. Kate did the only logical thing to do: rinse frantically and run outside in wrapped in a towel.
Admittedly other students in her predicament might have disregarded the alarm and went to their room to put clothes on. But Kate recalled the phrase “if the fire alarm goes off and you don’t go outside, we’ll kill you if the fire doesn’t,” from standard beginning of the school year meeting which was still fresh in her mind.
Feeling the need to save her life rather than be torched by the administration Kate filed out of the building with a large group of men from the first floor and the only thing that came to mind was “well, this is awkward…” Lucky she regrouped with her roommate and moved out of the direction of the snowy wind. And after several minutes of awkward waiting and uncomfortable freezing, a utility man came out of the building and announced, “Everything is A-OK, the reason the fire alarm went off is because someone on the second floor took a really hot shower and the steam set if off.” Unfortunately for Kate, she appeared to be the prime suspect for this because a) she is in a towel and b) she lives on the second floor.
The moral I learned upon hearing this story was: hot showers are nice but fire alarms are not, so open a window in the bathroom.





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