I was chatting with a friend the other day about the awe surrounding clawfoot bathtubs, also known as "soaking tubs". In a few of the houses I lived in growing up I got to experience firsthand the elegance of such a bath feature. As an adult I continued to dream of having a freestanding footed tub of my own. And then it happened. I purchased this beautiful old home, the fixer-uppers playground! Did I mention I am not a fixer-upper, per se? So much had to be done, in fact, that I could realistically only move in to one room while I worked on the rest: painting, plumbing, siding, electrical. You name it, it needed it! On one especially rigorous day I had worked from dawn until dusk and desperately desired a bath. My luscious clawfoot stood at the ready, so cool and inviting in the fading day! The timing was perfect as the new wiring didn't yet reach the bathroom, but there was just a hint of waning light to help me navigate. I climbed in, situated myself, and gave a healthy turn on the wrench-turned-spicket-knob....
I should mention here that in my desperately exhausted haste I had failed to consider there was no working water heater and no spout on the tub. Does that matter?
The picture in your mind at this point should resemble an eight-year old child attempting to stand still in front of an open fire hydrant in summer. The force of the water hit me square in the chest throwing me back with a sodden slap to the sloped surface at the rear of the tub. My arms flailed senselessly as I gasped for breath and attempted to regain composure as I unsuccessfully attempted to dodge the hydro-onslaught! I don't recall exactly how I got out of that predicament that day, but I do know that I was undoubtedly clean with a newly developed acute appreciation for some of the base niceties, such as warm showers.
The takeaway is pretty obvious. Next time you and I are strolling through an old building and see a clawfoot tub ripe for the reclaiming, please throw some ice water at me. Just saying!