A Working Theory of How My Shower Faucet Functions

I suspect the the faucet in my shower is not connected to a simple arrangement of valves in the wall. No, I believe that the handle is connected, via a series of strings and pulleys, to a pair of bells on the roof of my apartment building. On the roof, around the bells, lies a village full of tiny elves, amidst a forest of tiny trees, at the foot of a tiny mountain. In the middle of the village is a large cauldron that holds the water that feeds into my shower.

When I wake up in the morning and turn my faucet to the left, the bell indicating I would like hot water is rung. The village springs to life, an expedition of tiny elves gathers in the square, equipped with tiny axes and tiny horses and carts. Their tiny elf-wives cry and wave handkerchiefs, and a tiny elf-band plays a marching tune to see them out the village gates and into the tiny woods. Once in the tiny woods, the elves begin chopping down tiny trees, all the while fighting off tiny wolves and bears, and possibly tiny ghosts or demons that haunt the darker parts of the tiny woods.

Eventually the survivors straggle back into the village, their cargo of tiny lumber in tow, and the tiny elf-wives find out if they still have husbands, or are widows, their tiny elf-babies destined to grow up fatherless. But there is no time for funerals and mourning, not yet! No, for now they must use the wood their husbands died for to build a fire under the cauldron in the village center. Eventually a bonfire crackles underneath the cauldron, bringing the water inexorably towards a boil, at which point I turn the handle ever so slightly to the right.

And so the bell for cold rings out in the village, and the harrowed elves must mount a new expedition, this time venturing out to the tiny mountain that lies beyond the tiny woods. The journey is long and terrible, and the climb up the mountain, infested with giant tiny mountain spiders and tiny orcs, claims the lives and sanity of so many brave elves. But eventually they reach the icy peak, from which they carve vast tiny blocks of ice which they must haul back to their tiny village.

They return, eventually, exhausted near to the point of death, to the village. The tiny elf-wives have by this time managed to extinguish the inferno blazing under the cauldron, and they now rush to help their husbands haul the ice blocks up a rickety scaffolding and over the lip of the cauldron to hurl them in to the steaming liquid. I can only imagine that the occasional elf succumbs to the heat and steam, or the vertigo, and falls, either into the still-scalding water, or down to his or her death in the tiny village below. 

The water cools as the ice melts, until the water and the ice are nearly the same temperature, at which point I nudge the handle to the left and the cycle begins again.

I have to imagine that it would be much simpler, and much kinder to the elves, to install a few valves in the wall, but I suppose landlords and developers will go to great lengths to cut costs. 

I, however, do not hold the lives of tiny elves to be so worthless. So I have resolved to stop taking showers until the elves are liberated and regular hardware is installed in my shower.


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