Getting the Feds Out of My Shower

Well, I suppose it’s no great act of civil disobedience, or anything, but the silliness of the whole thing is at least far outdone by the utter absurdity of the federal government so entwining itself in my affairs that I can’t even take a decent shower without the fuckers messing in my business.

A little history. Back when I lived in France, ’round 1990, I hadn’t been in my apartment a month when I had a leaking stem on the supply valve for the toilet. Rather than bother the landlord, I just went down to the hardware store and secured a new valve and installed it. While there, I noticed one of those cool shower heads, something like the photo on the right. It was simpler, though. Basically, it’s a round disk of chromed metal with about 60 or so 1/32" holes drilled in it, all surrounded with a housing. This one didn’t even have a ball socket for adjusting its trajectory. Didn’t need it. It knocked out so much water over such a wide swath that it didn’t need pointing towards any particular place. It was pure luxury, and for under $5, it became a prized possession that went with me to every place I was to live for the next 15 years. Installing it was always part of day #1 tasks in conjunction with any move.

Well, when we sold our home and moved last October, I decided to let it go. I left it. I’m not particularly sure why; I just didn’t bother this time.

Man did I live to regret it. I haven’t had a decent shower in over two months! So, today, I went out and found a good one, at OSH, of all places. You see them around, nowadays, but don’t be fooled. All those ones with the little self-cleaning rubber nozzles? Vegetable sprayers. Forget it. Don’t bother. I finally found one with reasonably sized holes in a metal disk. The next check was critical, though. A potential deal-breaker if not precisely correct. Did it have one of those spring-loaded flow limiters that’s integrated into the plastic casing of the thing, or simply a nylon disk with its puny 1/16" hole through which no more than 2.5 gallons may pass per minute at 80 psi? Ha! A nylon disk. My pair of needlenose’ll make quick work of that.

Now my only regret was that this Saturday morning wasn’t one of those where I get up and start my tooling around before taking a shower, and sometimes, just letting it go by all day. Well, wait. I just realized I have to be at a family gathering at 3pm this afternoon. I think I might need a second shower. Glancing that way, it appears the coast is clear. Not a Fed in sight.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Lute Nikoley on January 21, 2006 at 14:56

    Hey, I got one of those big head, lots of spray nozzles (holes) shower heads at OSH when we moved in to this house. One problem, after I installed it, turned on the shower valves and what did I get? a trickle. I took off the head and noticed a flow restriction washer (you need it to keep it from leaking), but surely you don't need that small water restriction hole. So, I took the washer, got out my drill and enlarged the hole to about double it's orinal size. Now I have plenty of water for a great shower, soft or hard, it's adjustable. Is that called tampering?

  2. Billy Beck on January 22, 2006 at 06:38

    In the basement of the house where he lived for over fifty years, my grandfather kept a small wood/machine shop where he always had some kind of repair project or other going for himself or someone in the neighborhood. He had completely re-plumbed and re-wired this house back in the late-40's, and part of that work included a shower right there in the middle of his shop-space in the basement. He dug up the foundation for the drain system, poured new concrete, etc., ran three-quarter inch water lines to it. The head of that shower was almost the size of a frying pan, and it would beat you half to death if you let it. I don't know where he got it, and would never bet on finding another one like it. I've never seen anything like it in a home. That thing was great. One of my sharp-eyed cousins got it when we closed that house after Grandma died. Kurt always had a pretty good sense of value.

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