I hate splashback.

Naturally, I decided to consult Google on the definition of the term “splashback” right before starting off this entry.

The definition of "splashback" according to the Oxford Dictionary. Nope - not what I mean.

The definition of “splashback” according to the Oxford Dictionary. Nope – not what I mean.

The definition of "splashback" according to the Urban Dictionary. Nope - not what I mean either.

The definition of “splashback” according to the Urban Dictionary. Nope – not what I mean either.

Having determined that Google does not, in fact, know it all (a conclusion arrived at by my own estimation and googliness – yes, that’s a real thing), I’ll tell you a story to show you what I mean.

As a rule in life, when going for a meeting, always use the washroom before stepping in. You simply have to. Simple reasons:

  1. You don’t know how long the meeting will take – especially if it’s a pitch or presentation. Sure, you’ve been allocated a one hour slot, but everything just changes once you’re locked in, and you may end up in that boardroom for 3 hours or more. Now, if you drink as much water as I do, biology comes into play at the 90 minute mark. Woe is you if you’re the one leading the presentation, and your audience was just beginning to buy into your ideas.
    1. (Image / AdWeek)

      (Image / AdWeek)

  2. Regardless of how long the meeting takes, those of us blessed with the gift of melanin are genetically predisposed to have a low tolerance to anything dairy – from the bacon and cheese sandwich you had for breakfast, to the beautifully brewed cup of tea the nice lady at reception offered you as you were coming in. Often, this intolerance presents itself as gas within an hour – and gets more intense after that. Now imagine yourself making your presentation, and at the very moment when you pause to take a sip of water – all attention on you at this time – you hear an ominous rumble that gets louder and louder with each iteration. Not funny. (This has actually happened to me a number of times. I’ll tell you the story soon. Stop giggling.)
I googled "rumble", and this is what came up.

I googled “rumble”, and this is what came up.

So here I was, earlier this morning, stepping into Safaricom House for a meeting. I follow my own rules – besides, I was on my second litre of water for the day.

I step towards the sink to wash my hands. Here’s where the fun began.

You see, some taps are high-pressure taps. They gush water as though it is the only thing they exist to do. When this high-pressure flow is coupled with a shallow sink, you’re in for one helluva ride. So unless you cup your hands just right…

So, recap: Standing in front of the sink. Sink at crotch level. High-pressure flow from the tap.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: SPLASHBACK!

I stood there, looking at myself in the mirror, with a wet pair of trousers – distinctly around the crotch area. Now, the movies have you believing that attention to a man’s crotch area – particularly when he’s fully clothed – is a man’s dream scenario.

Not in this case.

The thing about splashback: It doesn’t give you time to explain what happened. Imagine yourself walking out of the washroom. Everyone’s attention is directed towards your crotch area. You’d have to have this speech ready:

“I was in the washrooms, then I was washing my hands, then the pressure from the tap was too much, so… splashback.”

Then saying that to every single person that you see staring at your groin.

“I was in the washrooms, then I was washing my hands, then the pressure from the tap was too much, so… splashback.”

“I was washing my hands, then the pressure from the tap was too much, so… splashback.”

“The pressure from the tap was too much, so… splashback.”

“Splashback.”

"It's the damn sink! I swear!"

“It’s the damn sink! I swear!”

Fortunately for me, there was a hand drier. You know, the thing that blows hot air over your hands, the one that we always use for at least five minutes because it feels so good – unless someone steps into the washroom and cuts short your good times.

Thing about these hand driers: They are usually installed at chest level.

Splashback happened at groin level.

What the hell.

Three things:

  1. Imagine positioning yourself such that the blast of air can actually get to the groin area to so speed up the drying process. It’s a very awkward position. You have to lift one leg, angle yourself strategically, and have one hand supporting your body weight against the wall. It almost looks as though… Never mind. Just use your imagination.
  2. Then imagine someone walking into the washroom while your positioned that way.
  3. Seeing as the chest area is usually a long way from the groin area, by the time the blast of air gets to its intended target, it’s lost a lot of heat. So imagine how long it will take you to get that annoying patch dry.

I hate splashback.

 

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