Uses For Separate Hot and Cold Taps

If you’re reading this from the fabled First World of Indoor Plumbing, you may not know that Ireland and the UK still feature separate hot and cold taps. You might then reasonably assume that we also burn dried cow shit in our stoves, burn strangers, and have the local blacksmith to pull rotten teeth with a pair of tongs while we slug whiskey and clutch crudely-cured leather belts. But it’s only our washbasins which have been held in stasis, as if our kingdoms were once cursed by a hydrophobic witch.

  • But as you revel in your unicorns of hygiene, those magical single taps which can caress human skin without flaying or freezing it, you might not know the manifold uses of separated taps:
  • Not letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing, especially when that thing is screaming in pain.
  • Generating emergency power from an efficient thermocouple which anachronistically exists in a time when people apparently can’t work out how to join two pipes together.
  • Honoring the Thing of the Fantastic Four, who sacrificed his ability to feel almost anything with his rock skin, with one everyday item which might just lend sensation to his solid stone epidermis.
  • Waiting for water to mix provides ample time for thought, and where better to reflect on the realities of life than a room where you’ve just taken a shit?
  • Reminding peons not to take more than the barest moment away from their assigned workstations.
  • Reinforcing the lesson that many systems allegedly built for your comfort and convenience simply do not care, and would rather hurt you every day than make the least effort to change.
  • A reminder that humans cannot be trusted, as many would rather install a brand new cover with the exact same problems than fix the deep systemic flaws affecting the most vital necessities, such as the rotten and unhygienic water systems which first necessitated the use of separate taps.

The Worst Bartender In The World

Bartenders are submarine captains of the psyche, working long hours in cramped conditions, dealing with vastnesses of liquid and pressure to plunge into those long dark voids of time, space, and psychology that to all others remain unknown. But with submarine captains it’s because no-one else has ever been. In the bar it’s just that no-one else remembers.

And I met the worst one in the world.

Note that being ignored, shortchanged, or punched by a  bartender doesn’t they’re bad. It means they’re making their shift easier, more profitable, or easier again, and if a bartender punches you I guarantee it’s your fault. True, sometimes that fault is “entering a bar while non-local” but you need to be aware of that. Too many people treat bartenders as servants. The bartender is instead an extremely generous lord allowing you into their castle: you may request whatever you want, and they will work to make your stay pleasant, but disrespect them at your peril.

A while back I wrote about the excellent Professor Elemental, and thanks to the real rule 1 of the internet – “Assume everyone can always see everything” – he read it. We talked, we interviewed, and after one of his shows we retired to the green room. When that ran out of having drink and being in an open club, we went elsewhere.

To the worst bar in the world.

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