Dangerous bathrooms

bathroomsmallA few weeks ago, I attended the postponed Sophos Malware Challenge, in Abingdon, and I stayed at the Four Pillars Hotel, which was fine, and better than a Premier Inn. However, the bathroom was apparently a minefield of hidden hazards, judging from the notice on the wall. Or notices. There were two identical copies, on different walls, I suppose in case I failed to notice the first one.


1. Wet surface of the bath very well before use.

Or during. That would presumably work. And unless you’re using the bath for something unusual, probably a bit of a sine qua non.

2. Place mat in bath. Ensure the suckers are in contact with the bath. Press down fully WITH YOUR HANDS. Test that the mat is secured firmly.

Possibly an instruction for perverts, who might try to press down with something else. And possibly DEAF PERVERTS who can’t hear lower case.

3. Before using the bath or shower, ensure the cotton bath mat provided, or something similar, is on the floor.

Okay. If a cotton bath mat is provided, why would you go looking for something similar? And how many of us have something similar to a cotton bath mat in our luggage?

4. Step into the bath SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY, into the centre of the mat.

With your hands above your head, I expect. THROW YOUR WEAPON TO THE GROUND, too.

5. Avoid the use of bathing oils.

A bit vague. Does that include shower gel and shampoo (provided), and soap (not provided)? Or does the Four Pillars assume that guests turn up with a slave bearing an amphora full of something slimy, and a strigil, just like the Roman baths (where there were probably at least four pillars)?

6. Step out of the bath slowly and carefully.

Reasonable enough, and no upper case necessary, since the weapon has been thrown on the ground during stage four.

7. If you have any difficulties please do not hesitate to contact a member of staff for assistance.

So. Any or all of the above has failed, and you’ve used something other than YOUR HANDS to press the suckers down, or you’ve tripped over your slave, possibly in the dry bath, or you’ve fallen on the floor where you carelessly neglected to place something similar to the cotton bath mat provided. You’re naked and broken (and possibly wet, or covered in illicit bath oils). Shout for help.


Needless to say, I didn’t obey all of the instructions. I threw the rubber mat on the floor next to the loo, climbed in quickly, realised that the cotton bath mat was still hanging over the heated towel rail, and I used shower gel. Improbably enough, however, no harm befell me.

10 thoughts on “Dangerous bathrooms

  1. Hahahaha. Brilliant. Love these. Reminds me of the Gerald Hoffnung sketch on advice to visitors to a guesthouse..’there is a French Widow in every bedroom…affording delightful prospects’.

    • The Four Pillars wasn’t quite as attentive. The woman behind the bar had to be reminded that she was going to bring my wine to my table. Thanks for your appreciation. Sorry about the lack of pink.

  2. Nothing happened to you in the bath BECAUSE YOU NEGLECTED TO THROW DOWN THE WEAPON.

    What maid or manager would bother a naked, wet man with a weapon.

    Delightful sense of humor. Like the pink, too.


  3. Those instructions are there because of a problem with the dry bath mat not adhering to the floor of the tub. If you step in there dry, it can kawhoosh out from under you and land you on your back with your head cracking on the edge of the tub, or the taps depending on how they’re placed. Happened to my husband. He survived but was sore for weeks. Glad it didn’t happen to you.

  4. This made me laugh! We once stayed in a hotel in Swansea where ‘the steam from the bath may activate the fire alarm!’
    Guess who was in the bath when the fire alarm went off?
    And then, some cheeky cow said to me at breakfast the next morning, ‘You look better than you did last night!’ Not hard when you’re freezing your wobbly bits, straight from a cosy bath and into a hotel car park!
    Madness! And how many times must it happen?

    • Haha. There is a small risk in such situations, but mostly we get away with it. And I’m sure you have delectable wobbly bits. Even in a car park in Swansea. Or (in the interests of diversity) yn Abertawe.

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