“Every man has a right to a Saturday night bath.”

The thunder woke me up last night. It rumbled and roared for the longest time then the rain started, the downpour, a torrent of rain. It rained all night. This morning the rain was heavy then just in time for me to get the papers the rain became a mist. Gracie has been out twice, a barometer of sorts as she only goes out if the rain is light.

Maddie presented me with another gift this morning: her third mouse since my return. That makes the count 3 to 1. Maddie is the three, and I’m the one. Gracie had cornered a baby mouse the other day, the tiniest of things, and I saved it. I managed to get it into a box then I took it outside, but I swear this new casualty could be the same mouse or its twin. Both were dark grey and both were babies.

My house is really quiet. The only sound is the keys as I type. The three animals are asleep. They each have a spot. Fern is on the afghan on the back of the couch, Maddie on the chair and Gracie sprawled beside me on the couch. Every now and then she snores.

I used to love Saturdays when I was a kid. It was the one day I could do whatever I wanted, at least until bath time. The day always started with cereal and all those wonderful Saturday morning programs. My brother used to sit on the floor between the TV and the chair where I usually sat. If my mother caught him, she always made him move back away from the screen. She believed that watching the TV so closely would harm his eyes. After our shows were finished, it was time to get dressed and go exploring. We never had a destination. We just wandered. On rainy days Saturdays like today, we’d stay home. I liked to lie in bed, comfy under the covers, and read. Sometimes we’d play in the cellar. I used to imagine that the bottom of the railing was a horse. I’d saddle it with a blanket and then ride. I was Annie Oakley.

We never tired of Saturday night’s dinner. It was a ritual of sorts, a New England specialty meal of hot dogs, baked beans and brown bread. I always passed on the beans. We used the yellow mustard on our dogs which, for the whole of his life, was my dad’s favorite. Howard’s piccalilli was our other topping. We were never ketchup fans on hot dogs. Every now and then I buy brown bread; it’s a sort of trip in time.

Saturday night was bath night. My sisters shared the tub while my brother and I each had our own bath. The night always ended in screaming. While my mother was combing the snarls out of their wet hair, my sisters would cry and scream. My brother and I, ever sympathetic, always turned up the TV so we didn’t have to hear them.

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18 Comments on ““Every man has a right to a Saturday night bath.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Last night it rained here but I didn’t hear any thunder. Today is forecast for cloudy with wide spread light showers.

    As a kid my sister and I would also eat cereal and watch the kid shows all morning. If it rained I would stay indoors and read or retreat to my room and set up my electric train set. I had the Lionel trains with three rail track and a steam locomotive that would puff smoke after putting a pill in the smoke stack. My son never cared about trains or has a clue about steam engines. Some Saturdays my parents would send me to the kid show movies. There was a theater within walking distance and my mother would give me an extra quarter to buy popcorn. The show included five or more cartoons, shorts and a double feature.

    I don’t remember the Saturday night bath, but once every couple of weeks my dad and I would go to the barber shop to get our haircut. I always got either a crew cut or a flat top. The barber used electric clippers and then placed warm shaving cream around my ears and on the back of my neck and shaved of edge of the hairline with a straight razor. When I get my hair cut at the local chain hair cutting salon they don’t even have a razor. They are all hair stylists and not barbers. All the old barber shops are gone and the AIDs epidemic killed the use of razors in barber shops. All the old barbers who knew how to give a shave and a real barbershop haircut are also gone along with the red and white rotating poles in front of the barbershop.

    • Bob,
      My dad always went to the barber shop on Saturdays, usually for a trim. The shop had a small barber pole in front. It had only three chairs. Every now and then I’d go with my dad when he did his Saturday errands.

      We’d also go to the Saturday matinee, usually in the winter. We’d get a dime for candy and a quarter for the movie. The theater was always filled with noisy kids, and sometimes you’d get hit from candy being thrown. That always annoyed me.

      My brother had trains, and I always envied him. I still love trains and go every now and then to the train museum here where there is a huge setup with towns and all the different stops filled with machines which move and do stuff like load lumber.

      The last barber shop closed because there was no barber left.

      • Bob Says:

        Of course the kids show was noisy and getting hit with a piece of flying candy was all part of the atmosphere. The whole place was filled with unsupervised kids!

  2. Bob,
    And don’t forget the teenagers making out in the back!

    • Bob Says:

      And, unsupervised teens πŸ™‚

      When I was in college, long before coed dorms, all the woman students had to live in the dorm if they were not living with their husband in town. The woman had a ten o’clock curfew durning the week and eleven on weekends. The men had no curfew. Everyone who had a car would take their girl friend to the football stadium parking lot to watch “submarine races”. The car windows would steam up and at 9:50 a mad dash would ensue to get the lady into the dorm on time. A group of the men who were rebels petitioned the college administration to abolish the curfew because it was discriminatory. The dean of woman met with our group and explained that woman had to have a curfew because they can become pregnant. When we told her that they could become pregnant before ten o’clock, she gave us a very puzzled look as though she had never considered that anyone might have sex before bedtime. πŸ™‚

      • Bob,
        That’s funny though I can imagine the innocence of the administration. My friends used to put down my apartment address as their destination, and I was always an aunt.

  3. Birgit Says:

    I love to take a bath. I love to rest in the tub for an hour with radio, music or an audio book.
    Saturday was also our bath day in the past, I guess it’s a common convention in bathtub societies πŸ˜‰
    Now I can choose the day and I take: today πŸ™‚
    Either with a Carlos Ruis Zafon audio book or with the used Mike Watt CD I bought today, I’ll decide later.

    • Birgit,
      I’m the shower type. It’s quick and sometimes so refreshing. In Ghana I became a bucket bath expert; found out I still am this summer.

      I always took my showers in the early evening when I worked, but now I take them in the mornings-no worry about drying hair.

      I have a couple of errands today then it’s read all afternoon!

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Howards Piccalilli. It was a favorite of my mother and aunts. My mother had a massive suitcase (from the days of porters) that travelled back and forth between MA and CA. When my mother went to visit she would fill the suitcase with Howards Piccalilli, Dunkin Donuts, giant cans of Snows clams and sometimes frozen Prince o Pizza pizza. When she left CA the suitcase would be filled with See’s Candy and other souvenirs of Monterey. When one of my aunts would visit MA, the suitcase got filled with piccalilli etc and travelled back to CA.
    I was not a fan of Howards Piccalilli until I was an adult. My hot dogs only had yellow mustard on them. Beans always had ketchup. I passed on the brown bread. Now beans don’t have anything on them and the hot dogs have Grey Poupon. I am sophisticated. πŸ˜€
    Saturday night bath time did not include screaming as my hair didn’t snarl. In the winter I remember standing in the bathroom after my bath and shivering because it was so cold in there. Warm jammies never felt so good. πŸ™‚

    Cold and damp up here still. But not so cold as yesterday. The AC unit is out of the window and that source of draftiness is closed for the season.
    Enjoy the day!

    • Hi Caryn,
      I always loved Howard’s. I had it on hot dogs just the other night. I love different sorts of mustard. Now I have a honey mustard.

      Your mother sounds like my sister who lives in Colorado. Periodically I send her Sage’s Seasoning for stuffing, Fluff and Thomas’ English muffins.

      My hair didn’t snarl either, but it wasn’t anywhere as long as my two sisters hair. My favorite pajamas were made of jersey, and I always wore slipper socks with them-warm all over!

      Rain has stopped, but it is still damp.

      You also enjoy the day!!

  5. olof1 Says:

    It has been raining here most part of the day but now the sun finally shows again.

    I loved to read on rainy days but like Bob I had a train set and used to play with it in between books πŸ™‚ I imagined travelling all over the world even though it passed the same station every lap it took πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    I gave away that train set but I missed it so now I have a new one, but from the almost smallest size, the MΓ€rklin Z. I still love to imagine driving that train all over the world every now and again πŸ™‚

    But books has always been my passion from the day I learned how to read πŸ™‚

    Have a great day!

    • Christer,
      We’ll have rain through tomorrow so it will stay grey and damp.

      I loved those rainy days lying in bed and reading. I always felt warm and cozy. Now I curl up on the couch with my book and an afghan and I’m still warm and cozy, and I usually have a dog at my feet.

      I love train sets!

      Have a great weekend!

  6. MT C Says:

    Yes, Saturday night was ritual bath night. Was just especially so we could wear our best clothes to church in the morning (Sunday). A few things I remember about the bath.

    The first I remember was in a galvanized wash tub. The water was heated in a large oval copper pot(?) or bin maybe. It had a copper lid with a handle and was large enough to cover two burners on the oil stove. My father would siphon the water out to the wash tub when it was hot.

    Our next tub was one my uncle gave us. It was a rubber liner fitted to wooden cot frame that my parents could use also. The bad part was that it started the ‘serial’ bath. Meaning first my father, then my brother then me. My mother and sister got fresh water. I think that was because the new tub used so much more water than the metal one did and it would take too much time on Saturday night for everyone to have their own.

    I remember how sticky my skin felt with all the soap in the water and how it itched the next day sitting in church. It was really uncomfortable.

    The serial baths ended shortly after we moved into a house my parents bought and my father installed all the piping and drains so we could take the town water. Before that all we had for water was what came out of the lead pipe and ran steadily into the sink or into a pan of some sort. Town water was a real treat that we all appreciated.


    • Carl,
      Yup, We wore our Sunday best to church. Clothes came in categories back then: school clothes, play clothes and church clothes.

      I remember the white porcelain tub in the house we moved to when I was 5 and the one in the house after that. I don’t think we ever used a galvanized tub, and I don’t remember the serial bath. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to use the same water as my brother.

  7. Hedley Says:

    And so Tottenham travelled to every front runners favorite team manchester united and beat them 3-2 with super American Clint Dempsey scoring the winner in a fantastic game. It broke an ugly run dating back to 1989.
    Up to fifth we go…..this is a good start to the new season.COYS

  8. bubba Says:

    rub a dub in da tub.my kind of ducky thing

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