Tuesday, 8 January 2008

two bad moments

Two unrelated incidents today. First, following from my last post, a very unsatisfactory bath last night. Water was scalding hot, so I turned on the cold tap, and tried to estimate the exact moment when the temperature would be just a bit too high. And failed. Slightly too cold. On with the hot tap, but I ran out of hot water at just about the same time as I was running out of room. The level was well over the Plimsoll Line. Baths are like ships -- very hard to steer. I sat and soaped in near comfort for a few moments, then got out, shivering.
If this were one of those Did you know blogs, I'd tell you about the Plimsoll Line. I figure you guys know everything. And I have to say the derivation is only sort of interesting. Not like ... oh ... checkmate, say. (There are better ones than checkmate but suddenly I can't think of any.)
Second incident is a moment of pure visual horror -- very rare for me. Not that I haven't been horrified in my day. (I remember the twins at age one literally exploding inside their little suits on a trip to my parents. The car smelt like a buffalo wallow in the heat of the summer, and I did not -- did not -- want to change the diapers. When I got the suits off them they -- the suits -- weighed more than the kids did.) But movies do not, as a rule, scare me. Imo watches them all with one hand permanently at the ready to cover her eyes, and Thea screams during the G-rated trailers, but I just yawn.
Not Sunday night. I was flipping to the short film channel during commercials of the football game and saw the most visually horrifying thing I have ever seen. Quiet picnic moment, Mom and Dad lazing while the kids play, when there is a scream. Mom comes running over. A wasp is buzzing very near the baby girl asleep in stroller. Big sis is frantic. Mom soothes. The wasp lands on baby's face. Mom a bit worried now, bends forward, but too late. The wasp crawls across the sleeping baby's cheek, pauses for a fraction of a second on her lip, and then disappears inside her half-open mouth.
I shouted out loud. The calmess of the scene, and its speed, absolutely terrified me. Instinctively I clicked back to the football game. Real anger, sweat, struggle, noise -- even real injury -- was easier to watch than this fictional descent into my Jungian basement.


Marilyn said...

I've had that happen too: surfing channels and then
seeing something horrific like animal torture.
It stays in your head, and you think about getting rid of your television.
Tell us about the Plimsol Line....never heard of it.

Anonymous said...

Years ago when I lived alone I was flipping stations on the tv (old fashioned way - no remote) and at one point I stand back to see a woman in a steamy shower. My first thought was, "Hmmm, must be the french channel".
Then the slashing began. SLASHSLASHSLASH!!!
It broke me out in a cold sweat. To this day I still haven't seen "Psycho" but I've seen the one important scene.
Oh darn! I think I'll have to have baths the rest of the week.

Richard Scrimger said...

Psycho never did it for me. Good bits, but not rally scary. Mind you, I still remember THE big moment in Wait Until Dark. Not fear, maybe, but a real shocker.

Richard Scrimger said...

Plimsoll Line is the eponymous over-under line on a ship's hull. When the line is below water level, ship is overloaded. It's also old Brit slang for a running shoe with a rubber (ie waterproof) sole and canvas upper. A nice extension of original meaning, I think.RS

Anonymous said...

ha ha that is not a very good day at all!! I am a big fan