Friday, November 18, 2005

The way I see it, there are three possibilities as to who was responsible for designing our bathroom sink’s mixer-tap.
NO1 Dr Evil (the evil genius) who is our prime suspect at the moment.
NO2 A clown, fresh out of Clown Tap Design School.
NO3 A complete moron.
Now the story: As you know (if you have been following this blog) we recently gave our shabby bathroom a bit of a makeover in the form of a new shower and pump. While we were doing that we thought why not just change our cracked bathroom sink as well and put in a new one complete with a (luxury of all the British luxuries) mixer-tap as appose to these annoying separate hot and cold tab jobbies.

Thus Kamyar went out and bought a brand new sink with a shiny new mixer-tap. Beautiful. We were over the moon about this as since moving to England neither of us had ever been fortunate enough to live in a place where when washing we had any other choices but either freezing cold water or boiling hot. O how we rejoiced over this new delight in our lives and O how naïve we were for having done so.
As it turned out, in our search for a beautiful new mixer-tap for our bathroom, we had accidentally stumbled upon a very unique product: A mixer-tap that went as far as being a mixer tap as possible, without actually being one!

Exhibit A

Yes it looks very much like a mixer-tap.

Exhibit B

Yes it definitely looks like it should work like a mixer-tap too but I can assure you that it does not. In reality the water that comes from the left side is still boiling hot (to the point of third degree burns and blisters) while the right side is (frostbite kind of) freezing cold!

After the first usage of the sink, I could swear that the person responsible for designing our tap was the Moron. However after a few more goes (especially when being a bit tipsy or watching the reaction of our guests as they came out of the bathroom) I did begin to see the funny side of this which made me start thinking that the person responsible could also have been the clown fresh out of the Clown Tap Design School.
But then some nights ago I realised that there could be a third possibility as well: Doctor Evil (the evil genius).
I know it sounds a bit farfetched but here’s my theory on this. You can read it and then make your own mind up about it.
The theory: The way I see it the Brits were not too happy about the fact that foreigners could just come into their country, buy a home and then replace their taps and live happily ever after. ‘No why should they?’ thought the Brits, ‘Whatever happened to ‘When in Rome’? These foreigners are getting away with not doing anything the British way; they don’t know how to queue, they don’t say please nearly as often as they should, they put showers in their bathrooms; they are completely destroying all our British traditions! No we can’t let them change the separate hot and cold taps into mixer taps too. At least now when they mess up our queues or ask for things without saying please, we can make ourselves feel better by laughing at all the blisters and frostbites on their hands, it will be horrible if we can’t even do that.’
And so began the quest for the person who could design a mixer-tap that goes as far as being a mixer-tap as possible, without actually being one. They approached many designers but none of them agreed to take part in this project saying that they thought this was too evil. Of course nothing is ever too evil for the evil genius himself, Doctor Evil, right? And this is why at the moment he is our number one suspect. Let me show you some more evidence as to why I think this design is so evil.

Exhibit C

Cold water

Exhibit D

Hot water

Exhibit E

Sigh :-(
Need I say more?


GazanKhan said...

I'm really very sorry my friends, and believe it or not I have actually seen one of these years ago in London, in the crime scene! and thought almost exactly like you. But don't worry, it's just like a nose and needs a small plastic surgery. Just open the middle wall with a laser beam all the way through and it gonna be alright.

Azad said...

Gazankhan, your suggestion made my roomie really happy. Maybe I can do some cosmetic surgery to my night-snoring-nose, so that other peeps in the room can sleep!

Why do humans have two nasal cavities after all? Sometimes, gods do strange things, just like the Brit designer.

Anonymous said...

FINALLY! That's one thing we have going for us in the US. We have facets that "mix" hot and cold water and not separate facets! Yea!

shadgoli said...

Loved the post,it made my day. However you forgot the most amuzing bit to the design of the sink (or the art of the plumber putting it in!)! If you look at he old sink it had edges behind the taps, but the new one...! You don't know whether you have to chase the water and don't let it fall behind the sink or consentrate on washing your hands! All in all the sink bussiness is a conspiracy. Maybe the separate taps are like BT, and they want to start an advertisemnet such as "more, and more customers are returning to us!". And they are all in it together, the plubmers, designers, and the sellers!

Shirin said...

Gazankhan - Fascinating. Is that from your days of being a young Sherlock Holmes wannabe in London?
By the way that was a very good suggestion about the laser beam. I’ll see if Luke Skywalker does home visits with that laser sword of his. He might since all six episodes of Star Wars are out now and he is practically out of work.

Azad it’s nice to know that my plight has at least brought some joy to the lives of you and your poor sleep-deprived roommate. Please let us know how it goes with the plastic surgery on your night snoring nose. If it goes well, I might try the same on our tap ;-)

Yes that really is a great blessing my anonymous friend but don’t forget that you also have the Comedy President. Now that’s really something to brag about, isn’t it? ;-)

Shadgoli, yes I was very tempted to say something about that too but then I thought that the amount of art and thought that has gone into that sink really deserves a complete post (if not a whole book even) of its own and it was not fair to just mention it in passing on here as if it was nothing.
I guess one good thing that may come out of this is that now that you are about to fit your own bathroom you will be taking extra care to get a sink with some kind of edge and a tap with only one nostril.

Aydin said...

This is so funny that I think the designer was, as you suspected, the clown.

Shirin said...

I think you might be right Aydin but the only thing that stops me from thinking it was definitely the clown is that the front bit that looks exactly like a nose, isn’t round and painted red in proper clown nose fashion!

Salwin said...

Having recently read your theories on ‘mixer’ taps and their respective designers, it got me to thinking, and I have done a little research of my own on this pressing issue. Largely after having scolded myself quite dramatically while using a ‘mixer’ tap at my partners pad.

I live on Hammersmith Grove, west London. It is a beautiful tree lined road, with large Victorian houses on both sides. My humble abode is Hammersmith Mansions, which as long been a selection of flats. I took a picture of this house and labelled it Exhibit A but I can’t upload it, so any of you requiring photographic evidence please do email. In my bathroom lives a lovely mixer tap with lots of little holes dotted underneath it to mix the water properly (again photo available). This flat is owner by an extremely wealthy English man, whose family also owns a castle in Scotland, a mansion in Oxfordshire, a large house in Kensington, a ranch in Argentina…. I wont go on. My point being that the owner of the house is inherently English, and has buckets of cash to boot.

My partner is South African. He lives approximately 1.5 minutes from my house, also a tree lined grove, in a large Victorian house (photo available). In his place lives a very nasty ‘mixer’ tap that is incorrectly named as no mixing of the sort goes on in its vicinity. Having woken up with a rather shocking hangover last week I shoved my hands under it in an attempt to throw warm water on my face to get rid of the nights dribbles down my chin (indeed, sexy), and instead I was rushed to hospital yelling and screaming with 1st degree burns (ok, an exaggeration). I have since stuck my camera under and was horrified to discover two separate exits for the hot and cold water, somewhat like yours Mrs Chimin.

Now, the question I asked myself was why did these two very similar houses, both built in the Victoria era for English people (foreigners were executed on arrival in those days), have different taps? On further examination I discovered that there were striking differences in the two abodes, the main being the inhabitants. My partners place houses 1 African, 2 Afghanies, one being a small guy with smelly slippers that he consistently leaves outside his room and that serve to kill all living creatures that try to hang out there. He also keeps walking into my partner’s room at unsociable hours and suggesting that he lends me to him as his wives are in Pakistan. I don’t blame them, but I am straying….. also 1 Turk his wife and children, and a Spanish fella. This selection of people are definitely not English, nor do they sip on champagne aperitifs at home, spread butter with butter knives, and eat 4 course meals served by a maid

So, having compared properties and taps and their effectiveness my studies lend credence to your theory and I must conclude that the taps in my partners house have been recently replaced and the new ones were in fact designed by Dr Evil in an attempt to give foreign people bad hand burns so they cant go to work, steal jobs from English people etc, etc.

Nevertheless I do have a further point to make. Imagine a Great Britain where all kinds of foreign people - for example African people who are savages as they eat with their hands and cant budget properly when doing the weekly shop and so run out of food all the time, Iranians who are constantly trying to make nuclear bombs and who never do as they’re told, or Columbian people who are all drug dealers – were allowed to go about their jobs, due to having non-scolded hands, and even work their way up into influential positions. Now if this was the case imagine also if such people, in their newly acquired influential positions, began to question the British way of life thus challenging the foundations of life as we know it. For example, what if foreign people questioned the need to fit ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ 15 times into each sentence even if you are making a complaint, or driving on the wrong side of the road, having a queen whose yearly income for infrequent half hearted waves to her minions could wipe out famine worlwide, and beefeaters who wear large curled up beavers on their heads and carry wooden guns and serve no purpose whatsoever? It would be the end of the British Empire, and lets face it, it’s a bit small nowadays.

So, to conclude, again, I would like to put forward that Dr Evil is in fact serving a necessary function in the protection of British culture and heritage, kind of like James Bond if you will, and should therefore be renamed as soon as possible.

PS in addition to the ‘mixer’ tap it has also been suggested that he designed storage heaters (that serve to give you pneumonia), and carpet in bathrooms (that gives you trench foot)

Shirin said...

My dear Salwin
First of all welcome and thank you for your comment.
When I first wrote this piece, some fans of my blog were saying to me that they did not think it was a good idea for me to get involved in the doings of Dr Evil and to expose some of the Empires dirty tricks. And they were right. I have suffered for this and I have been receiving threatening letters from Buckingham Palace, written by the queen herself, telling me that if I don’t stop all this, one day I might find myself coming home after hard day’s work to go and have myself a lovely shower and realize that in my absence, my shower too has been replaced by another evil design from Dr Evil, which means one half of my head is now going to be scorched while the other side will go completely numb from the freezing water. Horrific I know. But don’t worry my friend because I am a fighter and I won’t give up. And also I don’t ever do a hard day’s work.
Bu what I was gonna say is that despite all these threats and everything, it all becomes worthwhile when I hear from people like you who have been suffering in silence and now as the result of this post feel like they can freely speak up about this horrific problem.
As we say in Farsi ‘May god give patience to you and your partner my friend and also some soap to the smelly feet man.’

PS I hope you don’t get offended by this but I will be needing to see the photographic evidence that you were talking about. It’s just the standard procedure.