March 12, 2007
Some people call them shower shoes. Some people call them flip flops. But everyone calls them mandatory. When you write out your list of items to pack for a deployment there are certain items that you scribble down every time....camera, laptop, Maxim magazines, and shower shoes.
The first mistake some folks make with regard to shower shoes is spending only .99 cents for a pair. You have to treat this purchase like you do with a Chevy or Ford. Power. Anti-lock brakes. More power. Air bags. If the upgraded option exists, it's not an option. Same thing with the shower shoes.
The reality you have to come to grips with is that 25 - 50 guys have used that same shower in the past 24 hours.There's been more exposure of jungle rot (athlete's foot) in those 12 square feet of shower space than there's been bad press for Terrell Owens. Signs posted everywhere demand "combat showers" that take a mere minute or two, all in the name of saving water for the other lucky souls. Anyone taking a shower that lasts for over four minutes can expect a tap on the plastic shower curtain (that comes down to just above the knee) from the next contestant.
The drains are so clogged it's really like having a timer in the shower. As soon as the water level reaches 4" inches and the ankle area, all bets are off, it's time to evacuate. Immediately. Like your life depends on it -- because it could!
Rule #1 in these showers is "Don't drop anything you can't live without." I handle everything like nitroglycerin. I'm trying right now to think of what in the world I could possibly drop and still want to retrieve from the depths of the soapy, infested waters. TV Remote control? Nope. My RMO? Not a chance. Wedding band? Give me a second to think about that one. Wait, I need more time. Okay, that's the only item on the planet I would risk life and limb to save.