Present tense

It’s yesterday evening. I’m hunched over the computer, garnishing my plot for world domination with some metaphorical parsley, when I hear a knocking sound.

It is the second time in the past few minutes that I have heard the noise, and I know its source – the butler is letting me know that it is time for me to dive into the bathtub full of hot soapy water, before it cools down and the bubbles all go pop. Haunted by visions of past evenings, when I have remained upstairs so long that I’ve been subjected to the torture of splashing about in cold, cloudy liquid unpleasantness, I hit the save button and switch off the humming, glowing, dusty American machine. I can finish my plans for world domination tomorrow.

Draping my pyjamas over my shoulder in the manner of top chef Richard Phillips when he’s within six metres of a tea towel, and hanging my empty mug on my little finger, I stumble down the staircase and land on the cold, hard, floor, bouncing twice before brushing the dust from my chin.

“I suggest, Egglebert,” suggests the butler, “that you use your spare yellow towel, because your brown one is still moist and has not dried fully.”

I promptly march to the Rayburn and take my brown towel.

Then I remember the butler’s words and put it back. I’m not that stupid. Don’t misunderestimate me.

Soon, I am in nothing more than my “birthday suit”. I jump into the bath, although not literally of course because that would hurt.

After a few seconds, I realise that – despite having been sufficiently busy documenting missile launches for the butler to have knocked on the ceiling a second time – the water is still ridiculously hot. I say “ouch” and clamber out, shaking the water from my feet like one of those dogs so I don’t soil the bathmat too much.

Come to think of it, I need to go to the toilet. Fortunately, said temple is situated just next to the bathroom.

I step off the bathmat and onto the cold, hard, porcelain tiles. My feet take a few moments to be shocked by the stark contrast between this, and the steaming egg-melting sauna-like waters of the bath. As they do this, I wonder whether I should grab a towel – just to use as a fig leaf, in case circumstances change and someone arrives in the dining room to witness my nude journey from toilet back to bath. I decide to be daring. Fortunately, the coast remains clear, and I manage to deposit my burden in the big Shires bowl and get back on the bathmat with not a sausage of embarrassment.

I jump into the bath. “Ouch” again. I quickly grapple with the cold water tap, and soon it’s temperate. I sit down and submerge myself.

I shall say nothing more for now, apart from “to be continued”, and a full stop.