A Bath Man arrived.

He examined the stains left by the Body Shop Bath Bomb fiasco, scratched his tattoos then returned to his van for a selection of strong chemicals, which he handled gingerly using thick gloves. They didn’t quite steam and bubble, but weren’t something that I’d have wanted to down in one, even if I’d been an EXTREMELY thick rugby player.

The dye melted and dribbled away in the face of this corrosive onslaught.

I was very pleased with how the Body Shop dealt with it. I spoke to a nice lady on the phone – presumably Mrs Roddick – who was very apologetic in a non-Tony Blair sort of way. She is going to send me some vouchers, which will handily cover my female Christmas present needs.

Later on, I pondered the Bath Man’s parting words.

“I’d give that a bit of a rinse round before you use it again, mate.”

I reflected on the meaning of the words themselves, but mainly the irony of the fact that I’d only been able to collect my thoughts and remember this piece of advice because I’d just climbed into a nice deep relaxing bath.

I lifted my head out of the water in some concern.

I’m one of those people that tends to think a lot about things, rather than a practical action type of man. Cerebral – that’s me.

If, for instance, you were Pavarotti and jumped from an eighth floor window and I was standing underneath, my immediate reaction would be to reflect on “why on Earth did you do that?” and “I bet there’ll be another Greatest Hits compilation rushed out quick” and “gosh – isn’t that a marvellously dramatic and musical ‘aaaarrrghhh!!!!’” rather than to do something impetuous and leap out of the way.

So I lay there, trying to work out whether the slight burning sensation on my face was an over-active imagination in a hot bath or horrible chemical burns that would make me look like the Joker from Batman.

I really, really didn’t want to look like the Joker from Batman. For a start, I am self-employed which means I need to meet people face-to-face and charm them, and I don’t think this would be feasible in this event, unless I started up some bizarre government clown outsourcing services agency.

Plus if I was going to be horribly scarred into a bad guy from Batman then I would prefer to be the Penguin, as I could then live in my bookcase-dungeon thing and have a stylish umbrella. The sixties TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward please, rather than the films.

I decided on a course of action and got out of the bath.

My face was smarting a bit, but no serious damage. I will have to be a normal-looking master criminal, but obviously I could still play practical jokes if I wanted.

I washed the bath around and ran another one.

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