The spa is lovely, truly—five-star or whatever the measure when owners hang art by real artists and place white leather benches in locker rooms. Attaching stars to descriptors does little to ensure guests behave five star-ish.
This particular spa, as with many in the valley, invites members. For the price of raising a child to eighteen, you can be assured a massage when you like, oxygen with your facial and private events.
The spa’s natives return for the winter. They naked chat and drop their towels willy-nilly. It takes staff to attend to them, as women in a spa require five towels for every one shower. One to dry off, one for wrapping hair turban style, one to place under the naked butt on the white leather bench, one to slide about on so feet never touch tile and the use of one remains a forever mystery. This is in addition to two washcloths left wet on the shower floor and a couple of hand towels, the purpose of which is unclear. It is the job of a full time person to wash and wash and wash and dry and dry and dry and fold and fold and fold these linens daily. And he gets benefits. Not with spa discounts but he can go to the doctor if his back gives out from hauling all that laundry.
There is, however, a vulgar side to spa life; right in the five-star whirlpool in the ladies locker room. Two days in a row, foam rises from the frothy waters. Foam elicits complaints and exasperated sighs from ladies who spa. Two days contacting maintenance and the guys take a closer look. They turn it on. Foam, foam, foam. They try all manner of fixes—those from a bottle and of the electrical sort. They stand, along with a few spa staff, head scratchers all. Then we spy a black something near the drain. It seems to have crept up, showing itself, timidly at first.
It’s mixed company, in both gender and age, staring into the waters. Is it a bug? Realization washes over all surrounding the small pool.
“Oh, jeez. Not again,” wails the engineer.
Again? This girl stands in disbelief. What first appeared to be a bug is a ball of pubes, entangled with each other making their ascent to the surface. And, plop, there they are. Yep, it’s a cluster of pubic hair. Floating around like they belong there. Acting like they’re as adorable as two otters holding hands.
Turns out, a member finds the soothing waters of the Jacuzzi just right for personal trimming. Evidently, she saved the big trim for fall. Obviously, shears did not travel with her over the summer. Curlies, evidently, search each other out, cling to each other for dear life and clog drains. What’s more, free-floating pubes are a biohazard, thus the engineer’s irritation. The whirlpool is drained, cleaned and disinfected, giving grouchy members another thing to complain about for a day or two.
I’ve been a writer most of my life. Written just about everything. But on this day, I must craft a sign addressing the problem. “Please refrain from shaving in the whirlpool,” in lovely feminine font, framed, next to the shaving accouterment.
We are a five star spa after all.