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‘Talking’ Showers

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shower‘Talking’ Showers is a strange phenomenon, delivered with ease but received with pain. Perhaps it is something you may have heard about or even witnessed but have you ever wondered what possesses someone to do it?

Its a simple enough scenario – two people, one taking a shower, the other just outside. The person taking the shower decides to share a few enlightening thoughts with the person waiting outside, for no other reason than to pass the time or to perhaps invoke an interest. The person outside hears what is being said and is filled with frustration and annoyance and leaves!

So what has just happened? There was no intent or malice on either side but the environment of enlightenment became hostile! Water and air just happened! You cannot combine the two and not expect a reaction!

To talk or create a sound using our vocal chords, we exhale air from our lungs/diaphragm which in turn pass the larynx and strikes our vocal chords causing a sound which in turn is modified by our mouth and tongue to form a range of sounds which in turn are strung together in predefined orders to create ‘words’ which we all recognise. A bit like the Scottish bagpipes, we regularly have to refill our lungs (taking a breath) in order to continue talking. We do this by opening our mouth/nose and inhaling, drawing the air down towards the lungs etc. allowing the cycle of talking to repeat. Now lets throw our stomachs into the mix. Our throat is dual purpose, it carries air to our lungs AND water to our stomachs. Mix these two up and you know exactly what happens. Air in the stomach and you start belching, water in the lungs and you drown…!

Back to the shower then…, with all the water about one is a lot more cautious about inhaling especially if you have your head under the shower spray. There is also a reflux reaction which kicks in to prevent water going down the wrong passage by closing off the throat but it has the double whammy of also stopping and air from passing either. The net result is your inhaling AND exhaling of air is intermittent and subsequently your SPEECH is intermittent. This is extremely annoying for the listener.

Add to this the nature of a shower cubicle, which is typically an environment of low acoustic quality (with all the hard tiling) and what do you get, you get a drop in the octave of all sounds emitted. So the voice of the person having the shower drops a few octaves and it becomes a drone. Coupled with the previous point, you now get an intermittent drone emanating from the shower and no matter how enlightening or interesting the content, the delivery has all but ruined it!

It’s no wonder then that the second person leaves the room, your tone is boring and your insight is taking an age… goodbye…

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