Wednesday, October 27, 2004

"turning on a tap" for dummies

A lot of people questioned my supposed bullshit in my last post. What ballocks is this, they say. 1000 words on how to turn on a tap? You gotta be joking.


Hence, I am putting this up here, although making it vulnerable to copycats and intellectual thieves. It isn't even a great piece of litreature. I got bored sometime between school and college and decided to write out stuffs for the fun of it. This is the article as I wrote it the first time, and has never been edited since, although I can think of many ways to increase the word count.

The objective of it was not to produce something nice to read, but more of an exercise to see how much nonsense I could write. Of course, after reading this, you could go on and do something like that, that's easy. But the challenge at that time was that I had no clue what the end result would be. I wrote 1 sentence at a time, each time trying to prolong the essay.

"Turning on the tap" for dummies

Isn’t it weird and sometimes seemingly strange that such an easy task which can be performed by small children and maybe even toddler can prove to be a challenging and daunting task to some grown ups. So, for all you people who do face problems turning on a tap to wash your hands before meals, while brushing teeth and so on, well let me tell you that it really is an easy task. All you need is the proper instructions and you would be well on your way.

Firstly, spread your palm flat out. If you are left handed, use your left hand and if you are right handed, then use your right hand as starters. You will need to get used to it before you can become ambidextrous on performing this task. Most people who have a great deal of experience can turn on the tap with either hand with relative ease too. Also, since the hot water tap is usually on the left and the cold water tap is on the right, people usually use their left hand for the hot water tap and the right for the cold water tap. One might say that taps are conventionally placed that way because most people are right handed and whilst cold water will only make you shiver, hot water will actually scald you (which I think is biased towards left handed people like myself – we might use our left hand and scald ourselves!!). But anyway, it really is easy when you get the hang of it. And for now, let’s take things one-step at a time. So, with whichever hand you feel comfortable with spread your palm out.

Now, slowly but surely, wrap your palm along the tap head. Have a good feel of the tap head. If it is a modern tap you are dealing with, have a good feel and experience the ergonomic design of the head. Old-fashioned taps are a little more uncomfortable to feel, instead of a nice round head, they instead have an “X-head.” Those old-fashioned taps are not at all ergonomic but they do however pose fewer difficulties to beginners such as yourself. Whatever the design is, that is of little relevance. All you need is a good grip of the head and you would be on the right track. If it is your first time grasping a tap head, you would find that the metal head does indeed have a cold feeling. This cold feeling can sometimes shock a person, so as a beginner, you have to prepare yourself for the sudden change in sensation. Don’t worry, don’t panic; it is not a case of your tap freezing when your surrounding is warm and humid. The simple explanation behind that is because metal is a good conductor of heat. Therefore, if quickly conducts heat from your palm and so you would feel that if it cold. To accustom yourself to this weird, yet pleasant sensation, I would suggest that you leave your grip on the head for a little while before doing anything. Once you have accustomed your hand to the temperature, you are now ready to begin.

You have to bear in mind that the tap is very much like a screw, you are loosening a screw in the tap to allow water to flow in. As many laymen are unfamiliar with this, you have to take note that the universal rule for loosening a screw, or a tap in this case is by twisting it in a counter clockwise direction. So, with your grip still firmly placed on the head, imagine that your hand is now a clock needle. Imitating the movement of the arm of an analogue clock, taking the tap head as the centre point, move your elbow to the right as to follow the anti clockwise direction. This is a little complicated and takes quite a lot of body movement to get it done but I had taken into consideration that you are new in this so I have decided to make this instructions as simplified as possible. Now, when you keep your palm in place and move your elbow, it requires you to move your shoulder forward as to follow the movement of the tap head. Theoretically, you should face no problems in turning the tap head. Actually, once you start moving your elbow and your shoulders, the tap head should move with ease.

Following Newton’s 1st law of motion, there is something called “inertia” in every object. Although minimal, you have to remember that there is also friction in the joints between the tap head and the washer. Because of that, enough of force has to be applied to overcome the frictional force and the inertia preventing the movement of a static body. Once you have applied sufficient force, the tap head will then proceed to move slowly but surely. Once movement has started, you would discover that it gets easier and easier to turn the head. Usually, turning the head about 180°-360° would be enough to have a moderately large water flow. This of course also depends a lot on the water pressure in the area. The more you twist the head anti-clockwise, the larger the flow will be and the higher the water pressure is in the area, you would have to twist the head less to get the same rate of water flow when compared to a tap in a low-pressure area.

Now, since you are a beginner of sorts and a dim-witted one as well, I will not be going into details on how you are going to turn off the tap because I personally feel that the information you have gathered today would be too much for you to absorb. That partly being the reason, and the other reason being that this is a “turning ON the tap” for dummies lesson, not a “turning OFF the tap” lesson. So, now that the tap is on and most probably running in full volume, you would probably be wasting a lot of water. Never mind that, small sacrifices need to be made in order for us to achieve perfection. Therefore, leave the tap running a little while and run along to your nearest bookshop and pick up the sequel to this book which would of course be called “Turning off the tap for dummies”

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