Love it or hate it: Hot tubs

by David Holub

Love itFor most adults, most normal adults anyway, there are few reasons to hang out in water. There are swimming pools, to do what? Swim laps? That’s a lot of all work and no play. To play water volleyball? Who does that? There’s scuba diving, which is basically asking to die. There’s the bathtub, which sounds soothing and relaxing until you realize that if the point is getting clean, you’re actually stewing in your own filth and/or in increasingly colder water.

The only way I’m submerging myself in water is if it’s hot, treated with bacteria-killing chemicals, and you can eat and drink while doing so. Enter the hot tub.

Now, a hot tub at a hotel? Absolutely not, mainly (a) for the same reason I don’t sit on bare toilet seats and (b) because the warm water is a urine-inducer for any child who enters (studies show that children urinate everywhere, most notably their pants, public pools, and hotel hot tubs).

But the hot tub on my back porch? Yes! It’s a muscle-relaxer, a way to be outside in the driving snow with few to no clothes and be warm, and the most soothing and enchanting way to stargaze. And … there are cup holders.

David HolubHate itI’m not an anti-fun jerkface who completely hates hot tubs. If I was afforded a private hot tub that I knew was 100 percent properly maintained, I might soak in that. But, I don’t have admission to a private hot tub. I have had access to only public hot tubs of ill-repute in hotels full of peeing children and frisky lovebirds.

I don’t want to soak in a 102-degree water hole that can gift me urinary tract infections, hepatitis, and folliculitis – a rash wherein you develop red pimples that can drain pus or blood, after giving you a mild fever or upset stomach.

I mean, it’s not like hot tubs themselves are evil. Or are they? Even the mist that surrounds a hot tub can spread Legionnaire’s disease, which is a form of atypical pneumonia.

It isn’t even just that. I don’t trust people to be clean. Am I the only person in this hot tub? How many people are in it with me? How many people have been in it since it was last cleaned? It’s estimated that the average person has a tenth of a gram of feces hanging out by their butt crack at any given point in the day. It doesn’t take many hot-tubbers to convert into tablespoons of crap floating around my hot-water haven.


Patty Templeton


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