Ask Giantmonk #2: Bath Time

Monkey asks:

Dear Giantmonk, I have been told I need a bath because I have changed colour and I’m a bit stinky. It’s the result of too much hugging, apparently. I’m afraid of baths, but I see you have survived one. Can you give me any advice on how to face this terrifying ordeal? Monkey.

Hi Monkey! I like your name, it’s very charming – I bet you’re a handsome chap! Let me start by saying I feel your pain – I have been wfienhere you are now, and I totally understand your fear, but believe me, you can get through it. Both you and your human friends will be glad that you took the plunge (literally).

Giantmonk and his washing lotions and potions

The first thing you need to do is choose your washing lotions and potions. Now, look at me – as you can see I am made of cloth, so this is a very different process from your common ‘zoo monkey’ wash time. As I am made from cloth I find that the best thing to use is a cleansing solution made for fabric. You can see me posing like a gorgeous model with two brands of such lotions and potions above. Take note of a small but significant difference between the two bottles that I am holding – one is a washing liquid which loosens any dirt from my fibres, and the other is something girly – I don’t understand it but it is supposed to make things soft and smell nice, so I use it for Mimi’s sake.

Now, if you are super-posh you can use a liquid wash made specifically for delicate and precious things, like you. It works out quite expensive but you only use a very little and I can tell from your name that you may be worth it.

This is Soak, but there are other brands available. It is a no-rinse hand wash with a pleasant, subtle smell. I’m going to go ahead and suggest that you choose whichever you prefer, but remember if you have left it a particularly long time without a bath you made need several rinses.

Anyway, on to the bathing part. Get your butler or human friend to run you a bath. It can either be in a proper bath (my preference) or, depending on your size (I am of course a rather Giant monk) in a large sink.

Run the bath until the water is about 20-30cm (8-12″) deep and at about the temperature of a cup of tea that you have left on the side for 10 minutes, or the same temperature that you’d run a bath for a young child. You can dip your elbow in the water to test it if you like – I don’t understand what you’d do that before but I have seen it on TV. Maybe you just want a wet elbow. Either way, you don’t want the water too hot just in case you shrink. I’d hate to have to change my name to Shrunkenmonk.

Swirl about two or three teaspoons of your chosen washing liquid into the bath and jump right in. It sounds scary, but it is actually quite pleasant. You should float, so try to make sure that you lay low in the water to get every little bit of you clean. If you have a handy butler-type figure in your household, now is the time to request a massage, and work all of that nice water through your body.

Now look around you. Why is the water that strange brownish grey colour? Do not panic! It is not your life-force washing away. It is what we call ‘dirt’. I know, it’s a shock, but all that has been trapped in your fibres, and now is the time to get rid!

Next comes the moment to wash your face. Hold your breath and put your head under the water whilst massaging your scalp and temples. Imagine you had hair and pretend you were having a shampoo.

Now, sit up and pull the plug out of your bath and wash all of that filthy water down the sink. Run a second bath, this time with a splash of softener, or another splash of your special care fabric wash. Do as you did before, letting the water flow through your fibres, bringing it’s sweet smells of cleanliness with it.

If you have chosen to use a no-rinse special care fabric wash, you can now simply pull out the plug and let the water flow away. However, if you are using normal fabric softener, you will need one final run of the bath water, this time completely free of any lotions or potions, to wash away any residue. Once your final rinse has taken place, just take a while to sit in the bath and get your breath back. Exhilarating wasn’t it? But wait – why have you put on so much weight? Nobody said that taking a bath would make you so heavy! Don’t worry, it’s just temporary.

Now, you have a choice, and it’s a bit of a biggie. To spin or drip?

Now, dripping is the less scary method, but it takes a very long time. If you decide to drip make sure you are in a warm, room. If you try to drip your way to success in a damp room it could go all kinds of wrong, and you may end up smelling damp. To drip, all you need to do is to squeeze each of your limbs and tummy in turn, to try and squeeze out that water (don’t worry, it will not hurt). Now, sit somewhere high, on a mesh or rack of some kind, with a bowl under you, and let gravity take the remaining water from you. It will take a while, perhaps a couple of days, but as long as you are in a warm room or even outside on a warm day, you will dry eventually.

Your other option is to spin. I know this sounds terrible, but I have done it and survived.

Giantmonk washing machine
The main benefit to going for a spin is that you will be 95% dry within a few minutes, and dry enough to cuddle by the evening. But be careful only to go in for a spin cycle, you don’t want to have a full wash or a (shudder) tumble dry. Now, don’t misunderstand me – you might be fine after a tumble dry, but I haven’t been brave enough to try one of those and I don’t think it is needed.

If you decide to go for a spin, start by squeezing as much water from your limbs and body as possible. Then, jump into a pillowcase and tie some string around the opening. This will protect you a little and also make sure that you don’t bump your eyeballs. Now, get your human friend to take you to the strange machine that looks like a spaceship and select the fast spin cycle. Pretend you’re on a fairground ride.

After five or so minutes you will emerge mostly dry. Give yourself a shake around so you don’t feel too squished, and relax a while just whilst you dry that last little bit, and get ready for some really appreciative cuddles.

NOTE: you may notice that you change colour during this process. Do not be alarmed – this is actual your natural and original colour. If it has been a particularly long time you may have forgotten this, but it is to be expected and welcomed. My, do you look so much younger! Well done, you have survived and hopefully enjoyed your first bath.

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