“Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.”

Shower for upwards of four, five, or six hours to exhaust the hot water supply and psychologically intimidate the enemy. Such a display of endurance will weaken your roommate’s morale. When pressed for an answer, avoid hostility. Simply reply, “Sorry, I lost track of time” or, “My apologies. I never shower with my watch.” Use this added shower time for future strategic planning.

“The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.”

Remove all of your toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc.) from the shower, but continue to bathe daily. Your actions will beg the question, “What is he doing in there?” The enemy will soon lose his grip on reality and fall into an existential state that questions the sole purpose of showering. Prey upon this weaker disposition.

“Be where your enemy is not.”

When your roommate occupies the shower, secure the sofa or most comfortable communal chair, as well as the TV remote. Your enemy will develop a Pavlovian response that links his cleanliness with your dominance of the living room and nightly entertainment. This will weaken his will for bathing.

“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”

If the hot water ceases while you’re shampooing (whether by natural causes or enemy action), remain levelheaded. Do not thrash and flail for the faucet handle. Take a moment to reflect upon this defenseless soap-blind state. After you’ve weathered the storm, rearrange your roommate’s toiletries so he’ll be paralyzed in a similar situation.

“Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.”

Do not shower with your sword.

“To know your enemy, you must become your enemy.”

Begin using your roommate’s soap, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and hair gel. Assuming the enemy’s external identity will shed light on his internal motives. If he probes, “Are you using my products?” respond in kind, “This is embarrassing. I thought you were using my products.” A short-term stalemate is acceptable if it provides greater long-term insight into enemy behavior.

“Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will.”

Purloin the enemy’s prized apricot face scrub, or a skincare item akin. (Dermatology products are preferred as the potential of acne and facial scarring heightens the threat.) Set ransom terms without admitting culpability. For example, “The water bill went up $50 this month.” Once your roommate pays the blood money, return his valued exfoliate. Be alert to a counterattack. It’s wise to siphon your own high-end toiletries into nondescript travel containers or empty bottles of bargain brands.

“There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.”

Sing in the shower to torment the enemy. Use previously-gathered intelligence to tailor song selection to your roommate’s shortcomings. For example, heart-wrenching ballads are best during breakups. Melodies should be loud, off-key, and repetitive.

“When your army has crossed the border, you should burn your boats and bridges, in order to make it clear to everybody that you have no hankering after home.”

Before showering, burn a bath towel in front of the enemy. The fiery spectacle will send a stark message: Once you set foot in the tub, there is no return. If your roommate doubles as your spouse, do not incinerate one of the decorative towels. This will only aggravate the enemy. Hell hath no fury like a woman’s guest towel set scorned.

“Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.”

It’s best to use a cocktail of Windex, Pine-Sol, Kaboom, and Coors Light to clean the tub. The enemy will undoubtedly inflict this barbaric torture, that is, shower tile scrubbing, upon those who go forth with plans of conflagration despite the decorative towel warning. Let my blunders embolden you on a wiser path.


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