It is a little known fact that gargoyles are not water friendly. In fact, given their druthers, they would never go near a bathtub or a bar of soap.
I don’t know if it is a genetic phobia like cats or a throwback to the dark ages when bathing was thought to cause illness. Whatever the reason, giving a gargoyle a bath becomes mandatory about the same time the houseplants start drooping from the stench.
The first time I broached the subject with Rasmussen, he blew me off, saying something about going out for a snack. That was also the night the first of Mrs. Meadows cats came up missing. Of course, I have no proof the two events are connected.
I tried nudging, nagging, threatening and pleading, but Rasmussen held firm. When I mentioned the odor, he would tell me I was hallucinating—he didn’t smell anything. I suppose it goes to show if you live with something vile long enough, you learn to accept it.
I finally gave up the direct approach and tried something more covert. Something that would only work on a mystical being who spend half his life as flesh and blood, and the other half as stone. I waited for dawn and his transformation into a statue. I drew a bucket of water—not too hot, not too cold—I didn’t know for sure if he could tell in his altered state, but either way, it seemed like the polite thing to do. I scrubbed, using a full bar of soap, from his head to his feet. When I finished, I needed a shower, but I was confident he was as clean as I could get him. Unfortunately, I failed to realize the smell, the filth and grime, the days and weeks of dried sweat also transformed with him into an impenetrable barrier. All my work was for naught.
I had no choice. I had to get relieve from Rasmussen and his odiferous presence. I did the one thing I knew would have the most influence on him. I kidnapped his teddy bear. Without it, he can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t do much more than mope. I left him a note, telling him I was going to the country. The bear was coming with me. If he didn’t take a bath, and I meant with soap and water—lots of water—it would be a one-way trip for the bear.
Since that first bath, it hasn’t been so hard to talk him into others. In fact, after I bought him a rubber ducky and Batman bath towel, I think he secretly likes taking a bath, not that he will admit it.