A few decades ago, a friend of mine rented an apartment in a new complex. He was among the first of us who ventured beyond a flat in a converted farmhouse, or a third floor walk-up in a brick building. His place was shiny, modern, and “modular.”

A couple of months after he moved in — and in the middle of a snowstorm and a cold snap as only Indiana has them in January — he went into his white shower stall, leaned against the wall to wash the bottom of his foot — and promptly rolled with the entire shower unit into the lawn beside his apartment. Fortunately, he lived on the first floor.

In those pre-911 days, his terrified girlfriend called the fire department — along with several neighbors who reported seeing a nude man emerge from under a shower stall lodged in the snow. He wasn’t seriously hurt, but his adventure (and his name) was repeated on the news for a couple of days.

The apartment manager quickly moved the young man into another unit.  It was soon determined that what had happened was a slow leak behind the shower had gradually weakened the exterior wall, and the uneven weight posed by the man leaning against the shower wall to wash his foot had caused the somewhat heavy shower stall to tip over and burst through the wall.

My friend’s main concern throughout the entire episode focused on one single aspect of his flash of media fame: Everybody now knew that he was living with his girlfriend before their wedding.  And everybody knew that she had seen him naked.