Monday, December 29, 2008

Rub –a-dub-dumb

Sometimes while I am engaging in the banal tasks of everyday life I mentally check out of the system and take a few moments to let my mind wander through the disconnected clutter of my gray matter. Most of the time these breaks from reality are harmless for I am not a crane operator nor am I on duty at a nuclear silo. However there are times, infrequent as they may be, while unplugged from the grid that I find myself in a situation that may have been avoided if I had just realized that I was operating in a world that was constantly changing and evolving around me even though I had chosen to retract into my inner cerebral realm. Christmas Eve last week afforded me the opportunity to utilize my local Laundromat in complete and utter privacy for I knew my mostly catholic neighbors would be celebrating the anniversary of their savior’s birth which even though I am not expertly versed in all of the holiday’s customs and practices most probably did not include a wash and fluff. I arrived at my parlor of suds to discover that I was correct in my assumptions; the place was relatively empty and ensconced in a blanket of tranquility aided by the soft hummm of the few dryers finishing their last goyish loads. I languished over my washer options…so many to choose from.

After loading up two standard machines and one Big Bertha with my soiled belongings I fed the stainless steel monsters of cleanliness with quarters. Clink, clink, clink, my coins were swallowed up and the sound of rushing water filled the air. That is until I reached Big Bertha. The behemoth beckoned to be fed but with my pockets empty of their booty I was off to the change machine to restock my funds. Along my 20 foot round trip journey I ruminated on such things as the relative humidity of my apartment, the pros and cons of replacing my kitchen mat, and if the Chinese couple screaming at each other were really pissed off or if my western based social constructs deprived me of the tools required to connect authentically with their standard of culturally acceptable communication.

Minutes later I found myself staring into the belly of a big bertha with dampened wash making large circles as it tumbled round in the presoak cycle. Time had lapsed yet I could hardly remember returning from the change machine and feeding the washer… but I had obviously since my pocket was devoid of the twelve quarters I had received in trade for my 3 paper dollars. As I watched the clothing dance in the water I slowly realized that I was neither the owner of a fuzzy pink blanket with kittens emblazoned on it nor anything plaid. My eyes then shifted to the right shocking me back into reality for my wash was still sitting motionless and dry in the machine adjacent to Ms. Kitty’s. Yikes! As I fed another three bucks into MY machine I quickly scanned the area searching for Ms. Kitty, but I could not locate her. I briefly thought about informing the proprietor of my careless yet honest mistake but I then took the cowardly route and settled into the plastic molded seat by the window and perused my Vanity Fair.

A few moments later a middle aged woman entered and made a beeline for the row of washers that contained the mystical machine. I slyly peered over my magazine and watched as Ms. Kitty inquisitively considered her still churning big bertha then moved on to empty her other machines. She returned 2 more times to big bertha, paused, stared, and even shoved it a few times before lastly returning with the owner to complain about the length of the machine’s cycle. I attempted to remain visibly uninterested in the commotion even though my heart was pounding with the fear that Ms. Kitty’s rage would suddenly turn from its current target (the owner) to me….gulp. The confrontation continued as the owner with towel and pliers in hand climbed on top of the machine, reached into its gullet, and forcibly tweaked it into a spin cycle. I remained on the sidelines buried in my Vanity Fair waiting for Ms. Kitty to leave so I could retrieve my clean laundry without calling attention to my proximity to her calamity.


SCHRECK! said...

I'm unclear to what happened here- did you put your coins into the wrong machine?

Gee said...

Yep that's what happened.... and I have made some edits to the original post to clarify my stupidity.