Saturday, July 02, 2005

Things you might see at a Laundromat...

If you haven't been to a Laundromat* lately, you oughta go and spin a load of clothes just for the adventure. There's one by my house and today I took the trek down and out to a whole other world -- one that I've blithely driven by nearly every day for a year.

After walking in through the two doors with the cracked glass and noting that the second had its metal kick plate torn off, you might expect this to be a fetid dump but you would be wrong. The place was clean, if nothing else.

The magazine selection was sorely lacking. All I could find were coupon sections with half the coupons gone, a couple of Watchtowers and a couple of freakish magazines. Ah, before you start picturing fetish and porn at the local Laundro -- cue the bowwww chicka boww boww music -- let me explain that there was no porn to be found. Yes, I looked.

The mags in question were far more dirty than any porn. The first one had a lovely photo of the White House on it and a headline for a story inside about how the Lord is with the righteous which is why He was smiting those wicked towel heads. It didn't actually say 'smiting' or 'towelheads' on the cover, but I kid you not about the Lord being with the righteous in this war. Holy crap do I want to go smite the ass that published this crap. The second one was even worse, but it didn't have a pretty picture on the cover just a big 'God Bless America!', a cross and some smaller headlines...

The other thing you might find is a big -- and I do mean big -- black woman. The black part has little to do with the story, it's just to show you I'm observant and don't miss too much... Anyway, this woman was pushing 300 if she was pushing 100. Did I say big? Yeah, well that might be understating it.

Anyway, I feared for her life because it's been hot lately and it can't be that easy carrying around all that extra weight. Then, as if to prove my worries true, she takes a big slug of some diet soda -- bless her heart -- and proceeds to have a coughing, choking fit. Now I'm really getting a bit worried because my Heimlich skills may not be up to snuff and I'm thinking -- damn my blackheart -- that I don't know if I can get my arms all the way around her to do the maneuver if it comes to it. Anyway, the anti-climax is that some of that diet sodie pop went down the wrong tube... She was fine.

During my stay in Wonderland,** I also saw a sketchy old man that you might not trust with your kids if you were going on appearances. He wasn't doing any laundry, but apparently he forgot a butt in the ashtray. After he dug through it, it was obvious that there were several that were in pretty good shape. And you thought the butt fairy*** only cleaned out those ashtrays at night. Silly you...

Then there was the slow guy. He had the look and actions of someone that they used to call slow. I'll be nice and say he was challenged... He also had a better car than me, which doesn't always say much since me car sort of sucks. In this case though, the guy's car was pretty nice.

Come to think of it, the big black lady had a better car than me too... And so did the other fat lady (she was only about 180-200 so I didn't mention her earlier) who showed up when I was finishing my fine folding job... At least the sketchy butt fairy didn't have a better car than me. He was walking though so it's possible he had a sweet ride at home... That would suck.


*Yes Laundromat people, I know that Laundromat is a trademarked name and I should be using the term laundry mat or laundermat... but I don't give a rat's ass so I will improperly use your trademarked term all I want.
**To Lewis Carroll, I hope you don't mind me comparing a Laundromat to your Wonderland, but it truly was a whacked out place. Also, I know you're dead and all but I thought it would be polite to mention that I meant no offense...
***Cigarette butts you pervs.


tshsmom said...

Try going to the laundromat with a baby! I never seemed to find a parking space closer than a block away either.
Not ONCE, in the past 25 yrs, have I taken my washer and dryer for granted. Laundromats are a NIGHTMARE!!!

Miranda said...

The laundromat I last visited was
probably the opposite of yours.
I was in Oregon, and the only pamphlets to be found were left by
Green Party supporters and Bush haters. I wouldn't have enjoyed my
visit as much if I hadn't read them, but I probably have an odd sense of humor.

Shawn said...

Tshsmom -- That might cause a bit of chaos... I would have to steal a baby to take it to the laundromat and for some reason people seem to frown on that, although I think a trip to the local laundro would be a culturally expanding thing for any kid.

Miranda -- You must have been on the wet side of the state. The dry side is all conservative and the wet side is a bunch of tree huggin' hippies (except for the former loggers and the Nike execs who are all conservatives).

One of the best things about Oregon politics is going to the store and seeing the tell-tale green petitions outside the front doors... That's the 'legalize marijuana' guys. I almost said that they're a budding lobby -- but they've been around for years so that joke went up in smoke. (Insert groan here) Cheers and happy 4th.

joanne said...

I went into a laundromat a few weeks ago in Manhattan. That was fun, but no one did their laundry. They just dropped it off and paid the people there to do it for them. Then, they would leave and come back to pick it up later. Must be nice, huh?

Slade said...

This is hilarious! I had to go to one in college and it was so hella expensive and it took forever...and you forgot to mention the lady who steals your machine when you turn your head for a second.

Shawn said...

J-anne -- I actually don't mind doing laundry. It's one of the few chores that I like. That said, I am still all for someone else doing it for me... I guess I cn only pray that someday that touch of civilization will find me here in West Bend!

Slade -- I think I timed it right and that lady was at home cooking up a Spam omellette. It's all about the timing baby!