By Danny Tyree
I despise airing my dirty laundry in public, but I’ll make an exception for kvetching about my clean laundry.
I have primary responsibility for my family’s laundry. Fair enough. I realize I should be grateful that I am spared the drudgery of the old wringer washer or beating garments against river rocks; but because of various aggravations, my thoughts tend to be less “ring around the collar” than “hands around somebody’s throat.”
It’s not just the cliché of vanishing sock mates or the unergonomic design of washers and dryers or the notion that in 2022 we still have dyes that run fast enough to win Olympic gold.
It’s not just the confusing settings (I stick with two favorites: “like it” or “lump it”) or even “never needs ironing” malarkey. (That’s like the maternity ward sending a baby home emblazoned with a “Never Needs Changing” stamp.)
Surely, I’m not the only person who suspects that clothes washers are sentient beings who know exactly when to make mischief. If you’re shaving, relaxing on the throne or battling a grease fire, odds are that the house will suddenly reverberate with the “WOMP WOMP WOMP” of the dreaded Unbalanced Load. (“Thanks for moving the mitten a silly little millimeter to the left, buddy. Fourth time’s the charm. We cool?”)
If you manage to get most of the water spun out of the load, then the eccentricities of the clothes dryer come into play.
You’ll convince yourself that you have time to empty the dryer and put in a new load of wet wash before scooting out the door for work, but you’ll come up against the harsh reality that a playful sheet has made the Ultimate Sacrifice in the dryer.
Like a parent shielding his child from a crazed gunman, the soggy queen-size sheet has wrapped five pairs of socks, two towels and a Hard Rock Café T-shirt in its loving embrace. (Hey, queen – we are not amused!)
C’mon, dryer, you’ve got basically two jobs: tumble the laundry and dry it. But I’ll bet the show-off could work a Rubik’s Cube without breaking a sweat. I really don’t need the sleeves of multiple shirts eternally melded like family members at Pompeii. And I’m not awarding a Cub Scout knot-tying merit badge just because ol’ Kenmore can convert frayed towel threads into a sheepshank around blouse buttons.
No matter how expertly you position the clothes basket, you’ll have E.D. problems. And by E.D. I mean “escaping drawers.” (Grow up!) Open the dryer door and nice, clean underwear will turn somersaults in a death-dive for the floor.
It’s weird that we used to call underwear “unmentionables.” I mention them quite often. (“Dirty razzin frazzin…”)
My mother does not own a clothes dryer, preferring to go “old school” with an outdoor clothesline. (Ironic that the people who hated school are the ones who wind up clinging to “old school” behavior. But I digress.) Yeah, she saves some electricity, but having seen tomcats marking their territory on perky percales, I would be willing to fly a kite in a thunderstorm to keep the clothes dryer going.
Don’t get me started on opportunistic birds scouting your neighborhood. (“Whoa! Victoria’s Secret is the Mercedes Benz of lingerie! Anybody need a pit stop?”)
Forgive the rant. But nothing gets your panties in a wad like getting your panties in a wad.
Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at email@example.com and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”