Bubbles and Bolts

I wrote recently about missing all of my stuff that I had sold or given away before I left Devils Lake a couple of months ago. One of the things I was acutely missing was my bed. However I recently purchased one, and the timing couldn’t have been better because the twin size air mattress bed, which had been slowly leaking air for awhile, finally bit the dust and wouldn’t hold any air at all. Now that I am blissfully slumbering I have moved on to missing other things, like my washer and dryer. Having neither I let the laundry accumulate to a monstrous level. I finally couldn’t put it off no longer so I gathered up my mounds of laundry and stuffed them into garbage bags (yes I also sold my laundry basket in my moving sale, to my sister-in-law no less), grabbed my detergent and headed to the laundromat.

As I was lugging my stuff into the laundromat, I noticed there were lots of signs everywhere – on the front door, on the machines and on the walls. Most of them were instructional in nature, such as be sure to shake the mud off your stuff and check your pockets for nails and bolts as they can damage the machines. Geesh, I thought, don’t people know how to do laundry? I mean, isn’t all that kind of stuff plain old common sense?! I started feeling a little smug as I loaded up three laundry machines. I remembered an episode of Friends where Ross takes Rachel, the former little rich girl and laundry virgin, to the laundromat to instruct her in the art of laundry. Well Rachel (what was her last name?) I am not!

vendingAs the machines starting whirring and swirling, I explored the rest of the laundromat. First up, check out the vending machines to learn about the munchie offerings. There were the usual pop and snack machines, however in addition there was a machine with a hand made, pink sign on the top that said pet vending. Now considering that one of the many signs on the door said no pets allowed it seemed not only unusual, but a tad out of place! Maybe the idea is that while you’re doing your laundry you bring a treat to Fluffy whose waiting in the car since she can’t come inside?

I returned to the washing machines, and as I was removing my clothes from one of them I realized I had left a kleenex in a pocket, actually make that kleenexes because there were bits of white stuff everywhere! Once I got all the clothes out I tried to wipe out all the little bits stuck to the sides and bottom of the machines, during which I heard a clink and to my surprise realized there was, I kid you not, a small bolt at the bottom of the machine! What on earth, I thought, as I stared at it in puzzlement. I then saw yet another sign on the ledge behind the washing machine near a plant that said “do not touch the plant! A camera is watching you,” Was my unfortunate Kleenex/bolt debacle caught on camera? Would I be fined by the laundry police or banned from the premises?

Needless to say I carefully checked all the pockets before I loaded everything into the dryers, my previous superior attitude properly put in its place. I haven’t returned to the laundromat again since this embarrassing episode and am on the search for a washer and dryer so I can do laundry in the privacy of my own home sans signs and Big Brother.

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