Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Report: Day 48 

Yesterday I was at the laundromat scrubbin' the duds, you see. After the washers had finished their cycles, I loaded my clothes into the little wheelie cart and moved over to the dryer section. All the dryers were full and more than half of them were no longer spinning. I knew instantly what I had to do.

I waited quietly in a chair near the door. I picked up a Highlights magazine and flipped through it aimlessly as I waited for the offender to return for his or her dried clothes. Nearly 45 minutes later, a tiny Asian woman (tiny but not a midget) limped in relying heavily on her cane as she struggled to the back of the laundromat. She opened a dryer and began retrieving her belongings.

"Hold it right there, mother fucker! Freeze!" I yelled.

The woman slowly turned to look at me, an expression of surprise and fear plainly across her features.

"Are these your dry clothes?" I demanded.


"Do you know how long these clothes have been dry?"


"Do you see that wheelie cart over there full of wet clothes?"


"Did you know that if you'd come to collect your shit as the machine finished its cycle that mound of wet clothes may already be dry?"

"What is this?"

"Ma'am, I'm afraid that I have no choice. I'm placing you under citizen's arrest for extreme disregard for your fellow laundromat patrons. I have contacted the appropriate authorities and they're on their way. I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you not to leave the laundromat until they arrive to straighten this out. Do you understand what I'm demanding of you?"

"You can have the dryer now!" she pleaded.

"Oh, we're so far beyond that. You're in a world of shit now, baby."

"Please," she begged, "please, don't do this."

I considered her for a few moments and then I said, "well, I guess we might be able to make some kind of deal."

"Ok," she said. She already looked relieved.

"I'll call the laundromat authorities and advise them the situation is under control and they need not come to collect you if you give me two dryer sheets. I forgot mine. Oh, and you have to pick up the pace here. I need to get my clothes dry."

She considered the deal and apparently deciding it was in her best interest, she handed me two dryer sheets and emptied the dryer as quickly as her arthritic fingers would permit.

She didn't even bother to fold her clothes, she just took off.

I probably won't be able to use that laundromat again. Not after I shook a senior citizen down for dryer sheets. Some things you just can't come back from.

Today is a day of first impressions.

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