The Wild World of Laundry

3 06 2007

Frequently when I got to switch the laundry over from the washer to dryer, I’m astonished to see what has happened in the machine. Things become twisted, knotted, interwoven. I’ve found the agitator wearing my shirts as if it were ready for a night out on the town. Once, I even found a pair of my pants wearing a pair of my wife’s underwear, how extraordinary is that? The biggest culprit is my wife’s bras. They twist up like a tornado, they penetrate and bind the laundry like The Force, the straps tie themselves up into intricate sailors knots. I don’t know how they do what they do.

I can imagine a Pixar film about the secret life of laundry. The washer lid closes and the clothing all comes alive. The water fills and they are able to move and dance and caress each other in the swirling soapy vortex. Maybe they get loopy off the laundry detergent. I can imagine how under the influence of Purex the Bras (oh those bras) become Sadomasochistic villains. They would have a deep, husky Cruella DeVille voice and whip the laundry into submission. They would use their long reach to tie up the shirts in dominatrix fashion.   Meanwhile, it’s a disco throughout the rest of the washer–a drug-induced orgy of fabric delights (…not very Pixar, I guess).  Maybe, just maybe, though, not everyone is into the party and threatening to ruin it for everyone else. The socks.  The socks are quiet and timid, just-say-no-drug-free-puritans and some of them want to blow the whistle or maybe just get out alive.  This is why socks disappear.  They find their opportunity and fall between washers or cling to the back or shirts and look for a chance to drop to safety.  Or maybe the bras have gotten word of their dastardly plan to break silence and inform us of the cotton debauchery going on behind their backs and make the socks quietly “go away”.

Maybe, maybe this all happens.  Or maybe the twisting back and forth action of the agitator just gets everything kind of twisted up.  That could be it, but I’d like to think that laundry time is disco time.


The teeth of knitted gears turns slowly through the night

15 01 2007

Recently I’ve come up with a theory on the brain, or maybe a metaphor.  The brain is like a giant Rube Goldberg Device that at its end cranks a gumball machine that dispenses a memory.  You see, something happens that triggers the machine.  As the machine works in the background your brain moves on to other things.  Then later, all of a sudden, the memory is dispensed and pops up into the foreground. 

 The metaphor is, perhaps, a bit strained.  It could be the type of gumball machine that has a marble roller-coaster before the treat is delivered.  Or it could be one of the tall ones that send the gumball down a long spiral.  The point of the Rube Goldberg Device is the delay between and the stimulus and the response.  And the reason I am calling it a gumball machine at the end is that the memories can seem rather random.

 I thought this up after reading through my high school yearbook for the first time in a long time.  Some memories were rather instantaneous.  Faces long forgotten were suddenly before me and the corresponding details came immediately to light.  However, in the background, the device had been triggered.  Later at work the following day, memories kept plunking down from the gumball machine.  Some memories were fresher and cleaner and others required some dusting off.  I guess high school is now far enough in my past that many of its memories are deeply buried in the old filing cabinets in an abandoned part of the memory warehouse.  It was actually rather enjoyable to be nostalgic about high school.  Someday, another 13 years from now something may trigger the device and this memory will come spilling out of the gumball machine.