Not wanting to take a chance that THE CLOG (now a horror movie in my mind) has moved on, I decided to take all the beach laundry to a laundromat yesterday. Sheets, mattress pads, pillows, along with the towels and regular laundry. Dearly Beloved’s oh-so-clean car looked like we lived in it after I filled the backseat with all that stuff. Our entire street wouldn’t have had enough laundry baskets to contain it.
The last laundromat I used here has disappeared, along with the shopping center which housed it, so it’s been awhile. You’d think I’d have noticed. A load of laundry cost 75 cents then.
I had to look online for others, my Yellow Pages having been delivered this week by someone who chose not to take them 15 inches farther onto a covered porch, but dropped them on the sidewalk where 6 1/2 inches of rain wiped them out Tuesday night. We have Yellow Page mold spot on our sidewalk now.
I found a laundromat several miles away between a barber shop and tattoo parlor in a strip mall. There were two attendants, but as I didn’t need either of the adjoining services, I opted to do my own laundry. I moved in with detergent, Clorox, softener, two books (I was almost finished with the latest Evanovich), magazine, cellphone, a large jar of quarters, and a McDonald’s large Diet Coke. (As Mona Lisa Vito said to My Cousin Vinny Gambini, “Oh yeah, you blend!”) Hey, I was a Brownie once!
I figured it was like riding a bicycle.
It took four trips in and three mega-washers to get the stuff washed. I opened the first washer to transfer the contents to a dryer, but nothing inside it looked familiar. More exactly, things weren’t recognizable, PERIOD. It took me a minute to figure out that a pillow had exploded. The stuffing was everywhere. Embarrassing. I looked around to see if the attendants were watching (I’m SO insecure!) and started tossing the innards into the nearby garbage can. Somehow I hit my basket of supplies and overturned my large Diet Coke which, even though it had a lid, spilled out toward my book, cellphone, and…holy crap! DB’s car keys! I dove and rescued them all before they got wet, but because I’d had to grab for them instead of the drink first, the bottom of the basket contained about a pint of drink. (It was a LARGE Diet Coke–I still had 2/3 of it left!)
The attendants weren’t in sight, so I dumped the spillage into the garbage can and mopped the table and floor the best I could with the pillow innards. Some of the drink had run down the front of the garbage can and I wasn’t able to get it all. I slunk over to the dryers and hid my remaining drink, just in case there was a big NO FOOD OR DRINK sign that I’d missed. I dumped a few pounds of quarters into the slots and settled back to wait. Once I peeked around the corner and saw the two attendants just as they noticed the Diet Coke-speckled garbage can. Their lips curled simultaneously in a sneer I personally would have reserved for someone clubbing puppies.
I shrank back to my hiding spot on the seat behind the washers.
The pillows weren’t dry at the end of the cycle and I’d already taken my quarters back to the car. I didn’t want to leave my sheets and pillowcases on the folding table, so I looked around for a friendly face. No need to look toward the front counter. There was a mother-daughter team on a nearby bench, eating subs and drinking Cheerwines. I didn’t want to bother them. Maybe they’d get fingered for the spillage.
I settled on the guy who was completely covered in tattoos on his arms and legs. They were friendly tattoos. I mean, if you can’t trust a guy with a rose on his shin…. Sure enough, he spotted me a quarter.
I smuggled the offending drink out with a stack of towels and pillows and although the attendant didn’t see the drink, she did see the pillow which matched the one in the garbage can. Busted! She glared at me.
I repaid the quarter to Tattooed Guy, loaded the car, and made it home in just over three-hours. DB helped me carry it all inside.
“You know…I played with the boys the whole time and got all the credit for Camp Granddad,” he told me, “but you did a lot of work.”
He didn’t look sorry.
I wonder if he’ll notice he’s missing a pillow.