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Thursday, June 19, 2008

IMPortant Turn of Events

I’m pretty sure there’s an imp inside the dryer that turns all the shirts inside out. While everyone is spending their time looking for nonexistent sock snitchers, the real culprits are scurrying around like hamsters on a wheel saying “Quick, grab the washing label and run toward the neck!” and slipping down my new washable silk like sand down a sliding board. By the time they’ve whirled through the spin cycle and survived the “fluff and puff” stage of the dryer, the little imps have had ample time to make sure they’ve left no tag unturned. And a few extra seconds to pry a button loose on my new blouse.

Sometimes to fool them I’ll turn the shirts inside out myself before I launch them into the agitating vortex of the washer. I can just imagine their impish anguish when they find out the job’s done. Or perhaps it’s more a case of The Elves and The Shoemaker, and they’re gleefully performing a Playtime Polka in the washwater while I’m clinging to the machine during the presoak cycle, straining to see if there’s any action below the bubbles.

It’s not just shirts. Underwear invariably dives label-outward from the dryer into the hamper, and I have to execute the “arms through the legholes reverse maneuver” before I tuck them safely into the dresser drawer. I was perfectly aware of the tedium of housework when I signed up for this tour of duty, but if I had checked out the job description for Underwear Reversal Technician, I’m not sure I would have accepted the position. It’s not that I don’t have the qualifications or experience, but that’s a chore that ranks right up there with Shore Patrol for the Tidy Bowl Man.

Now when it comes to socks, I’m afraid I have the opposite problem from the rest of the population. I grow extras. Odd socks appear randomly and with abandon in my laundry room like I’m for lonely footwear. Once, after the children were grown, a bootie climbed carefully out of the lint trap and nestled in the palm of my hand. I didn’t have the heart to turn it away. It’s still curled into a tiny ball in the sock drawer where every now and then, Bill Dear will run across it and snort “Why do we keep this thing?” and tuck it carefully back under the argyles. I’m afraid that one day I’ll run across a single-socked baby at the Super Wal-mart and he’ll wiggle one set of bare toes meaningfully in my direction and demand the return of his fuzzy footwear. But I can’t help it if my home is a clearinghouse for every stray item in the universe.

I won’t even touch on my track record for acquiring lost kittens. They show up in the laundry room, too. But at least they use the door.


Erika said...

So that's where the mates to our one-sided socks end up. I want to meet the laundry imp that plays with stockings. I suppose it's my punishment for not hand-washing them.

plaidearthworm said...

Are these the imps that take my bras and wrap them around the agitator like some demented maypole? Darn imps!