I hate doing laundry. Haven’t done it since I’ve moved to New York. That’s when I discovered the magic of having your laundry picked up and delivered by this great place a block away from my house. It’s more expensive than doing it myself, but there are a few things in life worth shelling out a few extra dollars for. Recusing yourself from the banal horrors of laundry is one of them. Call it the “Getting to Avoid Sitting in a Laundromat” tax, and I pay it gladly.
I’ve sent my laundry to the same spot for three years to the point where they know my name. Hell, they probably know my clothes. I’m surprised I don’t comments on the state of them at pickup. “Here’s your ticket and we all have bets on your Virginia Tech t-shirt – it’s looking a little ratty and we think the hole under the arm’s going to expand even more this time. Maria has $50 on it though, she thinks it’s a fighter. She said to tell you, ‘Go Hokies.'”
Recently, and this is sad, there was a fire at the laundromat. Luckily everyone was okay, but the actual laundromat itself is no longer open. About a week after hearing about the fire, my forgetful ass calls them out of habit (let me reiterate: I stupidly forgot about the fire. It’s not like I heard about it and thought, “Oh boo hoo. It’s not my fault you forgot to clear out the lint trap. Now get over here and pick up my official white guy uniform polo shirts and khakis, chop-chop!”)
So I call the place and request a pickup. The owner (who sometimes picks up and drops off my stuff) answers as if his business hadn’t been engulfed in flame days prior and says he’ll be right over. He picks it up 20 minutes later then drops it off a few hours afterwards, completely laundered. I think that’s the right verb.
A few days later I’m walking by the laundromat and I see a sign that says, “We’re temporarily closed – all calls to us will go directly to the owner.”
So I thought about it a little: is the owner just washing and drying my clothes at his place?
I mean, I don’t really care if he is, I guess. I just think it’s a little weird that instead of having a laundromat staff wash and dry my clothes in an actual laundromat, this guy might be hanging my soaking wet whites and colors on the clothesline outside his apartment. He probably doesn’t want people to know that, either, but he may tip his hand when I call him:
“Hey Mike, your clothes aren’t quite ready yet. Still gotta fold them and place them on my ironing board.”
“Oh, no problem, I…wait what was that?”
“Yeah, my 100 year old grandmother was using it to iron her blouse. She’s done with it now though.”
“Oh yeah, okay…uh…so wait, am I going to be getting a blouse back?”
The only truly weird part about this is my clothes have never been in another domicile without me being with them. What if there’s some obscure law on the books saying if that happens, the clothes now belong to him? He shows up to drop the bag off and it’s way lighter. “Hey man, what happened to my clothes?” He shrugs, wearing my Giants hoodie and an ill-fitting collared shirt I just bought at Target. “What are you gonna do man? That’s laundry for ya.”
Like I said, I don’t care where my laundry gets done, it’s just weird is all. Or…maybe it’s inspiring? What’s to stop me from opening my own laundry service? I could make a fortune. And I hear what you’re saying: “But Mike, you don’t have a washer OR dryer!” Don’t need one. I just call my usual laundry guy and have him do it. Inception that shit. It’s brilliant.
I’ll call it “Mike and Some Other Guy’s Laundry Service.” Coming, 2017.