On Laundry

Written by Mike Parish, Illustrated by Dan Tarnowski
On Laundry

As Rocko from Rocko’s Modern Life so famously proclaimed, “Laundry day is a very dangerous day.” While RML is a great reminder as to why all children’s television show creators should drop acid before writing each episode, this quote really hammers the point home. Laundry day is the most dangerous day of the week, month, or whatever time period it is you do your laundry in and it doesn’t take mind altering psychedelics to understand why.

As long as people have been wearing clothing (pronounced “klawth-ing”) there’s always come a time when that clothing has needed to be washed. Ancient Sumerians who lived in Mesopotamia realized that one spot in the river where they rinsed their loincloths got them exceptionally clean. What they didn’t realize and what it took scientists years later to figure out, was that the reason why was not because some special plant grew in that area but because the dead, whose funeral rites took place somewhat further upstream, produced a natural “soap” from body fat that collected in the pools. And thus, the first washing machine was birthed into the world by the very literal blood and sweat of human beings.

Aside from that, the real danger in laundry is that it will never, ever stop. You’ve heard the one about the socks making a break for it once they’re in the dryer. The reason is because they’re tired of getting dirty.

Laundry just keeps repeating the same cycles of clean and dirty and rinse and wash and spin and rinse and spin and clean and dirty… sometimes, I wish laundry just stayed clean forever. As the dirty pile gets higher, the want to do it gets lower and lower. The whole process is just one large cycle, as if someone in the sky set the universe knob to “start” and pulled it out.

That’s another reason laundry is so dangerous; like the socks planning their escape, we too want to escape the cycle. Most people will notice if your clothing smells bad. They’ll be vocal about it as if they had nothing better to do than indict you. Clothing gets it the worst in the summer, causing the whole affair to speed up and threaten to derail itself.

“Going commando” to avoid doing laundry is a nasty trick because it catches up with you like a world-class sprinter. Before you know it, whole pairs of jeans are bought to avoid the inevitable and eventually drawers of your dresser are overflowing with seven pairs of the same pants. And they all smell like you were sitting in a rotting pile of leaves all day. At that point, you’re better off just wearing nothing at all. But wasn’t that the point of “going commando” in the first place?

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