No Taming This Shrew


My Beautiful Laundrette

Like any good single girl living in an apartment, I used my day off to do laundry. Our laundromat is pretty kicking, actually -- pool tables, lots of video game, radio stations, TVs playing -- so it's always an experience. I tend to go as soon as it opens so that it's not a feeding frenzy of people. I'm usually happily ensconced in a chair with a book or magazine while my unmentionables are swirling towards perfumed cleanliness. No one bothers me, I go about my business.

Not so yesterday.

I apparently was putting off some sort of weird phermone. Or maybe it was my new bottle of Gain. (FYI, I'm totally going back to Tide. Gain smells weirdly of patchouli, which may be my least favorite smell after 'dead animal.') In any case, I was sitting there minding my own business when a lovely little old man came over and asked me if I had a garden.

Thinking, "Great, looney at 8 am," I responded in the negative with a polite smile. He asked then if I had pots, dirt, windowboxes, anything? I said, "no sir." He then grinned and said he had all these extra bulbs from his lilies and could I please take two? He'd teach me how to plant them. I said, "Well, ok." and he proceeded to teach me all about lilies. I took the baggie of two hideous looking bulbs and thought maybe I'd try and make this happen. Then he appeared 10 minutes later witih a 5 gallon drum (from where? No idea.) and said, "this will help you get started!" So sweet. So now there's a 5 gallon drum and two huge bulbs in my car. No idea what to do with them, since I'm pretty sure I need a hose to wash out this mysterious bucket. At least a man gave me flowers, right?

But he left to go foist some bulbs on the other customers. Then came along stranger number two. To set the scene, I'm wearing my Poultry Science T-shirt to the 'mat. My old housemate analyzed chicken sperm at the Uni, and their lab sold t-shirts to raise money, so I have a bright red t-shirt with chickens on it. I have realized belatedly that it's a conversation starter. I scared off one person a while back by responding to his perfectly reasonable question, "what's poultry science" with: "my housemate masturbates chickens and studies their sperm count" and then turning my be-chickened back on him. Charming girl I am.

So fellow number two approaches and asks, "What's poultry science?" I was in a good mood after the nice little old man gave me flowers (or potential flowers), so I told him "it's not my science! I work on Shakespeare!" Fatal error. This launched him into his life story and how he's studying cognitive grammar ("you mean like cognitive linguistics?" "No," he said. Ok...?) and how the county is going downhill and what's my story and isn't Shakespeare hard since it's in old english and Baltimore is crime-ridden and these college students are pushing our rents up and blah blah blah. So I try to surreptitiously fold my undies and other clothes under the hawk-eyed stare of jabberjaw until my towels are dry.

But this isn't even the best part of the story. When I came into the 'mat and started sorting my laundry (yeah, I sort. You heard me.), I was at a table next to a lovely old couple who were laundering together. We exchanged pleasantries, and continued sorting. At one point while I was chatting, I reached into my basket for the next item, and pulled out a t-shirt. Out of the t-shirt vibrator.


But not everyone is quickwitted enough to bring it to the laundromat and whip it out in front of a very nice pair of older people!

Thankfully, I think I realized in under a second what I was holding, put my hand back in the basket and covered it with "delicates to wash later" without dropping eye contact with my friends. It all happened in horrifying slow motion: "Niiiiice weeeaaaaattthhhheeeerr wweeee'rrreee haaavvviiinnggg ooooooohhhhh nooooooo!!!!" But I cannot imagine that they didn't notice the rather suggestive and brightly colored appliance in my grasp. My laundry basket is near my bed, so I can only assume that it got tossed there at some point in recent memory. I now have it on a chain like the pens at the bank.

Some people get more accomplished by 10 am than the rest of the world does in a day. I get more stories. This is one.