And Now, a Few Minutes with Sebastian

Did you ever notice how long the distance is between the washing machine and the dryer at your local coin-operated laundro-mat, or in the washroom at your apartment complex? Maybe you don't use the laundro-mat. Maybe you have those big, noisy, expensive machines at home. But for the rest of those Americans who don't, like me, the trip your freshly-washed clothes make from laundry machine to dryer can be fraught with peril. I can't remember the last time I pulled my damp clothes out of the washer without dropping at least a couple of socks. And on a bad day, I find myself picking up just-cleaned sweaters and pants off a dirty laundro-mat floor. I might be clumsier than the average man, but I can't be the only one who's had this experience.

Clothes are still damp, of course, when they come out of the washing machine. I've noticed that they have a tendency to stick together, like cooked pasta. No matter how many clothing items you pull out, there's always one or two at the end of the chain, determined to fall on the floor. After a lifetime of doing laundry, I've yet to find a good solution.

I like to bring my laundry to the laundro-mat in a sack. I've tried using the laundry sack to transport the clothes to the dryer, but it's so hard to keep the sack open while I'm putting clothes into it and besides, the clothes aren't dry yet, so after I load them into the dryer, I'm left with a damp sack.

Sometimes I use a plastic laundry basket. The problem I've found is that most laundry baskets are round, so they don't fit snugly against the front of the washing machine, and clothes fall to either side of the basket. You might be thinking, why don't you just use a square laundry basket? Well, it's true that they make square plastic laundry baskets, but do I really want to use the basket I've been keeping my dirty laundry in all week to transport my clean wash? I might as well not even wash my clothes in the first place.

Some laundro-mats provide little square carts to transport your laundry from the washers to the wall of dryers on the other side of the room. In my experience, these carts are usually almost as dirty as the floor.

My question is why we have to cart our clothes so far to begin with. Every laundry room I've ever been to has a group of washers on one side of the room, and a separate group of dryers on the other side. Wouldn't it make more sense if every washer was paired with a dryer, the way people do at home? At least then you wouldn't have to carry everything across the room, dropping socks and shirts on the floor along the way.

Sometimes I wonder why we even have to have two separate machines to begin with. The washing machine already wrings the excess water out of my clothes. Why couldn't they just strap a blow-dryer onto the washing machine and have it finish the job?

RIP, Andy Rooney. Sunday evenings at my Grandmother's house as a child wouldn't have been the same without you.


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