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Coffee and Laundry

Hey, are you looking for a little extra work? Not the kind of work that generates income. I’m not talking about stuffing envelopes from home or selling a kidney. I’m talking about honest-to-goodness WORK, the kind that builds character without building equity.

You do? Great! Here’s how –

Wash and fold some laundry. Now carefully place the folded laundry in a laundry basket. Be sure to use a laundry basket with big holes in the sides. This is critical. Next, set a big cup of hot, black coffee down on top of the washing machine. Set it just to the left of the laundry basket.

Once you have these elements in place, do something else for approximately 3.8 seconds. Yell at a kid. Sniff your armpit. Put away the detergent. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it long enough to forget that you just put your coffee down 3.8 seconds ago.

Now grab the laundry basket by the handles and swing it swiftly to the left, as if you were about to carry the basket out of the room and put away some freshly cleaned and folded laundry. Do it with a sense of pride and purpose, as if you were finally getting something done around here, and could move on to the next project on your impossibly long list of tasks that have come to define your mundane existence.

If you do this properly, you will strike the coffee cup with enough force that the liquid inside will sloosh out of the cup, through the holes in the basket and into the laundry.

Did I mention that this should be done with whites? Don’t use a basket full of blue jeans or old towels. Use white clothing: lots of socks that need to be paired and folded, some white shirts (especially the good ones with collars and buttons), and maybe some random undies.

Not only will the slooshing of the coffee colorize your clothing, coffee will be distributed throughout the laundry room, including on the walls and floor; and in a particularly ironic development, it will gather in the little detergent drawer in the washing machine itself.

If you are fortunate enough to have a tile floor in your laundry room, the coffee cup will strike it and explode into about eight-hundred and sixty-two razor-sharp ceramic daggers. The sound of the coffee cup-to-dagger conversion and your subsequent string of profanity will attract your barefoot children.

To ensure that at least one of your shoeless progeny enters the room, be sure to shout, “Don’t come in here!”

If the child’s own momentum doesn’t carry him into the room, your shouting will certainly do the trick. No child in the history of spoken language has ever stayed out of a room with an adult inside, bellowing for them to stay out. The reason is simple. Those rooms are the BEST!

Those are the kinds of rooms where you can see the most crazy, inexplicable things. Any child entering a don’t-come-in-here-room is guaranteed to leave that room later with at least one great story to tell his friends later. The story may involve a horrific mess, unwrapped Christmas presents, naked adults, or possibly all of the above.

In no time flat, you will have generated a number of new tasks for yourself. You should have a crying child with cup-shard embedded in his foot, socks to un-ball, laundry to wash before the stain sets, flesh rending ceramic bits to sweep up, and coffee in a spectacular number of previously coffee-free places.

If you do this right, you can even parlay this into a regrettable conversation with your spouse. Discuss where the broom should be stored because it’s not in the goddamn broom closet when you need it and you hate tracking bits of coffee cup all over the goddamn house while you look for the goddamn thing. (By the way, the broom is actually where you put it.)

So… what did you do this morning? I was working.

8 Responses to Coffee and Laundry

  1. Ann Murray Paige June 1, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    Looks like we were doing similar things this morning. Except you forgot spill the coffee on the freshly folded laundry LOL Nice post G.C.!

  2. Gordon Caulkins June 1, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    Thanks! For variety sake, next time I’ll spill red wine into the laundry basket.

  3. Steve H. June 1, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Good thought. Red wine is really more appropriate for evening laundry.

  4. Quentin June 2, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    Yes, red wine after a long day hosting a party. Perfect!

  5. Skiznot June 4, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    “The story may involve a horrific mess, unwrapped Christmas presents, naked adults, or possibly all of the above.”

    HA! It’s amazing how quick the mind creates a single scenario that covers all of the above.

  6. Bret June 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    You know that’s why you drink Vodka in the AM and Coffee in the PM, unless this happened in the PM, then reverse my suggestion, or skip the coffee.

    New invention = clear coffee. Save a shirts life.

  7. Paul June 26, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    Your column is the best thing in DavisLife Magazine. Even though the other writer’s piece on strawberry shortcake made me consider using my oven for the first time in four years, I still think your column on getting locked out of the house while nude is better….even better than that piece on General McChrystal in Rolling Stone!

    There’s only one thing I’m curious about: when the coffee cup hit the ground, did you immediately say anything out loud?

  8. NaTaS July 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    That’s why I just drink vodka in the morning.