A Washerman’s Tale

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My wife’s in Australia. She went over for the grandtwins’ fourth birthday and will stay for 2 months. That’s 2 months that I can devote to writing, and I’ve started on the sequel to The Black Orchestra.

Today, I decided I needed to wash some clothes as I’m running out of underwear. I put a load into the washing machine, added 2 soap tablets and fabric softener and a colour-catcher. Pressed the start/pause button and nothing happened. I opened the door and banged it closed again a few times. Still nothing.

Then I noticed a big dial marked with lots of options: quick cottons , quick, cottons, wool, synthetics, delicates, drain, rinse, spin, reverse thrusters, docking, main wash only, self-clean, intensive + U, intensive, colour, hygiene. This dial was parked at the top, marked “0”. Okay, so I had to make a choice here.

Over to the left, I found a series of buttons. I had to choose a temperature, a spin speed, and a load size. There were a few other buttons marked with strange hieroglyphs. I think one of those had something to do with the plasma flow rates for the warp engines. The other one was definitely for the inter-dimensional stabilizers. Either that or the inertia dampers. Anyway, I decided to ignore all those buttons. I’m sure the engineering department (aka my wife) would have pre-programmed these at their optimal settings. When did washing become so complicated? That machine is like a nuclear power station. And what smart Alec decided to do away with those nice, simple top-loaders?

Anyway, I pressed start/pause and off it went. An LED on the front showed me what it was doing, wash, rinse, spin, and the estimated time to completion.

When it was finished I extracted my washing and wouldn’t you know it, I finished up with 2 odd socks, one grey, the other navy blue. I hunted high and low for the missing items, but without success. The tumble drier took most of the moisture from my clothes, but I had to drape them over the radiators to get them completely dry.

Six hours later, as I was folding the duvet cover I detected something lurking inside. Ah-ha, I thought, I bet this is where those pesky socks have been hiding. I poked my hand in and pulled out just one sock – a black one!

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