Archive | 12:11 am

Another Untold Tale of the Laundromat Game

7 Apr

NEW April 7, 2011

Maybe it’s just me. I go to the Laundromat and I get hit on by old ladies, glared at by guys who can’t answer a Jeopardy! question


and run into my old boss, who pretends not to see me while I pretend not to see her. They also tend to lose my laundry but that seems quite normal


compared to the other things that have happened to me there.

For reasons best left unasked I’ve since changed Laundromats. This one seemed a bit more normal. The people going there are a bit more business-like, at least in terms of their wash. They put their stuff in the washer, sit and

**BELCH!** Oh!

watch TV or wait outside, then put the wash in the dryer, sit and wait, take their clothes out, fold, and leave. The downside is that there are more people dragging their kids to this one as it is in the middle of a residential neighborhood as opposed to the old one which was in a strip mall. It seems like there is always some kid racing up and down the place and trying to shove a toy at you for no good reason.

This particular day seemed to be going better than most. Oh sure, there was a lot of rain that day, and yeah, the news was full of the usual horror and mayhem, but in my own private little world things were going well. I was

**BELCH!** Phhheeew **BELCH!** Oh!

GODDAMMIT I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! If that woman belches one more friggin’ time I am going to stuff her socks so far down her throat that she’ll be belching lint by the time I’m through with her. Man, what the Hell does she


A little bit of background and some architectural context before I get back to my rant.

The main part of this Laundromat is a long rectangle. Washers line the long wall on the left, dryers line the long wall on the right. You enter from one short end and you are facing the other short end upon whose wall hangs a large TV. There are four tables going across the rectangle the short way, so that if you are folding your clothes you are either facing the TV or have your back to it depending on which side of the table you are on.

In between the tables are rows of chairs, the plastic kind that are linked together in groups of five. They alternate- tables, chairs, tables, chairs. There is more than enough room between the tables so that if you are sitting in the chairs you are not being bumped into by people moving behind you or have laundry flapping in your face when they fold. It is a good arrangement because there are enough tables for everyone and you have plenty of room to move while folding. While sitting you can stretch your legs a bit and not trip anyone.

The only drawback is that when it is crowded people sitting in the chairs may not be able to see the TV because the people standing and folding their clothes can block them. However, I have never seen the place that crowded and I’ve never had my view blocked nor blocked anyone.

On this particular day I went to fold my clothes and noticed that a woman had seated herself in the row of chairs behind me. It wasn’t a problem. She was seated near the far end of the row and I used the end of the table away from her so as to be polite and not block the TV.

I had seen here there before a couple of times. She looked and acted a bit on the oddball side but still in the normal range. Physically she was about my height but much heavier. She dressed a bit roughly but on laundry day I’ve been known to wear sweat pants and a hospital scrub top so I didn’t hold it against her. She was obviously a mother, I assume, due to the children’s clothing she was washing. (If there is another explanation keep it to yourself.) There was never really anything I could put my finger on but she just had an oddball vibe about her. I’ll give you two examples.

The first time I noticed her was when she asked me if I had a quarter for some change. She was one quarter short for her laundry. I did and held it out to her and then she got very apologetic that she only had two quarters to give me in return. “Is it all right? Are you sure? Really, are you sure it’s all right? I’m five cents short. You really don’t mind? I can get five more cents somewhere.” I really didn’t mind and gave her the quarter for her two dimes.

I saw her again once or twice but on one occasion she spilled some detergent and went to the woman running the place to get a mop so she could clean it up. The woman in charge wanted to clean it but the customer refused and insisted on cleaning it herself. Nice. Nothing wrong there, rather polite. Problem was the woman suddenly got very busy with a shipment that came in, big boxes of laundry supplies. The odd woman started to fret that someone would slip (again, nice) even though there were only a handful of people there and we all saw the spill and were in fact on the other side of the store. The woman finally made a homemade mop out of a broom and a rag she found in a sink and tried to clean up the spill but only succeeded in spreading it.

Again, not too odd, hard to put a finger on it, but I wondered why she didn’t wipe up the laundry detergent with one of the towels that she had in her basket and was going to put in the wash anyway. And if the towels got full of detergent, big deal. That was already going to happen in the washer.

So I knew the woman by sight and made sure to stand out of her way so she could see the TV and I started folding when


she let out a really loud belch. OK. It happens. It would have been nice to get an excuse me though. Less than a minute later


it happened again, this time followed by a little “oh!”

I looked around to see if I could catch anyone else’s eye but the rest of the people doing their wash were in the front part of the store behind me. If you still have that little diagram of the store in your mind’s eye, I was at the table closest to the TV, facing it. The belching woman was in the chairs behind me and to my left, and everyone else was behind her.

I sighed a little and kept

**BELCH!** Pheeew

folding, now through gritted teeth. Ever try to fold when your hands are clenched into fists? I was really getting annoyed and was peeking at her out of the corner of my eye. Maybe she was sick. Maybe she had a gastrointestinal problem. She was a really heavy woman, obese. Maybe this was due to a medical condition. It didn’t excuse her impoliteness at not at least saying excuse me- or moving outside- but it would at least be an explanation.

Well I peeked out of the corner of my eye and got an explanation.

She was belching because she was taking swigs out of a can of Coke and belched after every drink. Every drink, a belch.


NOW I WAS PISSED. It was totally disgusting. I was still folding but I was also waiting for the next shoe to drop. If the soda made her so gassy that she had to let out a loud gross belch then logic says STOP DRINKING THE DAMN SODA.

I was folding a towel and trying to watch the news on the TV (next story- man assaults belching woman in Laundromat) when

**BEEEEELCHuhhhhhhhERP!** Oooof!

This time I turned around. The woman was belching in the act of standing up. She had heaved herself to her feet and finding herself upright, let out that “oooof!” as if the effort was just too much. And seeing that she was as big as one of the large machines there it was probably justified. But nothing justified the senses-and-sensibility barrage unleashed upon me by her gassy stomach. It could have been worse, I suppose. That gas could have come out of her ass.

She walked to the far corner of the laundry, soda can in tow, and bent down and started taking some dry wash out of a dryer. When she bent I expected the mother of all belches but it stayed quiet.

I finished my folding quick as a shot and got the Hell out of Dodge.

I said it before and I’ll say it again. I should do my laundry at home.

%d bloggers like this: