I have many, many stories of all my trips to the laundromat over the years from people getting into fights of dryers to one guy stripping down to his underwear to wash “everything.” But Sunday’s trip with my mom has to be at the top of my list. Mom and I decided to go to the laundromat before I drove home after visiting her. Famous last words from my mom: “it’ll be quick.” “It’ll be easy.”
Our trip to the mat was anything but the above — but it did have me laughing half the way back home Sunday afternoon.
It started out as a typical trip. Load laundry in the car, drive to laundromat. Load laundry into machines. Sit down and begin talking and people-watching. Easy, right? Wrong.
It all started with flickering lights. No biggie, right? Again, wrong. About every second dryer stopped working as well. Well, surely that wasn’t a big deal either, since we didn’t need the dryers yet. Right? Surely the attendant knows how to flip a breaker back on right? Wrong. At this point we just kinda sat back and listened to others get upset — until we realized it was affecting washers too. We looked at mom’s washers and everything seemed fine.
I started to laugh when one guy took his clothes directly out of a tub filled with water and loaded them into the dryer. Another lady behind us was trying to get her washer to restart and finish a cycle.
The place went from calm and collected to a collective angry madhouse. It’s unbelievable how upsetting it is for people when you mess with their laundry and interrupt their Sunday routine.
But, so far, we seemed immune. Until we went over to mom’s front-loader again and it was just sitting there — a steady stream of water pouring over the clothes. The power issue had stopped it mid-cycle and it was stuck on the rinse cycle.
I began to look for the attendant, realizing we were going to have a problem. Front loaders don’t open mid-cycle. The attendant was hunched over a folding table surrounded by people demanding their money back, demanding their clothes and demanding she get all the washers and dryers working.
“Oh hell,” I thought, as I made my way to her to get in line. All my mom’s clothes were stuck — surely she can just reset the machine.
“The owner is coming!” the attendant kept telling everyone.
“I don’t know how to fix all this!” she kept saying.
I instantly felt sorry for her.
Then it became comical.
“Hey you better turn off all the power!” a random guy, who was running across the laundromat yelled. “Those lights are smoking!”
We all looked at the attendant, who looked back at us with a blank stare.
She didn’t know where the power box was.
Me, being the curious person I am, went over to the smoking light, watched it and started laughing. At this point, it became hilarious. I’m in a laundromat with a herd of angry people — because man, don’t mess with laundry! And nobody knows how to get the power off, the light was smoking and what if the place catches fire? At least there are plenty of exit doors, I decided as I sat down in front of mom’s washer. And nobody thought we needed to call the fire department. For the record, it stopped smoking a bit later. I guess it gave up on its part of the drama. LOL.
Mom and I sat a few more minutes, tried telling people to not load their clothes and then chuckled when they wouldn’t listen and their washers held their clothes hostage too. Seriously, we did try to tell them. At one point I tried to go to the washer and pry it open, only to have the attendant tell me it’ll cause a flood. Good point, I suppose, except my mom’s clothes were being held hostage and I admit at this point I was starting to join the angry mob.
Eventually mom had to drive me back to her apartment so I could go home and a couple hours later I got a text saying she was finally done after going to another laundromat — having had to wash her clothes twice.
But, I can’t say I’d have had Sunday any other way. Gained another memory. Another laugh. Another moment. Life is made up of moments that keep us laughing and on our toes. Three cheers for laundromat madness!