Sunday 19 January 2014


Today was laundry day at our house. We don’t have a specific day that we do laundry every week; sometimes it can be two weeks between laundering, sometimes more. It all depends on mood, inclination and how fast we are running out of clothing. We have closets and drawers full of clothing and I suppose we could go quite a long time before anyone commented that we stunk. We’ve been called stinkers, but that is something completely different. This was a middling kind of wash day. We had clothes, but they were the ones that normally wouldn’t be my first choice to wear.

Louise generally does the washing. I don’t think she likes it, but she really doesn’t trust me not to screw things up. I am more than willing to do the work, but I don’t really care if something fades or gets little balls on it. I take direction well, but for Louise it must be like trying to explain to a dog that it isn’t polite to sniff someone’s genitals. I just don’t get it.

I’ve never really understood the challenge of doing the laundry. I am sure it is a flaw in my personality, but it just seems really simple to me. You take a bunch of dirty clothes, toss them in a box with some detergent and then press a button. Eventually the washer stops and then you move the wet clothing into another box, press a button and an hour later the clothes are dry and ready to be put away. I’m sure it was a really tough job when you had to go down to the river and beat the clothing on the rocks to get them clean.
My job today was to move wet clothing from washer to dryer and empty the dryer once the clothes were dry. Then I carried them upstairs, folded and put my clothes away, while folding Louise’s stuff and setting it where it could be refolded and then put away properly. Of course, between every load I would have to clean the lint out of the dryer lint catching thingy.  I am always surprised at how much lint there is, and the different colours depending on what was in the dryer. It always seems to smell clean and it’s really soft.

I suppose that if a guy were motivated he would be able to save up the lint and when enough accumulated you could spin it into wool and make a sweater or socks which in turn would create lint to make more clothing. That is the fabric circle of life I guess.

I remember reading somewhere that the Mongols of central Asia would make their homes from felt. They were called “Yurts” and although I don’t know the exact measurements, they were large enough for a family to live in. That is a lot of felt. It would have to be pretty thick to keep the wind and rain out and the “home” in.
Felt is made from tiny fibres that are compressed together with moisture to form sheets of various thicknesses. I can’t help but think that those old Mongols could have used the lint from my dryer. It would take a long time to get that much lint, but they are in Mongolia and really there isn’t much to do other than play polo with human heads. I’m talking about 3000 years ago; I imagine they use soccer balls now. Probably.

I wonder where they got all of their lint. They didn’t have dryers and even if they did, it would take a long time to save up that much lint. You would just dread it if your wife said she wanted a bigger Yurt. You know she would just keep nagging about how small the Yurt was and how the Khans had just gotten a new Yurt. I think I know where they got those heads for polo.

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