Saturday, March 8, 2008

Rusty Pails #22
The Laundrymat

by Rocky Macy

On chilling days – those dark and dreary days
Unfit for sales or chewing fat,
I park my bones where life’s more cheery
Down at the Sprung Hinge Laundrymat. RP

Some of life’s best diversities are free – or leastways inexpensive. Next to sales and Shadetree Mike’s domino table, my favorite hangout is the Sprung Hinge Laundrymat. I manage to stop by once every couple of weeks, whether my overalls and longhandles need the attention or not.

The laundrymat is the town’s cultural center. The bulletin board (a great place to learn about upcoming sales) also displays works by some of the towns most colorful writers. One fellow, a Mr. Anon, has been creating a stream of limericks for years that have left the bulletin board a blazed a literary path across two walls and through the men’s room. At times his versification nearly disappears into the artwork being done by tomorrow’s masters. Their crayon and spray paint splashes enliven the laundry’s interior with color combinations and designs that defy description.

And then there’s the people! The laundrymat is open twenty-hours a day-- every day – so who you see (and what you hear) depends on when you are there. I stagger the times of my visits. This lets me see more folks, and it usually keeps me out of the clutches of Gladys Clench and the town’s other sinister spinsters who cruise the laundrymat in search of helpless bachelors.

The variety of customers is endless – from young mothers with bales of diapers to senior citizens combining their small loads to save money. My favorites, though, are the young singles – the kids just learning how to survive away from home. There’s something downright heartwarming in seeing some youngster with tennis shoes and pimples put two loads of dirty clothes and a box of soap in the dryer!

But then, it doesn’t take much to entertain old Rusty!

Auction Tip: Don’t pass up a sale just because you’re late. The best items are usually held to the last anyway.

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