I was just trying to be helpful. Yesterday, while I was doing some of my usual domestic chores, I noticed a basket of clothes separated and ready for the washing machine. So being the usual helpful guy I am, I tossed the stuff in the washer and continued vacuuming.
By the time I fnished with the vacuum cleaner, the wash cycle was done, and being the efficient and helpful guy I am, I transferred the wet clothes to the dryer to complete the job. So far so good, right? So why did I get that old familiar feeling of forbodeing while the clothes tumbled warmly in the dryer? Somehow, someway, I knew that I probably had screwed it up. It seems that whenever I try to do laundry, something goes awry. My feelings of dread warned me that this time would be no exception.
Washing the stuff is generally no problem. It's when it comes to the drying part that my world tumbles out of control. You see, there are apparently some very complicated rules about what can or can't be put in the dryer. What those rules are escapes me. I just know that I always seem to break one or two of them. I figure if it's wet, it needs to be dry. Hence the invention of the clothes dryer. Simple, straightforward, nothing complicated about it. Except when it comes to women's clothes. They are, for some unknown reason, allergic to hot dry air. You know, the kind of air you find in a clothes dryer.
Unfortunately some of Mary's precious TOPS were in that load of laundry that I was so efficiently taking care of. How was I supposed to know that her TOPS were so special that they require unusually tender treatment. Hot dry air apparently turns them into mere SHIRTS. (Can someone please explain to me why women wear TOPS and men wear SHIRTS. They look and function pretty much the same as far as I can tell.) So, of course, having made the egregious blunder of mistaking her TOPS
for the lesser species of SHIRTS, I knew that when the mistress returned home later, I would be in danger of receiving another orifice gouged out where I already have a perfectly fine functioning one.
I devised a course of action to try to blunt her coming tirade, sure to be accompanied by excessive wailing and gnashing of teeth. I lay down for a nap. I figured that when she made the discovery of her precious TOPS having been so visciously violated by my careless handling, if I was asleep, or at least pretending to be, she would take a softer approach to reaming me out. Oh, silly man!
When she came home and found me lying on the couch, napping so innocently, she was the kind and loving person I have loved all these years. A tender hello kiss to my forehead and a solicitous inquiry about my day was, I knew, merely the calm before the storm. Dr. Jehkl and Mr. Hyde? Amateurs. Jack the Ripper? A choir boy. Attilla the Hun? Your favorite grandpa.
Hell hath no fury like a women whose TOPS have been abused. The walls shook, the windows that didn't shatter rattled mightily, the air turned suddenly sulfurous (sort of like the UN after Dubya's stint there last week), and an ungodly screech pierced the once tranquil air surrounding my napping place. I clenched both cheeks as tightly as I could, awaiting the attack that was rumbling down the stairs from where she discovered the desiccrated clothing.
My formerly loving, solicitous, and charming spouse was the devil incarnate at that moment. I tried to appear nonchalant and matter-of-fact about the episode, feigning indifference and even attempting ignorance as a defense, but she was having none of it. I will be standing and walking even more slowly than usual for awhile while I get used to the new and larger opening where her wrath was directed and found its mark.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some SHIRTS that need to be laundered. And DRIED.