Of Pincher Bugs, Panties, and Cardboard Towels

We had an eventful weekend. Friday, as we were getting ready for our god-awful Friday meeting, our drier broke. It simply stopped spinning. J had a shirt in it to fluff, and the thing had been sitting there, cooking for twenty minutes, and decidedly not fluffing.

Because we don’t get paid until the end of the month, and because we’re completely broke from lack of work over the summer, we can’t get it fixed (or get a new one, which I fear we will have to do). So on Saturday, I washed four loads of laundry, and I headed out to our town’s only laundromat with a stack of papers to grade. If nothing else, it was going to be a productive day.

When I arrived, I found that three blocks in the center of town were experiencing a power outage, and–you guessed it–the laundromat was on one of those blocks. So I headed over to K*mart, hoping to buy a pop-up, freestanding clothesline.

No such luck.

So I purchased a Martha Stewart Clothesline (an over-priced rope) and Martha Stewart clothespins (yes, they’re various shades of sage green), and I went home optimistic that I could make this work. We hung our clothes on the line when I was a kid every summer. I loved how they used to smell of pine and fresh mountain air. Really.

When I got home, I quickly strung up two forty-foot lines of clothesline using our fence as my anchors. I made it as tight as I could, trying to account for some sagging that would be sure to occur. I didn’t know just how much saggage there would be.

As soon as I hung the first towel on the line, the thing dipped four feet, bringing my freshly washed towel within a foot of the ground. With each article of clothing, the whole lot of them sunk closer and closer to the grass below. By the time we were finished, everything was within a couple of inches of the ground. But that was okay. At least there was some sun.

Have I mentioned that we live on the coast? That we can hear the ocean from our house? That we have intermittent fog throughout the day–every day? You see, when I was growing up, I lived in a place that was dry and warm, so our clothes dried–at the most–within twelve or so hours of hanging them up, but it was usually more like five hours. Here, our clothes–on two sunny days–took over 36 hours to dry. Some things, like socks, were not dry until today: Monday.

But that’s not the best of it. The best of it is that when we went to pull our clothes and towels off of the line, we were met with new surprises that we hadn’t considered. The first were the towels, which now resembled something closer to cardboard covered in sandpaper. So long lufa! Hello air-dried towel! Only two were even remotely usable. The rest have to be rewashed and dried if we don’t want to lose three or four layers of skin.

The other pleasant surprise occurred when we took our underwear off the line only to find pincher bugs on nearly half of them! We shook them out carefully, and I think/hope/pray that we got all of them. Just thinking about it makes me shiver.

I learned three valuable lessons this weekend:

  1. We are not living out a quaint little episode of Little House on the Prairie, nor do we want to.
  2. We like modern conveniences and the soft, touchable fabrics they bring to us.
  3. And most importantly: Beware pincher bugs. They’re pervs.

T

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Of Pincher Bugs, Panties, and Cardboard Towels

  1. UGH. I hate those freaking bugs. Wow – eventful weekend is right! If nothing else, maybe all that happened to give your readers a few laughs!! 🙂

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