Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Joys of Laundry

I still don't own a washer and/or dryer. Every so often I want to ask Metafilter if there is some possible ecological justification for this, so I could at least feel smug about it, but somehow I never bother. It has to be better for the environment to concentrate laundry in one building, right? Right? Well. Eventually I'm going to get a washer and dryer of my very own, but not right this minute and so, last night, because you know, I like to live large, I went to a different laundromat.

Next week I'm going to have to go back to the old laundromat.

The Citgo on Amboy Road is my new kwikee mart convenience store - this is contemporary America: the Brits get local pubs, we get local kwikee marts in yet another glaring example of just how much cooler it is in Europe but oh well, you can't buy vitamin water, giant sized bags of ranch flavored Doritos and novelty Nascar lighters at traditional British pubs, now can you? - and it's weird. I mean, it's always been weird - I've always gone there, on and off, since back in the day when they didn't take credit cards, before they got flooded and I took a picture of a family of ducks swimming by the gas pumps - but it's gotten kind of weirder. They always have at least two clerks there and those two clerks always seem to be embroiled in some kind of crazy family drama or maybe they're actually on a sitcom. And then they have weird biscuits in the morning. I mean, sausage and egg, sure, their bacon or sausage and egg biscuits have long been a staple of my hangover breakfasts, but bologna and egg? WTF?) I could chalk all this up to just the usual hijinks o'fun that you have to expect when you're buying beer and cigarettes in a hurry, but their laundromat, however, Will Not Do. Not only is it more expensive than my longtime laundromat at the Amoco on Haywood, It's kind of horrible in a very post modern post industrial way: clean, deserted, shiny and filled with the most terrible music imaginable.

My brother has turned me on to this internet video show known as Yacht Rock. Yes, as usual I'm roughly a century behind on my internet memes - any minute now I fully intend to have a look at this dancing baby phenomena - and at first, frankly, I was unimpressed by Yacht Rock. Then, probably due to some kind of mind control waves, it got me and I started finding it funny. Turns out that someone, somewhere (either California or Pluto, who knows?) is still making Yacht Rock (the music, not the show) and they're playing it nonstop at the Citgo laundromat on Amboy Road. Loud. Really loud so you can't escape from the endless wailing of either women vowing to stay, stay forever, never leave your side, even if you want them to, even if you need to go to the bathroom, no, honey, I will always be there or men complaining about how they tried so hard but she just wasn't giving back, no, uh uh, she didn't love him like he loved her and it was all really freaking sad. And it was sad but not as sad as the guy who sang about the sunrise and how great that was. I mean the actual songs from the seventies, when they came on, were a relief.

But it's okay, because I am absolutely sure that for some unspecified environmental reason, I totally can feel superior for going to the laundromat and thus my evening will not have been a total drag. Right? Right?


eddie haskell said...

The Kangaroo at Exit 5 in South Carolina (you know, the one with the cheap gas) has fried bologna biscuits, and many of the bar & grills around here serve fried bologna sandwiches. Must be a Southern or Carolina thing. My dog loves 'em.

Gratuitous said...

Concentrating a bunch of energy consumption under one roof intuitively sounds better, but what about transportation? How many trips in cars with 3 or 6 empty seats? And of course it's more expensive than at home; they wouldn't exist if they weren't profitable for the owners. Get a w/d. The laundromat culture is something you can live without, unless it's a cool place with computers and beer.

As for fried boloney (that's what it was called when I was a kid, not bologna), I haven't tried it again in 25 years. I wonder if these local shops use a bacon press or something? I hated that the slices would curl up into domes, making even browning impossible. At least there is some justification for eating things like bologna and hot dogs and such. You're using the whole animal (shudder).