Exercise #15: The Laundry

Exercise 15 instructions

“I aimed at the air after rain, and by accident I hit a towel.”

It was the strangest thing!  It hadn’t rained for a while, so the news services were reporting it as some kind of freak drought, and all the farmers were worried that their crops were going to die, which is what happens after you haven’t had rain in a while.  So, basically, the whole area was spazzing out, big time.   They even gave it a catchy name, “Drought Watch 2010,” just so everyone would know how serious things were.  Lots of prayer groups got together and started praying for rain and one enterprising guy actually started building a gigantic boat in his front yard (You know.  Like Noah) and yelling, “Repent!” at all the people who came by to gawk at him.  Of course, my wife was the smartest person.  Early one Saturday morning, she decided it was time to do the laundry.

“Weather like this is perfect to dry laundry with,” she said, cheerfully.  “We may as well make the best of it.”

That’s my wife.  She’s always doing that.  If I were about to die tomorrow, knowing her, she’d probably say something like, “Well, at least you don’t have to go to work tomorrow.”  Then again, knowing me, I’d probably say something like, “Yeah, you’re right,” and it’d cheer me right up.  That’s why, when my wife decided that the news’ “potential disaster” was prime laundry weather, I went out and helped her get the clothesline set up.   Then she spent the whole rest of the day doing laundry.  She even washed some stuff that was already clean just because, she said, she liked the smell of laundry dried in the sun.  Who am I to argue with that?

Then again, the Lord, being the big joker He is, decided that Saturday afternoon would be the perfect time for a rainstorm.  Really!  We went from hot and dry to thunder, lightning and pouring rain in under five minutes.  It rained buckets for quite a while.  I asked my wife if she wanted me to bring the laundry back in.

She said, “No.  It’s soaked by now, anyway.   Besides, once the rain stops, our laundry will have that after rain smell and that’s even better than sun dried.”

So, anyway, it rained pretty steadily for about two days straight.  The news services all did the biggest flip-flop I’ve ever seen and started predicting a big flood instead. Farmers went from worrying that their crops would die to worrying that they’d be flooded out and have to replant.  The nut with the unfinished boat in his front yard was seen gathering two of every animal in the neighborhood and bringing them back to his place.  I understand that he ended up with quite the collection of scratches just from checking stray animals to see if they were male or female.  I mean, I take the scriptures seriously, too, but that guy?  I’m not even sure if he lives in the same dimension with the rest of us.

Anyway, on Monday afternoon, the rain stopped.  Well, to be serious, it petered off to a trickle, first.  Then it stopped.  The air smelled so glorious that I realized how right my wife was.  I loved that smell. I don’t mind having clothing that smells like that.

That Monday afternoon, when I got home from work, Saturday’s laundry was still on the line.  It turns out that my wife stepped in a gopher hole that morning and managed to sprain her ankle.  (“It’s okay,” she said, when I asked, “I was looking for an excuse to put my feet up anyway.”  I love that gal.)  Usually, on Mondays after work, my son and I like to throw the old pigskin around.  With the laundry strung across the yard we decided, taking a leaf from my wife’s book, that it was the perfect time to practice that high spiral coaches want their quarterbacks to be able to throw.  So, with my son on one side of the laundry and me on the other side, I first closed my eyes and took a deep breath, pleased that the smell of just-after-it-rains was still in the air.  Man, what a great smell!  Then I pulled back and threw the football to my son.  Unfortunately, I forgot to open my eyes again and the ball, instead of sailing over the clothesline and into my son’s waiting arms, went straight as an arrow right into my favorite bath sheet and did a nose dive into the yard, which, after two days of rain, was nothing but mud.  Needless to say, most of the clean laundry was covered in mud splatters.  I cringed.  I know my wife would see this in a positive light.  With her twisted ankle, she didn’t have to redo all that laundry.

“Come on, boy,” I sighed, picking up the muddy ball, “Let’s get to work.”

Just for reference, I rolled dice again to get my numbers.  The numbers I rolled were 6, 6, and 5.  The original quote was “I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.” (Upton Sinclair)


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