It’s Laundry Day and I’m Out of Tokens

It is Laundry Day and, I’m Out of Tokens

There comes a time in every man’s life when he must eventually gather up his belongings, pack a bag or two, kiss mom goodbye, shake the old man’s hand, and head out the door. No, he is not heading off to vacation with Uncle Sam and the diverse plethora of his other nieces and nephews. He’s a man now, for he finally has “his own place”. Actually, he’s starting that wonderful time of life known as “bachelorhood”. Yes! The freedom of coming and going when he pleases, staying up late at night to watch the “sports channel” (That’s what he would tell his parents he was doing, but little did he know they knew otherwise), having friends over to until the wee-hours of the morning, and so on.

This new change of venue will certainly open the door to a surplus of new and wild adventures. Microwaved dinners, parties, young woman, hang-overs and missing garments are just a miniscule glimpse into the world that waits. Mornings will be a blur to our hero as he traverses his abode. From his bedroom and into the kitchen, there he desperately seeks to hone his focus. Mouth wide open, wheezing heavy breaths, left eye still locked in sleep while his right harnesses all its wits to guide him the ten paces from room to the room, careful not to march on any of the victim’s bodies of last night’s conflict. But, an afternoon in bed and a diet of warm soda and cold pizza is a small price to pay for fun enjoyed. It is the next day which bears the fruits of our hero’s lack of ingenious planning. More often than not, this new man-about-town has forgotten one very important fragment of life at home: Mom.

Mom was there to make sure he was up in time for work or school. She was there at the kitchen table with a hearty breakfast waiting for him. When he returned home from his daily adventures she had the evening meal ready, and she was a faithful recipient for him to spill his woe’s on. But, the most important thing was that she made sure his laundry was well-cleaned, pressed, tailored, folded, and put away nicely where he could easily obtain them when needed.

After a pre-determined amount of time, which is usually equal to if not shorter than the quantity of clothing our young adventurer takes with him, our new man will soon find out that one Saturday morning he’ll be waking up to find not the usual empty laundry basket, placed neatly upright in the corner of the room, but a sight much, much more foreign to him. It is here he observes a basket, nearly bursting at the seams, bubbling over with shirts, pants, socks, and an hodge-podge of undergarments, which may or may not belong exclusively to him; the details of such an evening are best left to the reader’s imagination. This state of affairs closely resembles the old adage: he’s trying to fit ten pounds of crap in a five pound bag.

Have no fears, my friends, for our “Stevie Home-maker” will quickly learn the secret that every newly-initiated bachelor will learn, and that is the “Multi-Echelon Laundry Classification System”. Well, if you are reading this you either are, or know someone much like our Stevie Home-maker. So I feel it is obligatory for me to pass on to you this clandestine information, which has saved nearly every Brother of the Bachelorhood from the common doom of a man: calling his mommy for help with his laundry.

The system was founded by our first, most enlightened Brother, Edgir Mot, and it is sometimes referred to as the Edgir Mot System or “EMS” for short. This EMS, which in no way is to be confused for the acronym of the Emergency Medical Services, contains three levels of severity; I say severity for in a true Brother Bachelor’s closet, you will never find a rightfully laundered set of clothing.

The first of the three levels is referred to as: “Level G”, which is short for “Good to go”. These items are relatively clean and may have only been worn for several hours, so they in fact did not gather too much filth, yet.

“Level Y” means “Do you smell something?” Articles of fashion here are now beginning to “ripen” just a bit. The wearer should begin to be cautious as to where he goes while wearing these particular garments. The title of this level originates from other people’s reaction to you while you are within close proximity of them, or while they are directly up-wind from you.

Finally there is “Code Rid”, which is short for “Remain indoors, doofus.” The apparel that resides in “Code Rid” should be rather easy to spot, the shirt standing up on its own – without an excess of starch, the boxers you wore for days on end on your last camping trip. This was Mr. Mot’s most notoriously common ranking for he would often hear the word “rid” as used in the following example; “Edgir, get rid of that damn shirt; it friggin’ stinks!”

Now that you are familiar with the breakdown of the three degrees of laundry, it is time to discuss them in detail. First of all, the “Level G” clothes would be like the shirt or pants that you threw on to run out of the house briefly and down to the Blockbuster Video store and back home again. Edgir would say that the clothes are only at “Level G”. Even so, he had his lazy days when the “only” would not just apply to his outer garments but also to the undergarments. You would wear this type of ensemble mostly while lying on the couch while playing your PS3 or while watching Star Wars IV: A New Hope for the umpteenth-trillionth time. At worst case you have spilled a bit of Mountain Dew and/or Cheetos on yourself. Perhaps there’s even a little drool from your haze during the “Cantina Song”, but overall the articles have remained rather clean. The next day in your dash out the door you can pick them up right again, give them a good sniff and say confidently to yourself “They’re good to go for at least one more day.” However, after another 16 hours or so they will have to be re-classified to the next level.

This brings us to “Level Y”. Many of the unacquainted would ask themselves, “Why in the hell would you wear them again?” The secret is in the breeze, as you will learn shortly. This level contains those pieces of wears that do not out-rightly ooze a pungent odor, at least not to the wearer’s knowledge, although your fellow creature will most certainly be aware of your presence, both in the dark as well as in the light. These clothes now begin to secrete warning pheromone to those around you, informing them of your intended approach. They contain the multiple fragrances of several days’ nourishment, a couple of beers and stogies with the boys at happy hour, combined a second layer of hardened drool, this time from viewing Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back. To the bachelor, he knows that hanging these clothes near an open window while he showers and dines on his cold, leftover, take-out Chinese food and flat Mountain Dew for breakfast (again), will breathe some new life into them for “just one more day”. While you are out on town sporting your fancy duds, you may take notice of the people around you lifting their noses skyward and sniffing. Meanwhile, they are pondering to their neighbor, “Do you smell something?” So, with the assistance of a modest spritz of Febreze or a mighty splash of some cologne, you can assuredly pass the day mostly undetected.

Finally, there is the worst level of all: “Code Rid”. This level of clothing is so pungent that only the truly brave or the utterly dastardly should ever attempt an excursion from the sanctity of their domiciles and into the public domain while wearing any piece of clothing, either under or outerwear, that fit this level. For the sake of the faint of heart or the squeamish I will not begin to spin the yarn about Mr. Mot’s boxer shorts that were the original “Code Rid”, though it is safe to say that they were front and back color-coded and pulled double duty as a his ironing board. What falls into this category is anything you have worn for more than a week without substitute. You will be aware of the existence of a “Code Rid” item from at least three paces. They have now become so offensive even to yourself that you can’t help but to put them into another room, which the bachelor cannot seem to keep clean. This would be the kitchen, where these toxic togs could be stored for safe keeping. The bachelor usually finds that all of his garments unfortunately reach “Code Rid” at about the same time, thereby giving rise to the Code’s name of “Remain indoors, doofus.” ; At least you can watch Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi. In fact, this is all you can do since you have nothing else to wear and that you fortunately may have some sense about you not to even attempt to leave your apartment.

The bachelor has devised two solutions for this epidemic: one is to don the Code Rid clothing and THEN get into the shower. Thereby he is accomplishing two chores. The second is the final option: it is the fail safe, the “Do not break glass unless there is an emergency” option. It goes something like this: “Hi mom. I have this, uhm, party to go to and, well … Is ‘detergent’ like ‘soap’?”

So there you have it – the several levels or classes of clothes of the brave bachelor. My advice to all bachelors is that you take this guide, read it, learn it, and most importantly, live it. The truly wise will learn one of two things: they will either learn on their own how to do their own laundry, or they will have the necessary funds to bribe or pay someone to do if for them. If you are like the average bachelor, then you may not learn to do your one wash. Just as bad, you may not have the necessary money to pay someone to do it for you on account of your tab at the local Blockbuster store. Even so, never give up hope. There may in fact be one more option: simply stated, never move out of your parent’s home. At least your clothes will be clean. Oh, and never forget to thank your mom.

You will just have to get used to sharing the “sports channel” with dad.

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