Woman vs. Machine

Would you trust this?
Would you trust this?
Don’t get me wrong. I love anything that runs on wheels, gears and/or electricity. The problem is, sometimes the gizmos don’t like me.

But I know that machines have minds and personalities, and that they are sometimes out to get me, whether for some minor infraction on my part, because they are pure evil or because they are plotting to conquer the world by messing with our minds, one person at a time.1

Take, for instance, the washing machines in the laundry room of my co-op building. One of them tried to steal my clothes.

It was one of those glorious spring nights in New York City, the kind of night that makes you stop, take a deep breath of flower-scented air, then sneeze several times while your nose curses and swears and spews out pollen. Birds were singing in the trees, squirrels were darting around on the grass, and even the local skunk was lurking, hoping to find a lady skunk and get lucky. It was a perfect time to drag a load of laundry downstairs, put it into a machine with some detergent and wash it.

In other words, I didn’t have anything better to do and I was running out of underwear.

Everybody else in the building seemed to be having the same idea. The laundry room was crowded and all of the machines were busy except one. I soon found out why.

Everything went okay until the last rinse cycle was completed. There sat my clothes, in a sodden heap, ready to be released from their watery captivity and shoved into a dryer.

Then it happened. The little red light stayed on, and the machine refused to turn itself off and release the door. My clothes were trapped.

Seeing my distress, a kind gentleman came to my rescue. He tried the traditional unplug-it-then-plug-it-back-in maneuver. It didn’t work. The machine stood there and laughed at me.

“This happens a lot with that machine,” said the gentleman. “Sometimes you just have to wait a little bit, and it will turn off.”

“How long does that take?” I asked.

“The last time it took three days,” he answered. “Some people here think it has a curse on it.”

Hearing this, I immediately began the Five Stages of Machine Malfunction Grief:

Denial – I’ll bet it isn’t really stuck. I just have to press the right button.

Anger – Open that door, you useless, robotic piece of rusty scrap metal!

Bargaining – Oh great purveyor of cleanliness! I will do anything you ask. I’ll bring in smaller loads. I’ll make sure you only get filtered water. Just please give me back my clothes!

Depression – What’s the use. I’ll hand wash my undies from now on and just buy new clothes whenever the old ones get dirty.

Acceptance – Good-bye, clothes. It was nice wearing you while you lasted.

Suddenly, I heard a click. The little red light had gone off. The door latch was released. My clothes were free, free at last.

I removed them from their soggy hole as fast as possible and put them safely into one of the dryers. I turned to the offending washer, flipped it the bird and said, “Just wait until next time.”

1 Despite evidence to the contrary, I am perfectly sane.

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8 thoughts on “Woman vs. Machine”

  1. My first instinct would be to have an exorcism preformed on that there washing machine. There’s deeper powers than we know of and this could be the start of something worse than a Kardashian. Maybe we could get the Kardashian’s exorcised while we’re at it?

    1. Hmmm. I wonder what one of our priests would say if I asked them to call an exorcist for a washing machine. I’d probably be urged to get professional help … and not from the Maytag repairman!

  2. There should be an Broadway song about the machine that done ya wrong:

    “Spin cycle in the city
    On my clothes they take no pity
    Locks me out, makes me wet… and gritty

    If I break it, I’ll go to jail
    If I don’t, I’ll just scream and wail
    I’ll get off this island
    ……….but I just can’t sail

    Spin cycle in the city
    Steals your clothes…
    …….Don’t take no pity

    1. I like this. The next time I’m feeling mischievous, maybe I’ll print it out and tape it on that cursed machine.

      I love writing humor and fiction. It enables me to take a simple thing that actually happened, take liberties with the facts until the whole story becomes unrecognizable and throw in some laughs.

      You get to tell big, fat lies and you don’t have to go to confession! Hehe!

    1. You’re right. Even a machine with a curse on it doesn’t dare misbehave when there is holy water involved. That would be like saying a cuss word in church.

    1. That’s just the way, isn’t it? I’m still working on my relationships with my coffee grinder and my microwave.

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