Monday, April 20, 2015


I want to preface this in some way but I’m not exactly sure how. I may be on some kind of weird sex offender watch list now. Let me explain. Last night, I got home and one of the clotheslines in the back of my apartment was broken. Okay, wait, I need to back up again. 

Usually it’s just me and I have clothing sufficient to last a while, so I don’t necessarily do laundry all that often. So I let my neighbors use my clotheslines; because what do I care? Someone might as well use it. So I did laundry on Saturday and my neighbor used the line on Sunday (last night) and when I got home last night, my neighbor let me know that the clothesline broke. It’s not her fault, the line is pretty old. Probably old enough to vote. But she was a bit worried that I’d blame her. So she’s offering to go to pick up a new line and have the landlord help her hang it, and I’m like, “meh, don’t worry about it. I’ll get something tomorrow on the way home from work. It’ll take ten minutes.” I just need a short ladder or high step-stool or something so I can tie the thing off without keeping my hands up like I’m some Korean War era GI, wading through a river with my rifle above my head to keep it out of the water.

So I snip a short piece of the broken line so I know what I’m buying and on the way home I stop off to pick up a new line. Now as it turns out, what was in stock at Wal-Mart (a couple of blocks from my office) was a little thicker than what broke, but it should be fine. EXCEPT that the cross beam that the line is attached to, has a small hole drilled into it that the old cable fed through. And it’s been painted over a couple of times so just getting the old line out was a bit tough. I could have just wrapped the new one around the bar a couple of times I suppose, but I figure I might as well put up the new one like the old one because….well because I’m stubborn and too lazy to think of that before I started writing this because wrapping it around a couple of times actually makes more goddamn sense. I’ll be right back I’m going to fix that now.....

Okay back. So where was I? Right, I got the new line but I know that getting it strung up is probably going to be annoying because it’s above me at a weird angle and a little wider than the hole. But as I head to the checkout with a new 50-ft insulated-wire line (because I don’t want to have to do this shit again in a year) the Jewish MacGyver part of my brain is going a mile a minute. I could WD-40 it, because most problems in life can be solved with one of four things: Duct Tape, Fire, WD-40 or Windex. But then I’d have WD 40 on the line, and how much would it suck to have the first load of laundry I do smell like WD-40 when it’s dried? So I needed something slippery and water soluble that I can easily rinse off, something cheap (because it’s one goddamn clothesline and not a bobsled run) and something small that I can easily apply with one hand while hanging the line above my head. And I happen to spot a tube of water-based “personal lubricant”, yep, lube, for a $1. Perfect. 

So as I walk over to the checkout, lube and line in hand, it dawns on me: I am purchasing 50 ft. of insulated wire and lube. And that’s it. Line and lube. For a split second I think, maybe I should get something else, bag of sunflower seeds maybe? Just for appearances. But, no, fuck that. This is Wal-Mart, I’m sure there’s someone in here right now with far more questionable purchases. Duct tape and Valtrex or something. So I head over to the checkout where the cashier doesn’t bat an eye, rings me up and I’m on my way.

In an ideal world, I'd like to imagine that if the NSA is going to be spying on us anyway, such purchase patterns would raise a red flag somewhere and my name would get dropped onto a watch list. But then on the other hand, why the hell should I get red-flagged just because I want to be a little environmentally friendly and line-dry my laundry instead of putting it in the dryer? I mean since when the hell is saving the planet with creative home improvement a reason to get on a watch list? Incidentally, I was right and wrong. The lube thing worked great before I re-hung the line by just wrapping it, but it took me 15 minutes to hang the line, not 10. Actually since I did it twice, it took me more like 25 minutes. And I wasted $1 on lube that I only used a small amount of. And I may or may not be on some kind of watch list. But dammit, I will have dry laundry. 


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