August 15th 2006

Going to the laundromat sucks. duh. Sadly, that was about the highlight of my day. Sleeping in until noon, then getting a haircut and doing laundry. woo hoo.

A lady tried to buy three dryer sheets from me at the laundromat. It’s odd the things people forget when they set themselves to the mundane tasks life requires. How do you figure the market value of three dyrer sheets? Of course, you could use basic math and divide the cost of the box of dryer sheets ( $ 4.99) , including tax ( $ 0.42), by the total number of dryer sheets in the box (80) . It would almost be an insult, though, as this would throw out centuries of market driven economic theory, along with the laws of supply & demand. A dryer sheet may only be equal to its individual mathematical value ( $ 0.067625, but really this value is only indicative of its value as a material object. Its true value is to me as a finished consumer good. Or better yet, as an integral part of a product I am making, or a task I must complete. And this is not taking into consideration the costs the product incurs once it leaves the store, tansportation costs, storage fees etc. How can I possibly calulate the emotional costs? I spent precious time selecting this product from a plethora of competeing consumer goods? Naturally, finding myself in posession of many dryer sheets in a location (the laundromat) far removed (across the parking lot) from the store, I am in a unique position to profit handsomley from the sale of any surplus dryer sheets I may have in my posession.

So now comes the ethical question. Do I pull a Haliburton, and profiteer at the expence of the unprepared? How do you calculate the needy-ness of someone faced with an entire week of static cling and excess clothing lint? Is it possible to put a dollar amount on such laundry related suffering? How many times would this poor soul be zapped by static whilst trying to sort her socks? Obviously, I must do everything in my power to alleviate her suffering.

On the other hand… Here this person was so sidetracked in their life they went on a necessary errand and forgot a necessary ingredient. How caught up in your Paris Island-ish mental regimen do you have to be to forget the essentials? Do you often take your car in for an oil change and drive the wrong car? Or maybe take the bus? Or maybe she hasn’t purchased dryer sheets in year, choosing instead to live on the charity of others. I can see her lurking in the laundromat every day, existing on the charity of others. A quarter here, a cup of bleach there, maybe some dryer sheets on Monday… Society cannot tolerate these fringe dwellers, suckling on the teat of the wealthy launderer. Damn the dryer sheets and the permanent press. This wrinkle-free welfare must stop!

Naturally you can see how I was torn. Of two minds. The Anakin in me felt sorry for her, and was aghast at the mere idea of a week of clinging, static riddled, lint infested clothing. The Vader in me wished to punish her for such feeble minded lack of attention. (and possible laundromat lurking)

I must say that the teachings of my mother influenced me greatly, and helped me avoid a potentially devastating public relations debacle. The Anakin in me won the battle (not against bad acting, mind you), and the poor soul got her dryer sheets, free of charge. As a side note, I must also appease the economist in the crowd, and mention that it was no great loss on my part, three dryer sheets having minimal value in and of themselves ( $ 0.20321775). The transaction also had no appreciable impact on the supply and demand side of things, as I had also forgotten my box of dryer sheets, so had purchased a new box, creating a surplus. If anything, I probably saved a small amount of coin on the future transportation and storage of said dryer sheets.

As a side note, I had to google the term Laundromat. Don’t get all Sister-Bertha-better-than-you on me, either. You’d have to google it to, if you cared enough. Kudos to WSU for topping the google rankings with their “common errors” listing. Even more odd, when I try to spell check this entry in MSWord, they try to tell me that “Laundromat” should be capitalized.

Also, if the poor soul from the laundromat actually has, or ever will attend anything even close to the training at Paris Island, please do not consider this to be an affront to you or them. If you don’t and never will have military training, however, then affront away.

But once again, I have managed to type for a while, and have yet to say anything. I guess that means another blog entry is complete. I didn’t even get to talk about the screaming child at Great Clips… ( swear I’m haunted by a screaming child curse. No public location is safe once I arrive, screaming child will appear in short order… but that’s for another post)

* Re-Post from Y!360 / Myspace *

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