The Lonely Launderers
by Will Bailey
I’m a genius. At least that’s what people must think when I tell them I do my own laundry. In fact, I’m one of only six American men who know how to operate a washer/dryer. The other five live in Houston and work for NASA. Last year we got to open the New York Stock Exchange and meet the President. There’s talk of a movie. Apparently Chris Cooper has expressed interest in playing “Dave,” the first man to use dryer sheets. I don’t really care who plays me, as long as it’s not Aaron Eckhart. I find him to be a tad one-dimensional, and he doesn’t look like he’s used fabric softener a day in his life. But hey, this is why I pay my agent the big bucks! Anyway, people often wonder how a guy like me got into the whole laundry scene in the first place. Well, I’d like to think it was divine providence, or the will of some sort of benevolent laundry fairy. Others might speculate that it was because I had three younger siblings and was tired of finding My Little Pony tank tops in my sock drawer. Whatever the cause, my passion for centrifugal dirt expunging flourished throughout high school, college, and finally landed me in Laundry Squad, a super-elite task force of male agents who use cunning and skill to neutralize the biggest stains posing threats to whites and delicates today. Sure, I’ve had my share of set-backs, including an unfortunate incident involving a red shirt and Wife’s prized wedding napkins, which the media and Wife’s mother chalked up to “reckless bravado,” but I soldier on. I just hope I don’t let the fame get to me, like it got to “Dave.” [reflective pause] He, uh, started hanging with the wrong crowd, experimenting with bleach. I don’t really want to talk about it.