The Time I Fucked Up by Trying to Wash a Pillow – 8 June 2014

Background: I’m renting a room from this nice older couple in a city away from home for uni. I have my own room and bathroom, and access to the kitchen, wherein there is a washer and a dryer.

There was a bed already in my room with pillows and blankets, but I brought a pillow and blanket with me, which I prefer to use because well, they’re mine.

I had been instructed that I should wait until I have a big load of laundry before doing it, so as not to waste water. I had my own bottle of detergent, and prior to today had used it one time with their machine, with success.

Story: So I wanted to have a laundry session, but I thought I might have two few things to wash, so I was looking around for more stuff.

In the absence of enough dirty clothes, I added some old shoes, a backpack, and a pillow case to my load. I had washed these things at one time or another over the years at home, so I assumed they’d work here too.

Once the pillow case was off my pillow, I noticed that the pillow itself was pretty dirty, so I threw that in the load as well, on a whim, but I had never washed a pillow before (after the fact, I realized I should have looked this up online first)…

So I brought all of these things into the kitchen, stuffed them in the washer, poured the detergent in, turned it on, closed the lid, and set the detergent on top.

Everything was going swimmingly for a minute or two, until the washer just stopped. There was still a lot of time left in the cycle, and it was making this ticking noise.

Immediately I panicked. I thought that in my effort to get a full load, I must have tossed in too much and jammed the thing. I reached my arm into the soapy water and tried to tug at anything near the bottom, and nothing seemed to be stuck.

I closed the lid and it was still making the ticking noise. I didn’t know whether or not this was part of the normal operation, so I assumed the worst. I thought that the now-soggy pillow must weigh too much and not allow the center to spin.

I lifted the pillow out of the machine, (it must have been about 15 lbs by this point), squeezed it out over the top, and tossed it into the dryer.

The washer door was blocked from fully opening by a shelf, meaning that if one is not holding it, it falls right back down, which it did, starting the washer again.

I had used a dryer many times in the past, but only after washers had completed their normal cycles, so it guess it kind of went over my head that things were supposed to be more or less only slightly damp going into a dryer, instead of soaking wet.

The pillow left this trail of water on the kitchen floor from the washer to the dryer, and I panicked even more. There was a roll of paper towels, so I tried to get some and soak up the trail, but it kept growing bigger.

I also heard a loud SMACK, and noticed the detergent bottle lying sideways on the floor. Assuming I had accidentally knocked it over in the confusion, I picked it up and set it atop the washer.

At the same time, I thought that if someone heard me fooling around in the kitchen and came to check it out, only to find the trail of water leading to the dryer, they would look inside, see a pillow, and get mad at me.

I somehow reasoned that the best way to hide the pillow while it was in the dryer would be to take a few “normal” things (shirts, a towel) from the washer prematurely and stick them in the dryer as well. This way, if someone looked inside, they might not notice the pillow being tossed around with the other stuff.

I got the “normal things” out of the washer and tossed them into the dryer, the washer lid slammed shut again and kept violently spinning, and the normal things left another huge trail of water across the kitchen floor.

I was terrified, I kept repeating in my mind “I’m so fucked, I’m so fucked, I messed up so bad, I’m so damn stupid…”

I got more bunches of paper towels to soak up the water, and two things happened almost simultaneously that shattered what was left of my resolve:

First, I noticed that water was pooling out from under the dryer, and it suddenly made so much sense that the dryer was not in fact waterproof, and that a person was not supposed to stick dripping wet things in it. There was probably more water under, behind, and around the dryer than I had initially seen.

Second, I heard a loud SMACK from the washer, and saw a big pool of blue had magically appeared from that area, making its way toward me. The washer had been shaking so much, that it had knocked the bottle of detergent off the top, shattering it.

I realized that the first time the detergent fell, it was probably also due to the shaking, and I, not knowing this, had unintentionally set it up in the same place to fall a second time, only this time it broke.

I was about ready to cry, but with my brain racing, I realized that this could be my scapegoat. I could hide everything, the clothes, the pillow, the shoes, and ask for a mop.

If I was questioned about why I would need it, I could give the true story of the detergent falling, because that is just a simple mistake that could have happened to anyone; no one would get mad at me, no one would think I was a dumbass. The huge puddle of water around the dryer could just be played off as a result of me trying to mop up the detergent.

I ran downstairs to my room, and cleared off a transparent blue storage container/laundry basket, and ran back upstairs with it.

So far, so good, no one had seen anything. I opened the washer and dryer, and tossed everything in the storage container. A Thick pool of soapy water gathered in it, but I could deal with that later. I ran downstairs with it, hid it in my room, and ran back upstairs.

I found this Mexican lady I rent from in the living room watching TV and talking on the telephone. I asked her for a mop, and she followed me to the kitchen, where I gave her the story about the detergent, conveniently leaving out all of my fuck-ups.

I down-played the water as me having tried to get everything out of the way while I dealt with the mess. She said she didn’t have a mop, but she got some old towels and started cleaning it up like it was no big deal.

She then had me bring up the clothes to finish the cycle. I brought up only the clothes, and left the pillow, the shoes, and the backpack downstairs, not knowing whether she would get angry if she saw.

The clothes were taken care of, but I still had the pillow, backpack, shoes, and the container with about two inches of water in it to deal with. I stuck the pillow, shoes, and backpack in my shower, where any water coming off would go down the drain, then I snuck around the side of the house in the darkness, and dumped the container out into some bushes.

When the normal clothes came out of the dryer, I took one of the towels, lined the storage container with it, stuck the soggy pillow inside, wrapped the towel around it, and stomped on top of it. I think time will fix the rest.

Everything went better than expected.

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