Sunday, December 30, 2012
A Bath Towel's Cry for Help
(In order to make any sense of this post, you need to have read my post “Long-Term Laundry” from last month. If you haven’t, click the link to go there first.)
Editor’s Note: A piece of paper with this message on it blew into my yard yesterday, and I thought I should share it with my readers.
December 29, 2012
If anyone happens to find this note, we desperately need help. My laundry mates and I were given a nice and much needed wash back in mid-October, and were put out to dry on the clothesline on a warm sunny morning. It had happened before, and getting out in the fresh air always made us feel good, especially the underwear, who arguably have the toughest job among all of us. (The towels used to wipe up after the dogs might take issue with that.) Sometimes we would be out here for a few days, but we always were brought back inside to resume our normal activities.
Not this time, much to our horror.
Days passed, and those days turned to weeks. The temperatures grew colder, the nights longer, and our circumstances increasingly difficult. We were dry, then wet, and then dry again. We were warm, then very cold. We ended up frozen stiff regularly. Birds and squirrels have perched on us. The children from inside the house spent an afternoon throwing rocks and sticks at us. It was that day that the red flannel shirt fell to the ground, an omen of things to come. Over time, the hunter blaze orange hoodie next to me has faded into more of a beige color, and a nasty crow left some droppings over on the “Triple H” wrestling t-shirt shortly before Thanksgiving.
The month of December has been the toughest of all. Some of us have been starting to show tatters from being whipped in the wind. Snow and freezing rain has fallen on us, weighting us down and causing some of us to drag on the ground. The socks and underwear were lucky enough to stay out of the mud and snow, but those of use with some length, such as myself, the other bath towel and the jeans with the worn-out knees, became filthy once again.
My fellow laundry refugees and I literally reached a new low just after Christmas. A howling snowstorm came raging into town, and the winds toppled over one of those portable basketball hoop things right onto our clothesline. It snapped, and we were plunged into the deepening snow below. In no time, many of us were buried. Only a few lucky dishcloths and one gym sock were fortunate enough to have their end of the clothesline stay above the snow, though they continue to be battered by the harsh elements.
“What have we done to deserve this?” we ask ourselves. We have covered their bodies, kept them warm, wiped up their messes, and in some cases made them look, if not fabulous, at least okay.
Sometimes, late at night, buried under all the snow, I dream of the good old days, when I was on a warm shelf at JC Penney, brand-new and neatly folded, with no knowledge of my future of wiping someone’s soggy bottom after a shower, and then…this. It all seems so long ago.
So now, we wait. We can only hope that someone inside the house will eventually remember us out here, shivering under more than two feet of snow now. Don’t they know that laundry was not intended to be left hanging on the clothesline for more than a day or two? What are they wearing without us? How are they drying themselves off after showers?
If anyone gets this, please, for the love of all that is clean and fluffy, send help! To say we are getting desperate is an understatement. The wool socks are starting to look hungrily at the washcloths, and the frilly blouse can’t stop crying. A family of mice has taken up residence in the pocket of the pink sweatpants with “Baby” printed across the rear end, and the holes in the jockey shorts are getting bigger and bigger. At this point, we are nearing three months out here. I don’t think we will make it until spring at this rate.
Please send help, and pray for us.
The Red Striped Bath Towel