Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Detergent Stinks

Let us now wilt perceptibly.

I needed to do some laundry.

Fine. OK so far.

I found a self-service laundry. These are rare to non-existent here. Here, labor is cheap and machines are expensive.

Also, here, few people know how to operate these expensive and delicate machines. Which is why ordinary humans are not allowed to go into a shop or library and run off a few photocopies. Someone has to do it for you.

Someone who knows how, who has been trained, who will not hurt the machine.

It's the same with almost everything else: Don't touch, please. It may break from you. We do this for you, included in price.

But I found a self-service laundry (lavanderia autoservicio).

It may be the only one here, but OK. Fine so far. Just one more thing.

Detergent.

I needed some.

Luckily for me, Coral has a good supply. Lots and lotsa detergent. Comes in every color and all amounts. All are brands I've never heard of.

It all stinks.

It really stinks — all of it. I mean, really. Ninety-eight percent industrial nose-killer, two percent detergent.

Today, about two weeks after having bought some, and thinking back on it, my nose hairs quiver. They shrink and shiver, wilting even now, attempting to run and hide. Right outta my nose to somewhere sheltered and safe.

Well, the buying part is over. I bought some, and left. Got out of that store's aisle with my tiny, 61-cent bag of something-or-other, back into the reassuring relative freshness of diesel exhaust and dust on the street.

With my tiny bag.

With what I thought was maybe, possibly, the least stinky detergent available there, that day.

But who can say?

Who can say? Really?

At least the bag is small, and I try not to use much, and add in an extra rinse cycle, and hope that the dryer will burn off most of the residual stink, and convince myself that the atmosphere will deal with most of the rest, and believe, sincerely and ardently, that I can deal with what smell is left after that.

Without absolutely keeling over and croaking my last feeble croak.

I can hope, can't I? Can't I?

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