Saturday, July 21, 2007

Wow, the laundromat was a trip tonight. When I arrived there was only one other guy in there along with the young Filipino girl who worked there. The guy looked like an old friend from high school...K was always a little jealous of him. I thought it was Frank, as he immediately started talking to me as he helped me with the door. It took me quite awhile to figure out that it wasn't him. By that time we'd already initiated "small talk". Anyhow, it quickly became apparent that this guy was having a hell of a good time doing his laundry. There, out in the open on the "folding" table, were two 26 oz bottles of Mike's Hard Lemonade. One was uncapped and half gone and he was slugging from it. He also had a bottle of water and it seemed he was "pacing" himself this way. His stuff was spread out everywhere...he had more booze in a liquor store bag and appeared to be having himself a little party. Now drunk people don't worry me...I'm quite used to them. Hell, I found him amusing. But the girl that worked there was less than impressed and expressed how glad she was that I'd arrived. Could've been a scary situation for her if I hadn't I guess. But I thought I'd just sit back and enjoy the ride.

This guy was a piece of work, let me tell you - hyper as hell and really entertaining. He was dropping laundry all over the floor and at one point his washer had stopped and he didn't seem to give a rat's ass - twenty minutes later he was still facing it but making no moves to proceed to stage II and dry the stuff. It was obvious that he was in no hurry (despite the fact that the place was near closing). The attendant snuck over to his machine at one point when he wasn't looking, took his quarters from the roll he had beside his booze and chucked his stuff into the dryer. He didn't even notice. A few minutes later he said "hey, where are my quarters. They were right here". And then rummaged around his bag of stuff and found them. Triumphantly, he lifted them high in the air to show me he'd found them. Yeeha. You rule dude.

He was in and out of the place, apparently looking for somewhere to eat. He asked me about the local places and when I suggested one (and gave him a coupon I had) he asked if I'd eaten yet. Then he asked me to join him.

Anyhow, I normally HATE doing laundry at the laundromat. It's sweltering hot in there. Usually crowded and noisy as shit. But tonight was quite different and I was thoroughly amused. It was almost as if I'd stepped into a movie or something. The Filipino girl was telling me her life story and all the while the drunk was making me giggle to myself as I watched his antics as he fumbled around behind her. The best part was when he decided to check out the tanning bed (yes, there's one at the laundromat). He'd never been in one and was quite willing to share the fact that he was "undressing now" behind the closed door to the booth. "My clothes are off girls". The attendant mouthed to me "are we supposed to care?". It was all very surreal. She rolled her eyes and told me that when he'd first arrived he started stripping down and threw the clothes right off his back into the machine. She said he got down to his boxers when she decided she'd had enough and intervened - throwing him some clothes to put on that someone had left behind. He was in very good shape and obvioiusly quite proud of it. He also seemed harmless - very courteous, happy go lucky and completely oblivious to the fact that it was inappropriate to be getting pie eyed in the laundromat. He acted like it was all quite normal and smiled the entire time. He was flirtatious with both of us, but not in an aggressive way. It was all quite innocent and, although the girl working there expressed her anger to me, she couldn't help but crack a smile at him on more than one occassion. When he went into the tanning bed we laughed as we heard him banging around. He spent 11 minutes in there and came out a little red. He looked at me and said "I don't think I liked that. I'm itchy now". And then he spent the next 8 minutes looking at and rubbing his shoulders. I was just glad he'd made it out alive.

He went and ordered some sushi and then came back and forgot he'd ordered it. I said "do you have to go back and pick up your food?" and he said "I don't know. I've never eaten there before". Logical. He then asked us if we'd like him to order some food in...the attendant quickly responded with "no, we're closing now". He was quite disappointed and I think he was planning an all nighter or something. He said "so where do I go now?". Apparently he was from Ontario and was working in Squamish - 28 days on, 14 off. He went on another little jaunt around the block at that point (leaving his laundry there so we'd have to let him back in) and came back to declare that he'd found a massage parlour, but it was already closed. "Hell, if I'd known that was there....". Then he asked if we'd give him a massage. Uh, no.

The Filipino girl then whispered to me, "I'm telling him we're closing now". This was despite the fact that they were open another half hour. "You can stay...just pretend we're closing". He was saddened by this. He politely asked if he could stay longer and when she said he couldn't he ignored her. She finally convinced hm he had to go, at which point he asked us to call him a cab. The girl asked if he knew the number and he rattled off an Ontario number that she tried to call. We looked up a cab in the phone book and he then headed out to wait for it (without his laundry). We called him back in to retrieve it and he stuffed everything into his hockey bag - clean laundry straight out of the dryer in with his dirty old shoes, booze, quarters, cartons of smokes that he'd just bought across the street on one of his "walks"....everything just stuffed together in there. No folding was involved. Just cram it all in.

He then went outside and waited for his cab.

The attendant went over to one of the dryers and said "shit, he left his towels behind". His cab pulled out of the driveway at that point.

It was the best laundry experience I've had in awhile. Seriously, I've gotta get out more.


Blogger whitenoise said...

That was funny, but keep in mind that you never know when someone in that state of mind will "turn". Alcohol and testosterone are a precarious mix, kinda like nitro and glycerine...

3:57 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

I have to agree with whitenoise here. You tell a helluva funny story, but I prefer drunks once removed like that. In person I have very little patience for them.

7:36 AM  
Blogger busterp said...

I enjoyed the story. He seemed mostly harmless but sure f-ed up. If he makes it home, he may not even remember doing the laundry. I could see him the next day, with a hangover, washing clean clothes. ha.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

w/'re absolutely right. And the entire time I was well aware of what you're saying..."always leave yourself an out" was in the back of my mind (think I learned that in driving school?!)

Barb...Normally I don't have much tolerance either. But this guy was so pathetically hopeless and it provided some entertainment other than watching the dryers spin. I worked at the Alcohol & Drug Centre here for years so I was sort of anticipating a Jekyll/Hyde situation and was ready to spring into action if necessary.

busterp...wouldn't that be hilarious - somehow I see it happening too!

One thing about this...I told Linds (a bit) about it and was alarmed by her response. She said "aw, you should've gone to eat with him". It was a good chance for us to go over how things can go terribly wrong if you put yourself in a dangerous situation like that.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

I agree with Barb, I have little patience for people like that. Funny story though.

Hope you're having a good Saturday, Deb!

11:56 AM  
Anonymous gledwood said...

Hard Lemonade?? Never heard that one before!!

3:06 PM  

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