I see his van backing into the drive; I scoot to the front door eagerly.

The Washing Machine Man has been having difficulty getting the part he requires. Since then, the washing has been mounting up. A huge pile rises up from the scullery floor: t-shirts, trousers, towels, jumpers and underwear. It dominates the room, making it nigh-impossible to get to the essential utilities. The bottom of the mound is solidifying; I have been concerned for some days that if I do not do something quickly to reduce the heap, the council will come round and list it.

I open the door, shifting awkwardly in my cricket jockstrap, which is the only thing I have left to wear under my jeans.

The Washing Machine Man spoke to me over the phone – his plan, in the absence of a new replacement part, is to install a reconditioned temporary part, which will at least allow me to get some washing done. I am grateful for this, as there does come a point when taking laundry to the neighbours’ houses ceases to become a one-off favour, and becomes an ongoing expectation. Big A, and Eddie, and the Chipper Barman are good friends, and have been very understanding and accommodating, but I have had to widen my net further to include people like mothers of the Toddler’s friends at nursery, and I suspect enough is enough.

It is a good plan, only marred by the fact that it transpires that I thought he meant that he would bring a temporary replacement part, whereas he was talking about a temporary replacement washing machine.

He pulls out my old washing machine and installs the new one, and promises to chase up the new part as soon as he can. I now have a scullery that is dominated both by a mountainous pile of soiled laundry and a broken spare washing machine.

I thank him for his clever plan and begin to chip away at clothing.

27 thoughts on “The Washing Machine Man arrives.

  1. Larry says:

    Here’s hoping you will soon be relieved of your jock-itch!


  2. Pat says:

    I once saw something very nasty in the woodshed and it turned out to be my Uncle Jack’s jock strap. Please tell me that they have become more hygienic and wholesome looking since the thirties. I shudder to think of you thus attired.

  3. Big Poe says:

    I know it’s Norfolk (my man), but is a laundrette out of the question? Also, handwashing might be an option but, if you’re going to tackle the undercrackers rubber gloves are a must.

  4. Don’t suppose you could get him to drop off a replacement blogger while he’s at it, could you? Purely “temporary”, of course…

    By the way, haven’t heard much about Servalan lately, Jonny. Would you mind checking under the pile in case your foetid trolleys have taken her hostage?

  5. Mac says:

    Now it makes sense! I was troubled, nay perturbed, by the ‘install a reconditioned part then come back and install a new part’ plan and thought you might be falling victim to the old ‘charge twice for the same job’ scam. Who’s to say the recon’d part wouldn’t last for years?
    The lend of a replacement machine smacks of a thoroughly nice repair man (You have checked he isn’t hiring it to you…have you?)

  6. Z says:

    It’s not that I’m unsympathetic, Jonny, but I still can’t stop laughing.

  7. carnalis says:

    you’ll need a tumble drier too ..

    *cross-eyed at the thought of Jonnyb going commando any day soon*

  8. Megan says:

    Pat – I can’t help but visualize an elderly woman with a most amazing nose when something nasty in a woodshed comes up. You don’t hold a counting and check that Elfine is still around and not frolicking off with the local squire, do you?

    Jonny – hope that Mt Pants diminishes soon and the local walking fanatics don’t discover you and insist on free passage through your scullery. You might check Big A etc for rucksacks.

  9. Penelope says:

    I’m curious about this mountain of laundry. I can’t believe it’s as huge as the regular mountain that lives in the space where my laundry basket hides. Please take a picture ;o)

  10. tillylil says:

    Soon be Christmas Jonny and I’m sure you’ll get some pants for prezzies so you only have to do a week’s worth in the reconditioned contraption.

  11. Pat says:

    Megan: the last time anyone saw Elfine she was skittering off into the forest with that Dick. I expect she has been thrown into the bracken by now.

  12. Linda says:

    I hope your underwear were among the first things put in the washer.

  13. Megan says:

    Pat – Sukebind wasn’t it?

    Jonny, you have very intelligent, cultured readers, by which I mean they have read the same books I have.

  14. Sewmouse says:

    Perhaps Jonny’s Xmas present will be a new mop to clean up the scullery floor now that it can be found again, due to the demise of Mt. Pants?

    I, for one, am not expecting another update from our dear Mr. Jonny until after the new year, as from his whining it sounds as if he will be sorting, fluffing, folding, ironing and putting away for a very long time.

  15. Sam says:

    I think it was very generous of the washing machine man to give you a courtesy washer, it could have been from his own house and his poor children are huddled round the Christmas tree in filthy rags waiting for the commission from your repair job to buy them meagre presents and a scrappy chicken to nibble at on the 25th…

  16. Diana says:

    Mmmh, I have a feeling the nice washing machine man is letting you in gently. Doesn’t sound like he is going to be able to repair it to me. Then, once you are used to the “temporary” one, he will try to sell it to you. Not sure how to break this to you, but I think your machine is DEAD =(

  17. Richard says:

    I don’t have a washing machine at the moment so I handwash. I find it very therapeutic. It is not so therapeutic that I won’t actually miss the therapy once I buy a machine.

  18. Pat says:

    Megan: yes you’re right. I was thinking of Mary Webb who was a great one for the bracken – the throwing of, in, that is. And you know Stella was inspired by Mary Webb.

    Richard: I hope you are protecting your lily whites with marigolds. You don’t want itchy, sore dermatitus do you. Think of Jonny’s nethers.

  19. spazmo says:

    Typically, internet stories that begin with a man in a jockstrap opening the door for the repairman have a much…er…happier ending.

  20. Clunky says:

    “Would like to point out that no pants were hurt during the posting or indeed any follow-ups from this blog” Disclaimer!

  21. Ms Baroque says:

    Any chance you could just sort of – you know – decorate the broken one for Christmas? It could become quite the little featurette, amuse the child, and generally be an ornament…

  22. Richard says:

    Pat, I’d prefer not to.

  23. Pam says:

    Washing pants the JB way

    Leave on floor for year and day

    Wait till almost turned to clay

    Put on line early May

    Auction off or giveaway

  24. Duck says:

    Couldn’t you sell the pile of laundry to the Tate and buy a new washing machine and new pants with the proceeds?

  25. No chance of Jonny being able to pull a Tracy Emin on the Tate, Duckie. For a start, he hasn’t slept with nearly enough people for his skidmarked scuds to be considered art.

    In fact, come to think of it, we only have his word for it that he’s slept with anyone at all, ever. It’s a wise Servalan that knows her own father…

  26. de hooghe says:

    Having worked in Customer Service for a Cie of “White Goods”, I know exactly what is going on,but I won’t tell the outcome because I like the posts about this story very much to go on for a while..

  27. Alice says:

    Why not just visit the laundrette?

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