Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Carbonation Tumble

I took the day off work yesterday. I needed a second Sunday. Sometime about noon, a thought crept into my head like a legless nagging mother with strong fingernails. My half conscious layabout hazy wasting was soon to be interrupted by the necessity for respectable presentation. I realized I had no clean clothes to wear to work on Tuesday. All of my pants were tarnished with beer, spaghetti sauce, copious perspiration, or mud. Although we're very casual where I work, arriving in such a costume would be slightly unprofessional.

It took about ten minutes to jam all my befouled garments into bins and baskets. I hauled them to my car and drove one mile to the laundromat.

The day was overcast, cool, colorless, and depressing. I parked. Yesterday the oil stains, the concrete fractures, the litter of potato chip bags and pop cans all seemed to stick out more than usual. It was a broken dirty kind of day. I walked inside sleepy and irritated.

I noticed that people in the laundromat wear the last articles of clothing when they come to wash, the last resorts from the back of the closet. I wore loose denim jeans with a huge gash running from my right hip down to my knee. It buckled open every time I bent my leg. My Moby shirt had a huge hole in the right armpit. I used to remove my shirt by yanking the sleeves over my head until I noticed that the armpit stitching suffered for it. I'm gentler now.

A frowning woman wore grey cotton leotards. She continually wiped at her runny nose with back of her left hand. She watched trash television shows beaming novocaine from a ceiling mount in the corner. Occasionally, during commercials, she would glance at the time remaining on her washing machine. I saw her twice absently itch and pull out the grey fabric from her ample camel toe. She was very pale.

I saw a knobby hobbling old man throw several pairs of beaten old corduroy slacks into a dryer. Flannels came next. His skin and hair gleamed with the human oil of the unwashed elderly. At least his clothes would be clean. He left and returned a few minutes later and began pounding something on a table. His back was turned to me but I had to know what he diligently destoryed with plodding dedication.

I strolled across the room and tried to peek but I couldn't see his furtive noisy labor without being noticably nosy. I went to the coin changer and made change I didn't need. Now I had a better viewing angle. Finally I saw. He was smashing a packet of peanuts with a roll of quarters. No doubt that even mashed into little crumbs, the peanut shrapnel would still scrape and irritate his infant gums, lodging in empty sockets to decompose where teeth once met jaw.

Bored and vaguely disgusted by the sad loneliness of the place, I decided to walk into the convenient next door. I found some alcohol energy drinks. They were slung in can holsters that were suctioned to the inside of the cooler glass. I grabbed two of them, one a Budweiser product, the other something called Gruv. I don't know how to type umlauts but they were present above the letter U. I didn't expect much but I had to experience the latest abortion to trickle out of the barren womb of marketing crossbreeding.

The Bud drink was horrible. Billed as a drink for "contemporary adults with highly social fast paced lifestyles," this hog swill tasted like strained sweat blended with moldy cantalopes. I thought I'd stuck my tongue into a corpse's asshole after a mischievous mortician had drained a can of pineapple fruit cocktail over it. I finished it and moved on to the other drink, which was pleasantly fizzy, inoffensive, and instantly forgettable.

I hate it there. I hate the tumbling of the dryers, the sadness on the faces, the courtroom television, and most of all myself for buying those cans of liquid excrement. I know better.

I was glad to go home.
11:01 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


May 03, 2005 12:22 PM, Blogger Other Brother said...

Those greedy bastards at Anheuser-Busch are trying to cash in on another modern drinking trend. The target market must be tired, lazy alcoholics.
I've seen these abominations and avoided them like the plague. Glad to know they're every bit as awful as imagined.
I'll stick to jager bombs in red bull for my alcoholic energy kick.

May 03, 2005 1:53 PM, Blogger Kerouaced said...

"I saw her twice absently itch and pull out the grey fabric from her ample camel toe. She was very pale." Your description is good...maybe too good. Yikes.

May 03, 2005 2:00 PM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

I didn't even mention her weight.

May 03, 2005 2:07 PM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

You're also lucky I didn't find a picture for that. I looked.

If you put "fat camel toe" into a google image search, you get a single picture of Julia Roberts named "horseteeth2.jpg."

If you put "ugly camel toe" you also get one image, this time a US flag.

I gave up quickly and stuck to the spinny and fizzy for pictures.

May 03, 2005 2:37 PM, Blogger Kerouaced said...

Thank God you didn't find any pics for that...

May 03, 2005 2:42 PM, Blogger Kerouaced said...

This is what you needed.

May 03, 2005 2:43 PM, Blogger Lostinspace said...

I'm jealous that you got to take another day off. I won't be able to do that for a while.

May 03, 2005 3:29 PM, Blogger Anonysis said...

makes work seem like a cheerful place to be. Too bad!

May 03, 2005 3:57 PM, Blogger Lance Manion said...

When I'm moving into that beer fatigue phase, I just fake an overdose. Within minutes those paramedics jam a syringe full of adrennalin into your chest and you're ready to rock until the dawn. They sure get grumpy about it, though.

May 03, 2005 5:06 PM, Blogger Cindy-Lou said...

I like the "broken dirty kind of day" description. I hate those days.

May 03, 2005 6:45 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Rocket: You may not know this, but some people wash and dry their clothes at home. In things called "Washer" and "Dryer". Over time, they will save you enough money so you can upgrade to Red Bull and Vodka.

Always glad to help out.

May 03, 2005 11:26 PM, Blogger Mishka said...

Yes but if you didn't go to the laundry mat, you would lose the opportunity to develop all these awesome characters. I really could see them, you are a terrific writer.

May 04, 2005 4:25 AM, Blogger SJH said...

This was a disturbingly graffic post. Well done. I hate the laundromat with a passion - as I'm sure most of us do. I even went 3 weeks with "recycled" clothes last month when the washer and dryer were broken just to avoid the laundromat.

Why doesn't the mainstream press write reviews like you did about Budweiser, et. al.? I'll never drink that swill after your...description.

May 04, 2005 10:58 AM, Blogger Matteus Von Mustard said...

"I didn't expect much but I had to experience the latest abortion to trickle out of the barren womb of marketing crossbreeding."

that's a wickedly apocalyptic image.

also the detail about the old, while observational rather than stylistic, was fantastic writing.

May 04, 2005 11:13 AM, Blogger Other Brother said...

I found an interesting biography about Tony Chachere. Thought you might be interested in it.


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