Counting

So come along now. Humour me for a moment. How many times do you change your clothes in any 24 hour period? Yes, I know that there might be a few variables in there. Depends upon which day you're talking about because Wednesday is gym day. [translation = attend 'work –out' place] On Thursdays you go to see a film. On Friday you might meet a few pals in the evening. Perhaps, if it's Winter, you forget your umbrella. You might experience a downpour. Life is full of little unexpecteds, as well as plans, that mean a change of clothes may be needed.

Laundry occupies more of my life than I anticipated. It’s hard not to notice, as it’s stacked in heaps all over the house. I have a tendency to complain about this job a good deal. I am very good at it, complaining that is, not laundry. When it comes to moaning, I have a head start on my contemporaries, because Brits are of a pessimistic nature. Where your American glass is half full, ours is definitely half empty. Indeed somebody probably stole the contents. Furthermore, when we find out who that somebody was, we'll remove their outer clothing, put itching powder in their underwear, and tie them to a lamppost. I suspect this kind of behaviour hasn't spread to America, due to a shortage of lampposts, as itching powder is freely available. I've checked. When it comes to prioritizing appropriate punishments, then public humiliation comes pretty high on the list. But I digress.

One average family can produce quite a lot of laundry. If you ignore the matter of wet beds, mop up towels, bath towels and the big stuff, you’re still left with considerable quantities of clothing. This is especially so, in Winter where more clothes are worn. Not only more clothes but they bigger ones, ones with a greater surface area due to long sleeves and legs. Socks become a necessity rather than an optional extra. Outer wear, in the form of jackets, coats, gloves and hats, also feature. All these items become dirty.

If they remained on people's bodies for longer than a nano second, it is just conceivable that they might become dirty on the inside. Fortunately for us, such an occurrence is rare. Instead they become dirty on the outside, often.

This is not because they are particularly naughty, they are only averagely naughty. Indeed it is quite often when they are trying especially hard to be 'good,' that they make the most dirt. We have reached the stage of development where occasionally, if I'm very lucky, someone might be persuaded to 'help.' Helping is a messy business, mainly due to the inefficiency of physically moving parts of the body, such as arms, legs and hands. On the whole these body parts refuse to act in concert, instead they prefer to work independently from one another, causing no end of chaos, angst and dirt.

Since teaching 'competence,' is also an ongoing campaign, the net result is of course, more laundry. This household is an ecological disaster area. If the environmentalists ever discover how much water and soap we use, we're likely to be deported to some remote island. There again, a remote island might not be too fussy about nudity. I could kill two birds with one cake of soap. Pass me a map somebody.


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Where did I leave my Sanity pack?

I climb into the shower to cleanse. [translation = remove the crusty mascara on my temples, disguising the grey hair] I assess the causes for the sudden laundry explosion? Are they even dirtier and more accident prone? [translation = expunge negative implications]

I wrap my dressing gown [translation = robe] an little tighter and wiggle my toes deeper into the fluff muffs [translation = slippers {sub translation = 'in house' footwear of a casual nature}] Inches of exposed flesh remind me, that technically it is Winter. [translation = it is a bit of a stretch to say that California has seasons}] As usual, my American pals are steaming ahead, [translation = making progress] whilst other, less efficient personages [translation = foreigners] are lagging way behind on the trajectory towards the ultimate goal of the Holidays. [translation = period of time where persons of different faiths and shopoholics celebrate the season] My progress is impeded by four birthday celebrations during December; my mother, father, youngest son and youngest daughter. Were it not for these milestones, I am confident that I would be well ahead of the hunt. [translation = cunning fox]

As it is, I am bogged down [translation = hampered] by these events that must be marked. [translation = given due deference] I remind myself that I am an American. [translation = I do not lie] I determine to tuck my negativity under the sofa cushion along with junior's treasures, and adopt a more positive line. [translation = groan inwardly with the effort] Commence flipping:

1. Children acknowledge seasonal change and need for warmer clothing. [translation = more in tune with the world at large]

2. Children are larger [translation = somebody must be eating something] and heavier. [translation = which is a self reinforcing reminder to me not to carry them]

3. Increased tolerance for clothing and textures. [translation = the nightmare transition from short trousers to long trousers has been eradicated {sub translation = no naked knees}]

4. Warmer clothing, on bigger people, with many layers results in laundry explosion. [translation = be still my beating heart, there is a logical explanation, sanity restored]

I am now mentally exhausted from this 'flipping' extravaganza, [translation = turning things around] and so decide to spread a little misery across the world by writing my holiday cards. [translation = torture foreigners with a different cultural perspective]

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