A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time, by Fred Prout
With apologies to Stephen Hawking. Don’t yell. (Sorry,I couldn’t help it.)

Time is not measured by day or night. Or months, years, or seasons.

It used to be, but no more. The past year, many of us realized that time was comprised of rapidly vanishing weeks and months, made up by seemingly thirty seven hour long days. Days drag. Weeks fly. As an unwillingly single man, I find that my perception of time has been determined by one thing.

Laundry day.

I don’t like doing laundry. I hate doing laundry. I inherited the job several years ago even though I’m not mentally qualified for it. Twelve water temperatures? Separate colors? Now you are certainly entitled to your opinion. And I respect that. But, it’s illegal, and I’m not doing it. And if the laundry feds come to check, I still have the pink hankies for proof.

Now, before leaving Timber Valley, I started retiring some of my long time friends and loyal servants. Well worn underwear (Brief history? Get it? ) and socks.
Not all at once. One package at a time. Retiring does not mean disposing. It means going into their own little drawer to hopefully never be called on again. Just be there at rest. Just in case.

My strategy was to buy one package of each when they were on sale at Costco. Save $2.00, get free lunch (remember that?) and usually run into at least one friend to talk to. (Remember that?)

The problem with my strategy, I found, was that no manufacturer of socks or underwear would package seven (that’s one week, folks) together. Nor would they package the same number of either. So it’s impossible to end up with the same number of both.

My goal was to not have to do laundry more than every two weeks and have a couple of days in reserve. Just in case. Plus the retirees. Just in case.

The other problem with my strategy was that different brands went on sale at different times. Gotta buy the sale, right? Not a problem with the socks, and at first, not a problem with the underwear. Until the last sale to complete my fourteen plus.

I will mention the brand, Puma, for all you guys who may fall victim. You may thank me if you wish.

What they failed to mention on the package was that they did not include a fly. There was a picture,of course, but I didn’t want to stand in the aisle of Costco and search for where the fly should be. Nor should I have to. I didn’t even think about it when I opened the package and put them on for the first time. Very comfortable. Almost silky.

Now I don’t think I’m alone in dressing before I have breakfast and four cups of coffee. Which is what I did that first day of Puma. Oh boy! Coffee and breakfast does not have the same predictably as a lemonade slushee on an empty stomach.
But it does have the same inevitability. Ready, set, go.

I’m glad I was at home (where else these days) because if I were in a public restroom, the desperate grabbing and groping trying to find a nonexistent fly, would have, at best, been embarrassing. At worst? I might have called you for bail.

Now, I know the answer to the problem. Cut my losses and replace them at the next Costco sale. Don’t retire them. Dump them. Well, I don’t mean dump. Get rid of. But, coming from a generation that made things last as long as possible, that’s not easy. It goes against nature and years of habit. I know Costco has a very generous return policy, but….. no, I couldn’t. Not with a straight face. Could I ?

In the meantime,I will have to be aware of my underwear. Hey, that rhymes. Another Seuss coming?

A Seuss Laundry Day

Oh my, oh my, oh my I say
This is the dreaded laundry day

I get my clothes I get the soap
The washer’s free, I hope, I hope

Put in the soap, put in my stuff
It fills the basket just enough

So back and forth the water’s sloshing
As I sit and watch, my lunch I’m noshing

So finally clean, into the dryer
Go round and round and please don’t tire

This job I hate, I really hate
I start real early so it won’t go late

And now it’s dry and ready to fold
This stupid job gets really old

And as I sort, I have to try
To check the undies with a fly

Cause much I did learn from the past
The ones with flys do go in last

So they sit on top and come out first
Cause once before, I almost burst

When I really wasn’t aware
Of not having a fly in my underwear.

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9 Responses to A Brief History of Time

  1. Judith Garcia says:

    Love your posts! Keep them coming

  2. Kate Bright says:

    I’m with you on laundry day, Fred! I put it off as long as I can.
    I’ve often wondered, what kind of guy wears briefs without a fly?
    Love your posts and look forward to them. You should get them published.
    Thanks for the day-brightener.

  3. Valerie Knowles says:

    Fred, your articles are absolutely delightful!

  4. Eric says:

    The Energizer Bunny of Literature, the Isaac Asimov of Timber Valley. Another keeper – thanks Fred!

  5. Gwen says:

    Fred, now you know how some of us ladies feel about the stinking laundry.
    Thanks for the laugh this morning.
    (you still got it, bro!!!!)

  6. jackie Deal says:

    Fred, Fred, Fred!
    what is there left to say? Your sense of humor hasn’t been tarnished by seclusion and it’s just as wicked as ever! I remember when you were almost banned from emceeing in the Clubhouse. What a tragedy that would have been. We’re going to have to start a Park publishing house just for you!

  7. Joan says:

    If that doesn’t bring humongous smiles and chuckles, nothing will..

  8. Val Carano says:

    Fred … This one is a real gem … Love it!

  9. Linda Zebb says:

    Fred, made me laugh out loud, a rare occurrence these days. We hate laundry day too!

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