Sunday, April 22, 2007

The lazy do the work

I live in a small flat. Cramped. Cluttered. I do have a washing machine, which is mainly a good thing and only slightly a problem because of where to hang the clothes. I could shell out for a washer-drier, I suppose, but I am either far too piously environmental for that, or just too cheap. For many years I had a very cheap plastic triangular rack which, despite being some way short of commodious enough for the inundation of my laundry, managed to air hundreds of washes in any case. Then, at a friends, I spotted a multi-triangular affair, reminiscent of the spacecraft in Close Encounters of a Third Kind, able to accommodate a veritable bonanza of soggy Mr Byrite products. After some sine qua non procrastination I located and bought a similar one. Two full loads of washing hung from its eaves, plus you could hang towels and sheets over the top. My airing pile-up crises were over. The original puny triangle rack lay against my bookshelves. I twice considered throwing it out. I meant to. I even began to, but it somehow remained, leaning languidly against the shelves, like a too-cool teenager who knows something you don’t.

And then today I was putting up a blind and I rested it on the triple-decker alien spaceship washing hanger, momentarily. It folded up flat on the floor, the way it would be if I ever got round to taking the clothes off it before I’d washed a new load, which is never. After I put up the blind I tried to restore the structure to its full architectural glory but I soon realised that something had gone very wrong. Further inspection revealed all. The fleeting stress of the blind’s weight had caused the chrome effect bars to shear apart, destroying entirely the carefully plotted equilibrium and leaving the entire edifice limp and flat and completely worthless. I briefly wondered if I’d bought it from a reputable store like John Lewis, from where I could never bother to go and claim a refund, but thankfully I think it was probably from the cheapo hardware store down the road. It lies in a heap on my bedroom floor. The cheap white plastic triangle still leans against the bookshelves, coolly smoking a cigarette.