The Rules for Men Doing Laundry - By Brian Law

He knew he should have been writing them down when she was telling him ‘The Rules’. She made a point that This Is Important! Because You’re home All Day And I’m Not! He should have written them down because now he couldn’t remember all of them . . . not exactly , and she was going to expect him to do it right the first time. Maybe he thought Just maybe I’ll get it right if I do the same load two or three times. It’s bound to get clean that way, no matter what I do wrong. He looked at the pile on the laundry room floor and thought, God, it seemed so easy whenever she did it. I should have paid attention! 

But he was really worried about the little load of clothes he brought home from his last business trip, the last time he’d actually left the house. The ones he'd hidden in the garage. She was going to go through the folded and stacked laundry when she got home to look for stains he didn’t get out. And she was going to ask Where’s Your Good Shirts? You Know, The Ones From Your Last Business Trip? And that was going to be a problem because she didn’t include in ‘The Rules’ stuff like how to get wine stains out of cotton . . . or lipstick . . . or blood. Maybe Google and YouTube had something. 

When he married a cop, he knew she probably had a suspicious personality, and boy, was he ever right! She watched him like a hawk for the first few months . . . he couldn’t get away with anything! But then she started to loosen-up and didn’t give him the ‘third degree’ every time he returned from a business trip. Her mistake. 

He looked at his watch. She’d be home in about ten hours, give or take. He went through the Washer and Dryer manuals and determined the length of each cycle and then went to Google and searched for YouTube videos that would explain how to do what he needed to do. The one he found ran for 18 minutes and 15 seconds, and he watched it twice, taking careful notes each time. 

Separating the clothes into the suggested groupings, he stood back and did a mental calculation about how much time it would take to wash each group Twice! and get them all dried and folded before she got back. He was pretty proud of his plan. All the tricky stuff was in one pile, the stuff that needed special treatment. And some of it was even Hers! Which was a bit of a problem because he couldn’t identify a particularly odd stain on one of her uniform shirts. It was sticky and smelled funny and left a stain on his fingers he couldn’t get off right away. Whatever! he figured She didn’t leave specific instructions for that one, so he’d just do his best and keep his fingers crossed. 

He was pleasantly surprised when the wine and lipstick stains on his good shirts came out the first time. The blood, well, that took a bit more work, but he finally got it all out. He even tried his own concoction of bleach plus baking soda plus Dawn put directly on the blood stain. Who knew it would work so well? He was feeling pretty good about things until he got to the funny stain in her uniform shirt. 

He scratched it, sniffed it, even tasted it, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was. When he asked Google, it gave him some cleaning suggestions based upon its taste and smell. But it didn’t want to come out no matter what he used on it or what cycle he used. She was gonna be mad. He glanced at his watch. He had two hours to figure it out! Finally, he got a break on YouTube. He tried their suggestions and Bingo! out came her uniform shirt, clean and sweet smelling as the day it was issued to her. 

When she walked in the front door, he was casually sitting in front of the television. “Hi, Honey, how was your day?” he asked, pretending to be interested. 

“God, these idiots I have to deal with nowadays. I can’t wait for a frickin’ vaccine, you know!” she said as she whisked right by him into the kitchen for her first glass of wine. 

A few minutes later, she strolled back into where he was still sitting and wondered, “How did the laundry go? Get everything clean? Hmmmm?” 

He nonchalantly replied, “Oh, sure, no problem. I just followed your rules and everything came out fine.” 

She took a quick sip of her wine and said, “Well, let’s just check, okay?” 

As she turned towards the laundry room, he got up knowing that she was going to do a thorough review of his work, but he knew he had nailed it. And when she entered the laundry room, she stopped and remarked, “Well done! All sorted and folded. Mind if I just give it a quick look through, just to be sure?” 

“No, go ahead, look away, Honey,” he proudly answered. He stood with his arms crossed as she went through each pile, underwear, socks, towels, etc. She stopped when she got to the shirts. She picked up one of his good shirts, opened it up and gave it a good once over. “Nice job on your shirts. Spotless!” she commented. And she knew what she was talking about because she had found his dirty business laundry stash in the garage last week and knew just what kind of stains he would have to get out. “Well done.” 

Then she picked up her uniform shirt and did a similar review. Holding it up to the light, she wondered, “Did you get out that stubborn little stain on the front? I guess I forgot to tell you about that one.” 

Nodding confidently, he explained that it took some doing, some sniffing, wiping and even tasting, but he got it out. 

She smiled and put the uniform shirt back down. She had counted on him being thorough. She knew he’d do anything to impress her and get that stain out. Even tasting it! But you cheating son-of-bitch! she thought You’ll be dead in a day or two from the poison in that stain. And the evidence, well, you got rid that yourself, Dear Husband! 


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