Feature, Random Safari Express

The Mighty Gladiators of the VI

By Carlos Eton

Errands and chores.  Don’t we just love them?

For most of us, the answer is a big posterior pain.  Don’t we silently hope that the commode will miraculously clean itself?  Don’t we wish that wayward pixies vacuum and dust so that we can spend the afternoon at Coki Point or Cane Bay?  Why don’t these taxes magically pay themselves?  How come the broom doesn’t move on its own like it did in Fantasia?  Do I really have to re-register my car again this year?  After all, I did it last year.

I have been warned that the single most challenge-riddled errand in the Virgin Islands is doing laundry at the laundromat.  And from what I have personally witnessed, this could very well be the case.

For those of us who are not blessed with a 100-gallon Mitsubishi Triplexa remote controlled washer and dryer set (with the optional Pediflex foot massager and Margarita mixer), the mere thought of experiencing the carnage of the laundromat is enough to instill fear and trepidation in even the bravest of us.

Unfortunately, it is at this point that a humorous, but disturbing thought envelopes you!

Let’s face it; the laundromat experience is not an errand.  It a competitively combative gladiator blood sport designed to erode two hours of our lives.

The volatile carnage begins with the arena itself:  the laundromat.  The layout of the facility itself is pretty much a direct affront to ergonomics, as if the objective is either to create maximum customer discomfort in a small user hostile overcrowded space or to pay homage to the gladiators of yesteryear.

The front-loading wash machines are designed so that victims, I mean laundry patrons, must kneel in prayer-like fashion to access see-through doors and catapult-toss their garments into the revolving hamster-wheel washer.

If you can even get a washer!

Granny Clara Nette has taken command of 13 of the 20 washers by deploying a unique strategy—washer (and later dryer) loads of three clothing items in each.  And, to make matters worse, those laundry cycles won’t end for another 45 minutes.

Yes, there are 7 washers left, but you better sprint towards them as fast as you can because there are 5 other ambitious bloodthirsty laundry patrons galloping towards those same washers.

One of your combatants (I mean laundromatic customers) is hauling 12 jumbo-sized bags of laundry—enough to clothe the entire population of Kingshill three times over.  And she looks like she would have no problem neutralizing you to get to the washers before you.

Who says gladiator sports don’t exist in the VI?

By the grace of fortune, you have actually managed to sidestep the laundromatic carnage and scored two of the remaining washers.  Whew!  You made it.

Unfortunately, it is at this point that a humorously disturbing thought envelopes you!

You forgot to bring quarters for the wash!

The Random Safari Express, a serial feature column by senior UVI Communication student and humorist Carlos Eton, celebrates comedy, philosophy, and the thousand (often ridiculous) random thoughts that pop into our heads during the quiet moments of our day.

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