The Final Rinse (or An Exercise in Precision and Futility)

So my friend Glooking-Mass Lama decided to attack strategically approach the mountain slightly overflowing basket of dirty laundry today. It’s been raining for the past couple of days and kids have a way of accumulating washing when they’re well. When they’re sick, the pile grows at an alarming rate. On a totally unrelated note, blowouts that go through denim overalls are terrifying.


Glooking-Mass Lama did the first load and put the second on. She decided to wait a little while before hanging out the first load, planning on doing both together. She looked out the window and, seeing nothing but blue skies and happy fluffy white clouds, was sure she had plenty of time.

Oh, Glooking-Mass Lama. When will you learn?

About 15 minutes later she looked out and realised that the happy fluffy white clouds were now sharing the sky with some mopey damp grey clouds. That’s logically when she decided it was time to hang the washing on the line.

It’s a bit of a trek to the washing line while I’m she’s house sitting, so she had plenty of time to reflect on how her plans may not have been the wisest. Still, she could maintain her optimism while blue remained above.

So out the first load of washing went. By the time she’d finished, the second load was ready to be hung, so out it went. As the line gradually filled with clothes, the sky gradually filled with grey clouds and her mind gradually filled with doubts.

It finally occurred to Glooking-Mass Lama that she could use her iFruit to give her an idea as to whether the heavens were about to burst open. Her heart sank as she opened her trusty weather app and looked at the forecast.

A few showers.

Okay, so not ideal, she thinks. What about the radar?

That blue stuff is rain, right?


There was little she could do now – at least the clothes would have a short time to dry. She wound the clothes line right up and started back up the garden, doing her best to ignore the occasional sudden splash from the sky.

After that it was all about precision – waiting to bring in the washing until the last possible minute to maximise drying time, but getting it inside before the rain. It was also about compulsively checking the radar and the sky, for her constant vigilance now would certainly make the storm pass.

It didn’t.

Just as she sat down to lunch and uttered the words “I’ll get the washing in immediately after lunch”, the heavens opened.

Glooking-Mass Lama leapt to her feet, preparing to launch herself down the stairs to rescue her clothes. Then she reconsidered.

Slippery bricks + panicky run = breaky bones.

She lowered herself back down, defeated, as she watched her laundry receive The Final Rinse.

Then – the clouds blew over and blue sky reappeared! The wait and watch game began again.

And the exact same thing happened – moments before she went to collect her laundry, the rain pelted down. And then cleared.

This happened four times all up. By the end of it, she was paranoid pretty darn certain that she was the butt of some sort of celestial joke. Glooking-Mass Lama decided that was it. She had a limited amount of time and patience remaining, so she gave the washing half an hour after the final downpour.

She marched determinedly down to the line and began to take the essentials off the line. Today’s ‘essentials’ meant pajamas, anything required the following day and anything that was drier than when it was hung up.

Halfway through, a spot splashed on her nose.

At the three-quarter mark, several more landed on her arms.

By the time the last item she had earmarked for survival was safe, the rain was pelting down. In a moment of determination, she flattened herself over the washing basket to protect her precious semi-dry cargo, and then stood, pressing the basket to her front.

Casting a final despairing glance back at those she could not save (she later told me it was heartbreaking to condemn them to their fate), she ran – but not over the slippery bricks. She stepped quickly and carefully over those.

Safely inside, she deposited the basket in the laundry and loaded the dryer. Glooking-Mass Lama sat and stared out at the rain as she listened to it drumming on the roof and consoled herself that those she could not save would have a few more Final Rinses.

You can read more about Glooking-Mass Lama here and here.


6 thoughts on “The Final Rinse (or An Exercise in Precision and Futility)

  1. I so relate to this. This is my winter entertainment, never fails to wind me up into a state. I have no dryer, so if I manage to save anything it goes under the air conditioner in the hopes that it will dry over the netx day. Much sympathy.
    Very funny, entertaining read too. (I’m laughing with you, not at you) 🙂

  2. 😦 My sister didn’t have a dryer when she lived in Rome for a year. She found it impossible to have jeans that were not at least partially damp almost the entire time – she never seemed to be able to time it right!

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