At the crack of dawn , the old Chevy truck glides to a stop, parking behnd the rear entrance to the "Fluff N Fold" emporium, no other vehicles are in the lot----this bodes well, for it most likely means I will have free choice of which washers and dryers I will make use of---better yet, it means my "favorite" machines will be available-----already I am sensing this will be one of the better days doing the weekly conversion of dirty clothes back into the magic pile of fluffed and folded accoutremonts.
I lug the big basket containing the weeks dirty linens, and with quite much practiced motions I load the whites, coloreds and dainties---(what?? your surprised that us men have clothes that require special handling---sheesh, I have said it before and I will say it again---twas a big mistake to ever allow women to think they knew everything!). Then (SOB!)---I discovered that in my hurry leaving the castle, and venturing forth in the pre-dawn blackness, I had failed to load up my box of soaps, bleaches, softners and magic chemicals ------grimly stifling the urge to swear loudly and profanely in the empty fluff and fold emporium, I quickly adopted plan "B"--"Emergency measures to be taken when out in the field without proper Cleaners"---with tight jaws, I determinedly pushed dollars into the change machine, converting them into quarters, which I then, with a minimum of muttering depreciations, inserted into the dispensers acquiring the appropriate lil boxes of soaps, bleaches and softeners. ( while on another level of my mind, adjusting what we would have for dinner that evening, to something filling but cheap, to make up for this unplanned outlay of coin of the realm.)
Quickly enough the big room filled with the sound of the washers dutifully sloshing, and jerking my clothes around getting them clean.---twas then I discovered, that along with failure to load my soaps and bleaches, I had also failed to bring my lasted novel to read----my penalty for this failure-----20+ minutes (which seemed like acouple hours) of staring at the washers, as there was nothing to read, except acouple Jehova Witness Pamphlets, which I am glad to say I left untouched on the back table.
My laundry "in work" I left the Fluff N Fold Palace and in the semi-light of Dawn made my way to "Wong's", a small hole in the wall bakery that as far as I can determine is owned and operated by a large oriental family, all of whome speak heavily accented English---and as always at this time of day in the midst of a rush hour of those starting their day with a cup of coffee, and a doughnut or pastry of thier choice. One stand in line and waits one's turn to order---keeping a sharp out out monitoring the three oriental clerks behind the counter, waiting----for one of them to look your way, signalling its time for you to verbalize one's order. I get the "Look" and in a deep voice, "Large Coffee Please", she turns away goes to the big coffee urn fills my order sets it on the counter, holds her hand out I lay in the monies, she makes change---and moves to serve the next customer requireing service---aside from my stating my order no verbal communications have been exchanged---Pheenomenal!! One of these days, (fluff N fold days that is, for otherwise I have no cause to be in this area of town) I will present them my credit card to pay for my coffee----I suspect one of two things will happen---the place will come to a screeching halt--or I will find myself being dragged out of the line and tossed into the street, and banished----or the clerk will pull out a pair of scissors, slash my card to pieces, and in loud pidgin english----"no credit cardee---no get coffee"-----well gotta have coffee, so I always make sure I have acouple bills to acquire same.
Aside from the two failures reiterated above, the rest of my Fluffing and Folding went pretty much to plan, and I made a successful return trip back to the Palace on Matilija ave.----