Saturday, 4 September 2010

various things falling from the sky

it's raining here - dams full for the first time since 1997
even rained into my window last night [although the window is protected by a large verandah]
might be able to grow some vegetables
provided i get some time at home

speaking of which, shall be away for a week
at the Strathalbyn retreat
so i thought i would leave you with an amusement

the image below
of a steaming pile of wet AND burned washing
was shot by me in Fitzroy recently

i'll give a prize to the writer of the best story
explaining how the washing came to be on the pavement

here's the drum
join the happy band of followers
use the image on your blog with your story
link back to me in the post
and paste your story in the comments section below

the writer of whichever one makes me and Martha [my comfort cat]
chuckle the most
will be sent a surprise parcel
if the stories are really good
there may be more than one parcel sent out

entries will close on September 13th...


  1. now that is a good challenge, do i get a prize for posting the first comment, at time of writing anyway. k.

  2. Charcole, black as night and sometimes of heart, especially if she was trifled with, pounced on the pile of clothing that Assumpta moved from the floor to the chair to the dresser drawer, anything to hide the fact that the piles of wash were growing. Each time the pile was moved, Charcole nested and circular danced, digging little claw marks into the fibers, arranging a bed to settle in. It wasn’t that Assumpta had not meant to get to the laundry, but each time that she gathered the piles into one big lump, Charcole, lifted her head, gave her the green eyed stare and Assumpta, let them drop, needing a cup of tea before she could face the day. But today was it, Charcole could tell from the set of Assumpta’s shoulders. No messing about my fine feline friend, I am out of clothes, the words, yada, yada yada out of Assumpta’s mouth.

    Wait, what are you doing, no, you’ve got a black nasty plastic bag, wait…prumph! Well, how rude, you’ve dumped me on the floor to get at your pile. No, you didn’t, I saw you coming and leaped to the floor, my dignity intact.

    There she goes, putting on her one remaining clean shirt and her ratty jeans. I helped make them rattier by digging in with my claws. Indigo fabric, with threads hanging, how could I resist. I just helped make her fashion statement more noticeable.

    It’s a good thing we live close by My Beautiful Launderette, I don’t have to prowl the streets that far. Ah, that was a film, Daniel Day Lewis, but that’s a tale for another day. We are off, wash day.

    Contents of the bag chunked into the washer, no, don’t put your smalls in with the rest…oh well, Assumpta is a technicolor woman so she won’t mind pink undies. Someone has left a pile of clothing on the folding table. Well I would settle myself there but the over sickening smell of fabric softener.

    Oh no! Here comes Declan with that thing he calls his pet, a dog. Now she’s done it, fluffed her hair, put on her special smile. Assumpta, no, don’t bat your eyes at Declan…what, you’re reaching down to pet that thing. Don’t you dare come to me with dog smell on your hands. You say you would love a coffee, wait, you’re going for coffee with Declan and that mutt. Don’t expect me to go with you, not with that poor excuse for a pet. I’m giving you my tail, turned myself around, have gone off to my favorite corner, the one with lots of bits of lint to bat around I'm not sulking, but I will get even for this change of affection, oh yes, Assumpta, just you wait.

    Ah, here comes Mrs. Soames, she is an impatient old woman, if the washers are occupied; she just opens the door, plunks out the wash and puts her own in. Wouldn’t you know it, it’s my lucky day because she has just gone to Assumpta’s washer and pulled out her wash. I leap to the table, looking graceful as usual, and grab a piece. Luckily the laundry door is propped open because it can get a bit steamy and warm. Little by little I drag most of her laundry to the street. I will not lower myself to bring out her smalls, just her rainbow of t-shirts. And then I spot a smoldering cigarette that someone has carelessly thrown nearby. Rolling it gently, I let it ignite a bit of a t-shirt. It’s not that I am an evil cat, it’s just that Assumpta should know better than to toy with my affections. A mutt indeed…Ha!

  3. Marti that is just over the top, you are an excellent and multi-talented story teller...k.

  4. india, this is true. so it's no creative exercise, but goes well with the photo. i still have the notebook, by the way, and had largely forgotten the horror until your post!

    imagine: "commercial dryer, hottest temperature, commercial dryer, HOTTEST temperature" in a loud voiced, strong korean accent. "commercial dryer, hottest temperature", she said, over and over. every single syllable enunciated. my teacher sun-ja insisted this to us as we were getting ready to put together our research sample notebooks for her advanced textile printing course. "all dyes must be fixed. use heat! no need to wash!!!" so off i trundled one fall evening to the "laundra-mat". on grand island. in 1977. i was 19, a junior in the textile design department.

    into the commercial dryer they went. dozens of samples. dozens of fiber combinations, all sorts of colors and patterns, screen printed, direct dyed, tie dyed, photo emulsions, painted... in they went. the lady (there's always a lady) hobbled around as i sat down with my history text. and read, while the dryer thumped.


    and thumped. the lady hustled to the phone with alarm and called the volunteer fire department. making eye contact, i emerged from the study trance to see her fling open my dryer "HEY!" i protested. inside my somewhat smaller precious collection of samples nestled in the steel drum were in flames. over i ran and in scurried firemen and poured in some water as smoke poured out of the vents under the dryer. the firemen scooped up the fiber and flung it out the door onto the walk. one semester's work. burned. melted. unsalvagable.

    a new version of "the dog ate my homework".

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Second year design student
    assignment due
    knew so much
    but not so much.

    Try something new
    read it on a blog
    don't need the book
    that yarngarden tells the lot.

    Roll a bundle of dried leaves
    pinch of tobacco and weed
    wrap it in cotton and poly weave
    toss into the microwave.

    Too long on the phone
    sniff - what's that smell?
    shit! open the oven,
    hurl it out the window.

    Old woman in beautiful laundrette below
    refugee from war torn Cheggn
    fire on the street, no bucket to throw
    a bundle of wet clothes will dampen.

    Morale of this tale
    read the book, buy the book
    Eco Colour by Flint
    don't dye alone.

  7. What a hoot! Has a rhythm to it, like a rap song or a free form poem. Could just see you Kaite at a poetry slam, standing up and reading this. Brilliant!

  8. After a long afternoon of tawdry love, Curt left, but asked if I would do his laundry before he returned. As I waited for the dryer to finish,I spotted a text from my best friend, Gwen. Guess who she just spotted making out at the pool, with the blond from the next apartment? Bastard! The cute Swedish laundry attendant, Sven was just re-filling his father's vintage chrome lighter. Fabulous! I grabbed the newly dried laundry, batted my eyelashes and asked if I could borrow the pair. A quick exit to the sidewalk, a small squirt, one flick of the shiny lighter and whoooosh, end of another chapter. Concerned that his employer's premises would be damaged and the cops called, my new love thoughtfully provided a bucket of dirty, soapy water to vanquish the flames. We made dinner plans!

  9. I'll post it to my blog in a couple of days. I don't want to shock my bead journal project fans! Giggle!

  10. not going to attempt a writing project- I am a visual painter who loves and appreciates others' writings and poetry and such- you are one of the talented ones that can create colors and write well.

  11. I do not have a blog, but would like to contribute this story, and try for a prize:
    we're reporting live from the scene of a fire earlier today at the ironically named:"My beautiful Laundrette".
    This story comes as a warning to all who use public laundries. Earlier today, a disgruntled woman enterd the laundry with a batch of wet clothes to dry. Knowing that dryers in laundrettes run MUCH hotter than ones at home, and still thinking how annoyed she was with her boyfriend, she proceeded to place numerous coins in the slot so that the dryer would run nonstop. Being that these dryers run much, much hotter it took a mere 20 minutes before the other patrons smelled something burning.
    Looking at the dryer one could see flames inside the door, yet while burning himself to 3rd degree a man grabbed the clothes and through them out the door in an attempt to save the building from going up in flames.
    All the while the culprit sat in the coffee shop across the street laughing as everyone scurried to extinguish the fire.
    Once again this story is brought to you as a warning about placing multiple coins and long drying times in public laundries. Do not put more than $1.00 in at one time and if need be take the clothes home and hang them up. This all could have been much more tragic than it was. Reporting live.

  12. Following up on our earlier story from the ironically named "my beautiful laundrette" The culprit is ms.Pyro who has lived in the woods all her life and was considered a loner. She refused comment. We caught up with her boyfriend,who created her rage, Mr. Bareass as he entered the local thrift store wearing only a pair of shorts and no shirt or shoes, but he refused comment.We found that Ms. Pyro is the great, great aunt of the third cousin removed, of Mrs. Firestarter who lived all her life across from former President Ford. More on this Michigan connection and the drug she was prescribed, but refused to take, on our 11 broadcast.

  13. just found your blog thru Sohie's, loving your work...

  14. "don't piss me off", he said.

    i stood outside the apartment building, one hand out to accept the laundry quarters, the other hand cramped and raw from gripping the handles of the heavy bag.

    i accepted the screaming, i accepted his dirty clothes and dirty money, i accepted his assessment of my character.

    i dragged the canvas bag along the sidewalk, fuming at his attitude and planning my revenge, knowing the plans would remain in my head, and that i would remain under his control, forever.

    the laundromat was filthy, and the bright overhead lights made my head hurt. using both hands and all of my strength, i swung the sack up, and it landed where i had planned - smack in the middle of the sagging Formica work table.

    i propped the washer lid open, and mindlessly shoved the sweat stiffened t-shirts, jeans and briefs into the tub, unconcerned with color separation. he could wear dingy, stained shorts, for all i cared. i did take care to search pockets for tissues, q-tips and notes, working quickly as the wash bin filled with water.

    one leg of one pair of jeans was twisted inside out, and i automatically reached into the leg to turn it back out. the hem came free, but it wasn't the hem, it was a tiny pair of gray thong panties.

    they weren't mine.

    the churning was too far into its cycle to stop it, so i closed the lid, and started to cry.

    i counted my change. i had enough for the dryer, or just enough for a donut and coffee.

    thirty minutes passed. i licked my sticky fingers, and was comforted by the heartbeat of the machines as i sipped my coffee.

    there are always people eyeing your machine in this laundromat, and a mom type was standing next to my machine, tapping her fingers on the lid as she waited. i continued to sip my coffee.

    the washer stopped, and my future changed. i smoothed the surface of the laundry bag, and carefully arranged the wet clothing onto its surface.

    i had brought a book to read, but it went back into my rucksack, unread. i took my time threading my arms through the straps of the rucksack, and once that was in place, i grabbed the flat of carefully arranged wet laundry, and carried it outside.

    everyone was watching me.

    i don't know how much of the story they had gleaned from neighborhood gossip, but i heard cheers as i dumped all his wet clothing onto the pavement. i tried to arrange it into a female shape, but wasn't successful. i had to make a statement that he would understand, so i fished through the wet laundry, found the tiny slingshot panties, and placed them on top of the pile.

    i folded the laundry sack, tucked it under my arm, and headed back to the apartment.

  15. what a great idea - i do love a good writing project. (too tired tonight, so not sure if i can compete with those already entered... there's some great ones; some common themes. hmmm - wonder how many jilted lovers read your blog!).
    can't wait to see who you declare the winner.

  16. Hey, nobody said that it needed to be from personal experience. It's fiction! No real relationships were injured in my trashy story .... besides, smut reads better than sweetness and light!Giggle!

    Oh BTW, Sven's, father's shiny vintage lighter would probably have been a Zippo (or perhaps a Ronson). I couldn't remember the name when I posted the first time.

  17. the sky is falling and it turns out it is made of cloth, very old cloth that has weathered many a storm.

  18. Just back from a conference, India, I almost missed out on the fun! Here's me tale:

    You're Not in Kansas Anymore

    The Wicked Witch of the West was cruising around looking for trouble, a favored pastime. But the Fitzroy streets were quiet and her disgruntlement was brewing. Where was everyone? Safely ensconced in their tidy little houses, she suspected. With great disgust she fumed and grumbled obscenities to herself, all the while keeping close watch on the streets, itching for mayhem.

    The she spied the open door. The launderette was deserted.

    Ah ha! This could be the perfect opportunity to wash her colorful undergarments without anyone knowing. After all, she had a reputation to uphold. Having flown half way around the world, she hadn't realized how cold the winter would be in this Land of Oz so she had been forced to don several layers of girlie apparel under her voluminous black cape. Peach colored leggings, an aqua chamise, lavender knee socks, all worn by the meanest, baddest witch of them all?! This was a secret that must never be known.

    Dashing quickly inside, the Wicked Witch chuckled to herself (in the evil way that only witches can do), propped her broom against the washer and felt secure in the knowledge that if spotted by any passerby she would surely be taken for the cleaning woman. She went about her task with feverish intensity.

    Anxiety rose while the dryer spinned - it was now growing light outside. I must make haste, she thought, and without further ado, swung open the dryer door, removed all her pretties before they were completely dry, put them on and got as far as the doorway...and melted right there on the sidewalk.

    Morale of the story: when you are the Wicked Witch of the West, lost in the Land of Oz, remember to dry clean only.

  19. RATZ, just posted the story over on my blog and realized that the time marker for my previous comment over here reads "13 September 5:47 AM"...I MISSED THE DEADLINE!

    Sorry, India. Nevertheless, had a whole lot of fun playing along...

  20. a different take on it Christi, good one...k.

  21. “It’s our ticket to riches….a Laundrette, we will make a fortune Darling.” Willows words swam about in the back of Beau’s head as he tried to fix the washing machine for the 15th time this week. “Bloody plans, stinking money, Beau yelled aloud as he jammed his thumb. Everyone in the Beautiful Laundrette stared… “What are you lot looking at” bellowed Beau. The customers went back to guarding their piles of washing. Lazing about on miss matched refugee furniture from a 70’s hard rubbish drop. Uni students and lost souls watch their life go around in a dryer. How did I fall for this shit, thought Beau we haven’t made any money because nothing ever works in here… even the lone gold fish in the old TV cabinet aquarium is sick. A smell wafted past him as he pulled the machines sump apart….coins…bobby pins, rocks and screws fell across the old green laminate table top. The only screw I ever get is from these bloody machines moaned Beau. A guy was leaning on the door jam; he turned following the smell and the plume of smoke to his dryer. He flung the door open grabbed his small pile of precious clothes and ran to the street. As his hands burned from the washing he threw it to the pavement. Beau doused the smouldering lump, picked up his phone and dialled 12456. “Call connect” said the helpful voice, “Can I have Fitzroy real estate please”

  22. India, I've posted it on my blog...sorry not alot of people looking at that though LOL.
    sorry I couldn't get the photo on skills are a little like my english skills, NOT good... but I have given it a whirl and loved it ...thanks to the other contributors, great stories xo

  23. relax, Christi

    it still isn't midnight here 9 and 3/4 hrs to go, in fact
    so you're in the running ....

    it's been a hoot reading all the contributions
    going to be a very hard task indeed
    to choose a favourite