Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Spin Doctor

"It is the ability to take a joke, not make one, that proves you have a sense of humour."
-Max Eastman

It was not so very long ago that Mater got her first brand new washing machine. Prior to that the appliance she used had been quite possibly second or third hand and before that it was a plastic tub or the sink. In any case, acquiring a new model was a rare and hard-earned treat.
That evening she nervously set the machine to clean the first bundle of laundry. Never was housework so full of expectation.
When the cycle ended my mother happened to be busy elsewhere and my cousin saw an opportunity. He opened the door of the washing machine, removed the soaking wet clothes and hid them in a corner. He then placed a batch of dry, clean garments into the machine. He quietly slipped into the next room to read a newspaper and wait for the world to turn upside down.
In a few minutes, sure enough, my mother came dashing into the living room, breathless and flabbergasted.
"Look! Look what the washing machine does! Feel that. It's all dry. It's dry!" My innocent mother was so startled at the magic of a washing machine that dried clothes without being asked to.
I do not recall quite how it was revealed that she had been tricked, so I cannot confirm what was said but my cousin most likely still laughs himself to sleep at the rather inspired and clever deception. One must applaud him for the spontaneity of the joke.
Had I the money, I would immediately buy Mater such a stupendous dual-purpose washing machine and enable her to maintain a modicum of her delightful innocence and good sense of humour.


polona said...

hmm... i'm strange this way... i don't enjoy pranks, no matter on which end i would be...
hope your mother took it with good humour.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Polona, I am absolutely the same about practical jokes- and for me too, it doesn't matter if I'm not the one being tricked. I can't bear to watch it.
It's just not my way either. Thankfully my mother was able to laugh about it.

Beth said...

I love it--I remember getting my fist washer just before my oldest child was born--I washed everything and marveled at it--but it never dried them, that required a different machine and I've never found any machine that folded them.

tangobaby said...

I think that's really cute! Of course Mater laughed. She's awesome.

I've done things to my mom like that and she still loves me.

mermaid said...

Humor is wonderful, isn't it? I used to be so serious, and now wonder how anyone could stand to be around me. Leraning to love everything about myself has certainly helped.

Pappy said...

It was a good joke The, but if I know Mater at all from your writings, then that cousin of yours better be watching his backside. I can feel a good payback being brewed.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Beth, maybe one day they'll come up with an automatic folder for laundry :) In the meantime, nothing beats a clothes line. If I didn't live in an apartment I'd surely have one.

Tangobaby, first she was mad, then she laughed, then she was mad again. I think she'll be reading your comment tomorrow and she'll be glad of it :)

Mermaid, humour is quite necessary I think. It's a very natural instinct and hard to suppress it. But life isn't always easy of course and sometimes it's hard to find the humour in things.

Texican, I said to Mater just yesterday that she ought to get all the people he's tricked over the years, get them together and plan something. Spend a month planning it. I'm not into jokes but somebody needs to pull one on him, for sure. He's performed so many jokes on so many people I'd love to know how he'd react to a practical joke on him. It's got to be something that makes up for decades of trickery... :)

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

...I'll give an example: he went into a local grocery store recently and told the owner he had cut his finger and could he have a bandage? He had a fake finger made of clay and painted skin colour and some red paint on it. She nearly fainted. That sort of thing. I'm sure she would help ;)

mouse (aka kimy) said...

....must say my reaction to this story was the same as texican that cousin best watch out.... when he least expects it expect it! wham!! I do think that prank was a bit cruel....

Barb said...

Very funny but also a little mean! Good thing Mater has a sense of humour. But then without all these terrific stories of yours, what would we read each morning. B

Jaime said...

So funny!

Oh if only washing machines would wash and dry and fold... and make breakfast.
Life would be good.

I would have LOVED to have seen the look of astonishment and child-like wonder that must have been on her face...even if it was temporary.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Kimy, he's always doing these jokes in great spirit but I'd love to see him caught out just once ;)

Barb, I suppose also that if he didn't think Mater could handle it he wouldn't have done it. He knows the limits and knew she could laugh about it.

Jaime, ah, yes, make breakfast too. Although they might make the food taste a bit like washing powder ;)
I'm sure Mater was happy for a brief moment. She's always ready for his trickery so it's not so bad. Anything that makes a person laugh in the end is not a bad thing.

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