Thursday, January 29, 2009

An warning

When the sign pictured below first appeared on the corkboard near our condo, I thought little of it.  The sign says that somebody is stealing clothes from washers.  That's no problem for Baby and me, because although we don't have a dryer, we actually do have a washing machine in our home.  Our clothes are safe.

Or so I thought.   

Last night I was carrying a basket of wet clothes into the laundry room when I saw him -- the LAUNDRY THIEF!  Dressed head to toe in sopping wet horizontal stripes, he was picking through a pile of damp jeans, looking for something his size.  Normally I would have assumed the best and just mumbled a salutation to a fellow late-night launderer, but the words of the flyer were ringing in my subconcious mind, and I was indeed on "the watch out" for any suspicious behavior.  

Suddenly, I heard a heart-rending screech: "FREEZE MOTHERFUCKER!" and was shocked to hear that the voice was my own!  The THIEF, as startled as I was by the expletive, dropped a pair of Wranglers and made a run for it -- directly towards me, as I was blocking the exit.  Thinking quickly, I heaved the basket of laundry towards him, hitting the perpetrator square in the chest.  As he scrambled to regain his balance, I simultaneously grabbed my cell phone (to call 9-1-1, naturally, as one does in such situations) and threw open one of the lower dryers, the door gouging him in the shin.  He fell forward, his feet taken out from under him.  With the perp on the ground, I pounced knees-first, pinning him.

"Whyyyyyy?" he wheezed as I dialed.  

"CRAM A SOCK IN IT, BITCH!" I screamed, involuntarily.  I regained my composure when I heard the 9-1-1 operator on the line.  "Yes, I'd like to report a robbery in progress."

The THIEF was moaning softly under my knees, as if he were trying to say something.  I moved my head closer to his face.

"I ... was ... just ... doing ... my ... darksss," he hissed.

"Tell that to the jur-AAAAAAGHHHHHH!" I screamed, my quip interrupted as he threw a pile of dryer lint into my eyes.  He shrugged me off his back and once again scrambled towards the door.  Through the teary haze, I was just barely able to grab the edge of a steel folding table and pull it down, catching the exit door and slamming it shut.  "Where the FUCK do you think you're going?"

"Not to jail, asshole!  I'll die before I go back there!" he screamed as he frantically tried to push the table out of the way.  I picked my phone off the ground.  "Hello, dispatcher?  Please send the SWAT team to the following address ..."  Realizing he was trapped, the LAUNDRY THIEF turned on me.  

"If I die, you're coming with me!"  He reached behind a dryer and ripped out the gas line.  "Hang up the phone or I light this match!  Don't think I won't do it man, I've got two strikes already!"  In one hand he held the hissing metal hose.  In the other a matchhead, squeezed between his middle finger and thumb, pressed against the matchbook.  If the THIEF literally snapped, the whole place would turn into a raging fireball.  The room was filling with foul-smelling gas, and I knew I didn't have much to bargain with, so I put the phone down.

"You win, asshole.  Now get the fuck out of here before you kill us both, you crazy bastard."  The thief dropped the matches and smashed a window with his elbow.  He slipped into the bitter cold night, running off to find another laundry room to burgle.

I turned the gas valve off, put my clothes in a dryer, and fished in my pockets for quarters.  $1.25 a load?  Now that's robbery.


  1. wow. best dad joke ever. you win the 2009 crown!

    And i'm going to go ahead and say that this sign looks auspiciously A LOT like the sign in your office for the Pudding Thief. I'm pretty sure you're the author of both of these.