The other day, I was watching a scintillating episode of “Swamp People.” For those of you who are unfamiliar with the premise of this fine program, it’s one of those “reality” television shows that follows a bunch of alligator hunters down in the swamps of Louisiana.
I don’t know why it interests me so much. It’s basically a bunch of hairy, smelly-looking men and women that go out in little flat-bottomed boats, talking in some sort of subtitled Cajun gibberish, operating firearms that tend to not work very well. It always ends up with someone shouting “Shoot ‘im! Shoot ‘im!,” and then they haul a dead alligator into the boat. It’s more like I “monitor” the show instead of “watch” the show because I’m just waiting for the one time when the alligator wins.
Well, the other day I was “monitoring” a marathon of the program for a couple of intense hours. It was at a critical juncture when my wife decided to interrupt my viewing pleasure. How did she do this you are probably asking yourselves right about now? Throughout the past 25 years of wedded bliss, she has created several different ways to inhibit my well-intentioned television-watching plans. Among these have been, “Honey, the washing machine is off-balance again.” or, “Get in here! The toilet is doing weird things!” or possibly my personal favorite, “Hey! I don’t think the yard’s going to mow itself!!” Remarkably, she is under the foolish notion that I have the power, ability or desire to deal with any of these situations.
But the other day, she went back to one of her tested, tried and true ways of taking me away from my beloved television. She plopped a load of clothes on the floor right in front my reclined visage. They had just come out of the dryer, and evidently, my wife thought I apparently had enough free time that I could fold the laundry.
As I mentioned, she has used this ploy many, many times to ruin my television-viewing pleasure throughout the past quarter-century. The last episode of “Seinfeld” was practically ruined by a load of brightly-colored shirts and blouses, and many of the Chicago Bulls six championships were obscured by white sweat socks that were in dire need of being grouped together.
Being the sensitive guy that I am, I can usually tell how badly she wants the garments folded by the way in which she drops the pile of laundry. The height at which she drops the clothes basket is a dead giveaway. If she raises the basket above her head before she releases, it means she would like them folded in the very near future. Proximity is also a clue. If my body is in any way covered by the clean, warm garments, I’m fairly sure that folding is in my immediate future. The other day, when she wrecked “Swamp People,” she decided to sit down on the couch and help fold. Guilt is another one of her devilish, crafty tricks.
Now even though I’m a soft-hearted soul that will gladly do my part when I’m absolutely forced to, there are still some things I will try to get out of when folding clothes. Socks. Folding socks just seems like a waste of time that could be better spent rooting for alligators. I will attempt to stay away from any kind of underwear, especially my own. I know where it’s been and what it’s been through. My daughter has these weird shirts that have this strange inner- and outer-layer thing going on that I always manage to get tangled up. I don’t like to fold anything that has a collar. Those things should go on a hanger anyway. Pants are easy so I usually like to leave those for my wife and daughter. That’s the kind of guy I am.
That pretty much leaves me with the towels. I would venture to guess that I am possibly one of the best towel-folders east of the Mississippi. I have always prided myself on my innate ability to fold a towel like no other. I’ve listed this talent on job résumés.
So there we sat in front of the soft glow of televised alligator-death, my wife and I — me with the towels, her with everything else, preparing to fold laundry like there was no tomorrow. As I picked up the royal-blue terry cloth fabric and started in on the first towel, she looked at me from the couch and in a slightly snotty voice told me, “You’re doing it wrong.”
After I got my blood pressure to go back down, I calmly and politely asked the know-it-all evil woman, “Why whatever do you mean, dear?”
She replied, “They don’t fit in the linen closet the way you do it.” Miss Smarty-Pants then proceeded to show me how she folds towels so that they “fit” properly.
I didn’t want to make fun of her crazy, possibly drug-addled ways, but I did point out several issues regarding molecular physics that say the towel is the same size no matter which way you fold the darn thing. It takes up the same amount of space no matter what. Sometimes you just have to push it in the closet a little harder.
However, being the benevolent chap that I am, in order to make the cantankerous old lady happy, I folded the towels the way she wanted me to even though I think the whole world can see that my way is better in every conceivable fashion.
If you don’t agree with me, I’ll show you my résumé.
You can contact Greg Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.