Friday, June 02, 2006

Death. Taxes…Laundry?!?

The old saying about Death and Taxes being inevitable is inadequate. There’s nothing more inevitable than Dirty Laundry.

After all, Death comes knocking only once. That is, your death, at least. Outside of being a cat or a soap opera character, or falling into a vat of red Rambaldi goo, you’re only likely to die once. Sure, you can be affected by other people’s deaths, but theirs is no more inevitable than yours—in fact, you can avoid facing the demise of others simply by retreating from their reality. But your own death will unarguably stop you in your tracks. Once.

And Taxes, well they do happen more often that Death, but really only once a year. You can be prepared or not, do them yourself or pay someone else. Either way, you get to put stuff aside for 364 days to have said Taxes done on the 365th. It’s inevitable, but it shouldn’t occupy your daily thoughts.

Dirty Laundry, though, can and will interrupt your day, be it morning or night, before showering or while eating lunch. That’s because Dirty Laundry is the ultimate inevitability. It’s a surety.

It cannot be avoided and refuses to be put aside. Like Taxes, you can do it yourself or pay someone else, you can save it up for days or weeks then take care of it all at one time (gads, what a load that would be!). But it will never go away.

If you’re avoiding Dirty Laundry, you must find a place to stash that growing, smelly pile while you put off the inevitable moment of truth: You will need clean clothes eventually. You can choose to stay dirty, get arrested for vagrancy and make friends with a tattooed, equally smelly fellow named Joe-Bob. Or you can throw away the soiled clothing and buy new ones—always a favorite for shopaholics and celebrities. But within a few hours, days, weeks, you’ll just have to repeat that cycle. Making that choice over and over again: Is it dirty or clean? Do I ignore or take action?

Because Dirty Laundry is inevitable. As soon as you remove an article of clothing, you must make a decision: Is it clean or dirty? Do you put it in a hamper, toss it on the moldy pile festering in the corner, or hang it up in the closet in the hopes that that the spot on the hem will magically disappear?

[Okay, you could refuse to decide what to do, but you might tire of standing in the bathroom with a shirt and underwear gripped in your left hand and sweaty socks in your right. Eventually, you would do something—perhaps even asphyxiate from the unclean fumes. Ah, Death was inevitable, wasn’t it? But I digress…]

Dirty Laundry doesn’t occur once a year or once a lifetime: It’s today, yesterday afternoon, Christmas night. It’s sorting and stuffing the washer. It’s carrying the load to the Laundromat, garage or utility room. It’s liquid soap and dryer lint.

But most of all, Dirty Laundry is a constant. It’s not a one-time action. It’s the same decisions every day for the rest of your life, whether you pay Taxes or not, until Death takes you.

Taxes don’t occupy our time like this. Death shouldn’t. Yet Dirty Laundry does.

As such, I advocate a change to that tired old adage about death and taxes. From now on, everyone should say: It’s as sure as Dirty Laundry.


Anonymous said...

Joe-Bob? All of those amazing (and quite witty) comments and the best you could do was Joe-Bob??? Rubin would have implicated Skippy the Woodland Elf... rsc

Meesh said...

Blame my lack of appellation creativity on the Astros -- the only other name I wanted to use was Wandy. And that's really because he sucked, not because he stank.