posted Sat, 04 Nov 2006
Remember SH’s upstairs neighbors? The ones who do laundry every single day at 8:00 a.m.? They used to do it at 6 a.m., but SH had asked them if they could hold off until, oh, 8 or so. He had no idea they would be doing wash every single day. I’m not exaggerating. We hear them rap the measuring cup for the soap against the machine at 7:59 in anticipation of pushing the “start” button at 8.
SH is an engineer who works for a California company. Many of his customers don’t leave work until 8 or 9 Pacific time. They’ll send him emails and expect an answer by the next day. He’ll get the email at 10 or 11 central time. He’d rather stay up to solve the problem than get up early in the morning. In the past two weeks, he has stayed up until 5:00 a.m. and to 2:30 a.m. twice apiece. He would like to sleep past 8:00 a.m. But the sound of the washing machine upstairs is so loud that it wakes him as soon as it starts.
When the upstairs neighbors started their laundry at 8:00 every morning this week, we decided it was time for action. We knew – we were sure -- that if only they knew that their machine was really bothering SH, they would surely delay their laundry activities. After all, it’s not like they have anything else to do. They’re retired! They have flexibility! They don’t have to go to work or anything. And it’s not like SH is staying up late to go out drinking. He’s staying up late to work.
SH took a plate of the chocolate chocolate chip cookies that we baked this morning upstairs. He barely got the words out that he liked to sleep past 8:00 a.m. when they told him that they had already asked the building manager about the acceptable hours for doing laundry and that Rusty had told them that 8:00 a.m. was just fine. Besides, they were already waiting so long to get started! They get up at 5:00 a.m.! In their old place, they had that laundry in the machine by 5:30 every day. They have chores to do, places to go, walks to take, bingo to play. The laundry, she cannot wait.
SH had not expected this response. What polite person does? So he went for broke. “It’s just the two of you living here, right?” he asked.
Yep, they told him.
“That sure is a lot of laundry for two people,” he observed.
“We do one load of darks and one load of lights every day. You gotta keep on top of it,” they told him sharply.
He retreated gracefully. They kept the cookies. They also told him that they never hear any noise he makes, so there is nothing we can do to get revenge.
The end of the line
11 months ago