The Treaty of the Laundry Room.
BY MARK HILL
The Republic of the Basement Suite and the Empire of the Main Floor, desiring to bring an end to all hostilities, disagreements, incidents, etc. occurring in the shared territory of the Laundry Room, and to strengthen the bonds of mutual tolerance between the two great nations, have respectively named their plenipotentiaries as Mark, by and with the advice and consent of his roommate, Steve, and Cindy, by and with the advice and consent of her roommates, Cheryl and Karen, who have agreed to the following articles.
The Republic of the Basement Suite and the Empire of the Main Floor agree that any and all laundry brought to the Laundry Room must be washed, dried and otherwise processed in a period of no more than 24 hours, beginning from the moment the laundry enters the Laundry Room, with the understanding that failure to adhere to this timeframe grants the other nation permission to move, launder, dry or otherwise manipulate the offending laundry, and that the other nation will be absolved from blame for any damages caused by these actions, including but not limited to shrinking, bleaching and the running of colors, regardless of how “precious,” the laundry is, Cindy, because if your Cowboys sweater was that damn important to you then maybe you shouldn’t have left it in the machine when you went away for the long weekend and then blamed me when it shrunk in the dryer, because it’s not my fault the instructions faded from that ratty piece of crap.
The Republic of the Basement Suite and the Empire of the Main Floor recognize that all laundry has inherent rights, and thus, regardless of any violations of Article I, no laundry will be knowingly laundered or dried on inappropriate settings, willingly ripped, torn, or otherwise shredded, or thrown on the ground when it could be placed on laundry racks or on top of the machines, and that any violation of these rights obligates the responsible citizen of the offending nation to replace the damaged article and offer the victimized citizen of the offended nation a sincere apology, and maybe a beer, but no more than that because dammit, I’ve apologized to Karen a dozen times, but she still won’t shut up about that shirt I ripped, even though I paid for another one and she can’t even prove I did it on purpose, and that if the fabric tears that easily then maybe she shouldn’t have put it in the washing machine in the first place.
The Empire of the Main Floor promises to deliver a tribute of one bottle of Tide Coldwater Liquid Laundry Detergent, and one box of whatever those sheets you put in the dyer are called, to the Republic of the Basement Suite as reparation for the unlawful seizure of one bottle of the Republic of the Basement Suite’s Tide Coldwater Liquid Laundry Detergent, in the incident known as the December Detergent Crisis, because seriously, Cheryl, I don’t care if all the stores were closed, you used up the last of our detergent so I had to go to Christmas dinner in dirty clothes, and even though they didn’t say anything, my parents were obviously disappointed in me.
The Republic of the Basement Suite and the Empire of the Main Floor shall exchange three articles of clothing to be kept as wards, with the understanding that any violation of these articles by either nation will render the other nation’s responsibility to protect these wards null and void, and the agreement that the wards must hold sentimental, fashionable or monetary value, and not just be some old gym strip you found at the back of your closet, I’m sorry, I’m in the middle of restructuring my wardrobe, but I’ll find something appropriate, I swear.
Steve of the Republic of the Basement Suite agrees to cease folding the lingerie of the Empire of the Main Floor without a request by or the permission of the Empire of the Main Floor, in exchange for the Empire of the Main Floor’s acceptance of Steve’s statement of “I was just trying to be helpful” as lawful fact, and the agreement that any missing articles of lingerie must have just been misplaced, and so there’s no need to get the police involved, seriously, I’ll talk to him.
If any disagreements arise regarding the intent or interpretation of these articles, or if any violations of these articles, perceived or actual, are committed, the Republic of the Basement Suite and the Empire of the Main Floor agree that the dispute will be mediated by the Kingdom of the Landlord, and that the ruling of King Landlord will be accepted as law, even though he’ll obviously be biased towards you, Cindy, since the Republic of the Basement Suite has it on good authority that you paid for your portion of last month’s rent in boob flashes.
The present treaty shall be ratified in the span of one month after the date of the signature by the plenipotentiaries, or sooner if possible, which would be a simple matter if Karen would just take her fucking towels out of the dryer already, seriously, they’ve been in there at least three days.
Done at Big Bob’s Brewhouse on the 23rd day of May in the second year of the Republic of the Basement Suite, the fourth year of the Empire of the Main Floor and the year of our Lord 2012.
SUGGESTED READSYour Neighborhood Laundraclean
by Alysia Gray Painter (8/7/2000)
Talk To Us With Towels
by Rob Sears (2/2/2007)
List: Several Books Left in My Apartment Building’s Laundry Room
by Vince Keenan (10/21/2002)
RECENTLYThis Statement of Purpose Will Blow Your Mind
by Patrick Font and Rome Morgan (2/8/2016)
Hungover Bear and Friends: Aspire to More
by Ali Fitzgerald (2/8/2016)
List: The Magic 8-Ball for Millennials
by Heather Wheat (2/8/2016)