Laundry Gives Underwear The Slip

There is a time in the ascent of man when technology overtakes logic. Take underwear for example. A fan of Marks and Sparks for decades I suddenly became overwhelmed by the element of choice.

Rather like light bulbs, which have extended from a selection of 40, 60 and 100watts and a single bayonet fitting. Now the damn things are now available in three operational types, four fittings and five power ratings. Gone are watts and now we have to be conversant with lumens. These are equal to the amount of light emitted per second in a unit solid angle of one steradian from a uniform source of one candela. Yeah that’s what I thought. Similarly M&S gent’s under-apparel for the use of are now available in eight form designs, five material types and a multitude of colours. The selection criteria has been shoved into overload. This has me standing with vacant stare in the underwear isle; ergo in the bleeding way of all the women folk supposedly sent out by their bewildered spouses. The range challenge is not lightly undertaken for there are unforeseen pitfalls. Technology has reared its meddling head. White cotton now replaced by man made fibres, stretch fabrics, some stuff called stay-fresh, and others possessing the unique ability of fast wicking.

These new features imply they are designed to cope with all manner of gentlemanly afflictions. Wicking dribbles into the ether possibly being the most advantageous, but I can understand the stay-fresh ability has significant additional benefits to mankind in the vicinity.

But then each of these new materials come with their complex washing washing instructions. Having been long banned from the use of our washing machine – largely due to being caught making the crass assumption you chuck laundry into the drum, add an abundance of power or liquid into the drawer and spin the control dial to acquire the wash cycle on the same random basis as roulette.

The better half thereby, and perhaps understandably, has assumed all duties associated with laundry. Yet, I believe in retaliation has also adopted a sod-you attitude with regards to the M&S drying procedures of ones nether apparel. These cherished items of underwear are whacked straight into the dryer. Although this provides huge benefits to our relationship, reducing some of the drudgery of the laundry process it also involves, I am convinced, some element of payback. For each cycle reduces the dimensions of said underwear by several mm. This assiduous process reaches a point where the area of fabric fails to provide anything like the coverage the designer intended, let alone meet the specification argued by my mother in case you have to suddenly visit the doctor.

Bending down to tie shoelaces invokes an entirely unnecessary wedgie. This takes some recovery if inadvertently induced in a public place. Adjustments can be seen as being significantly anti social. It also urges the need to check if there is anything you can do whilst being down there.

You may recall my household duties revolve around everything at floor level. The house has several rooms decked out in York stone flags. It’s old you see. Cleaning the beggars falls under my jurisdiction and invoke rather arduous effort. Being an engineer and way back briefly involved in work study there are clearly methods to be developed here to achieve the cleaning process in minimum effort and timescale. OK several trials have not proven to be ideal but valuable lessons have been learnt. One of these is to always complete the task whist Florence is out thereby avoiding unnecessary criticism whilst the master plan is being developed.

My latest experiment involved chucking a bucket of soapy water over the floor, dashing about with a mop intending to agitate any dirt before being promptly sucked up with a wet vacuum cleaner. The theory seems to hang together, yet mysteriously in practice the process proved to lack finesse. The sudden ingress of water edged dangerously towards certain carpet rugs, whilst in other areas it disappearing down unseen voids at an alarming rate. This holds the possibility of being absorbed by the substrate and potentially likely to emerge as a bleeding great damp patch requiring rather skillful explanation. This is very much work in progress.


Image courtesy of Graphics Mouse at

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