Tag Archives: Washing

Scrub a Dub Dub

English: Woman washing clothes in the river Ne...

English: Woman washing clothes in the river Nederlands: Dia. Een vrouw tijdens het wassen van kleding in de rivier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Washing machines–most of us have them. They’re nearly as common as the clothes on our backs (feel free to chuckle). We tend to take them for granted. Each week (in some cases every day), a rotating tub is filled with dirty clothes, detergent, and water.

Then they’re cleaned, being sloshed around for twenty minutes or so, rinsed in the same fashion as the wash cycle (minus the soap) and spun into oblivion, rinsed again, and spun one final time. Occasionally, a load will become unbalanced and the resulting turmoil mimics that of a 7.5 on the Richter scale earthquake.

I would tend to think that this method is a tad better than what the ancient Romans used to whiten their tunics.  They would dip them in urine. That’s right, urine.  The ammonia in the tainted liquid would bleach the material white. I guess there’s no accounting for taste or in this case, smell.

Washboards reared their cleansing heads in the latter part of the 18th century. The first mechanical hand-operated washing machine appeared in the mid 19th century. The one tried and true process for cleaning clothes that I have failed to mention is the good ‘ole slog down to the river to beat that dirty underwear on a rock method.

People have done this since the first river decided to encroach upon the territory of the first rock and man decided he needed to cover up his naughty-bits. In fact, in less developed countries, this approach to cleansing dirty clothes is still used today. Thankfully, as far as I know, urine is no longer in use. Of course, the length of what I know is questionable.

If we delve into the world of writing and publication, we find a similar circumstance insofar as long after we view our manuscripts as complete, others can tell it still needs to be cleaned up.

Enter the editor.

This is where you need to relinquish a certain amount of control. Drop your pride and listen to your editor. His or her advice, for the most part, is worth its weight in gold. If you have a good one, you will be able to tell what a difference they can make in your final product.

That’s all I have to say for now, except for the following:

Lose the tunic. The urine stains are not an attractive look for you. Why can’t you be like everybody else? Head down to the river and find a rock.

Leave a comment

Filed under On writing