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The Vaccine For My Quarantine Blues is Preemptively Bagging Your Laundry

I just need to empty this dryer.

By a Former High School Valedictorian, Varsity Athlete, Number One Hottie, and Grill Order Bandit 

This pandemic has been hard on all of us, and as you can imagine, probably on me most of all. I remember when they first ended the buffet style service in the dining halls.  It was probably the worst day of my entire life.  I’m not some nutjob anti-masker or anything, but not letting me lean over the food (under the sneeze guard, of course, for optimal viewing distance) and breathe all over it while I try to figure out which grill order I can take to make a fellow student cry? That must be protected in the First Amendment somewhere, it was seriously impacting my quality of life.  Big Brother is watching, comrade, and his name is HUDS. 

Then we got sent home, which was whatever.  If I can’t steal grill orders, what am I even doing at Harvard, you know?  At least at home I can go to a restaurant and pick up someone else’s takeout order (chain restaurants only, of course, I’m not a monster, I support local businesses).

But I ended up back on campus this spring, and the new dining arrangements were really bringing me down.  Frozen meals? Sure, I could take someone else’s, but I just wouldn’t get the immediate satisfaction of seeing a hungry student eagerly rush up to the grill with a fresh mange notification and watching the life drain out of their eyes as they realize their patty melt has been Taken. For a while I toyed with the idea of stealing testing kits, but being a threat to public health instead of just emotional wellbeing was a little too far, even for me.  But don’t you worry, I’ve got it handled. I’ve found a new hobby, nay, a new passion: bagging your laundry.

I remember the first time it happened to me, last year.  Strolling into the laundry room, only to be confronted with a sack of my slimy clothes sitting on the washer, a new load happily churning away underneath.  While irritating, it was actually nice to know that there were like-minded individuals in the community who also chased the high of minorly inconveniencing their classmates.  Game recognizes game and all that.  My grill thievery satisfied me at the time, so I didn’t try it myself, but the memory came back to me recently and I decided to give it a try.

To be honest with you, I really don’t have a whole lot going on at the moment, so I decided to hide around the corner and wait for a reaction. Those two hours were worth every second. When my victim entered, his devastation was obvious. I couldn’t see the guy’s mouth (mask, duh), but I’m almost positive he frowned. And it was me. I did that.  Suddenly, that intoxicating sensation of pure and unadulterated power surged once again through my veins, that power which had so cruelly been ripped from my grasp months ago.  My plight was over, the world had been completely set right again.  I returned to the basement the next day, and the day after that, and every day since.  Between hits all I can think about is that next bag. I swear that I can stop whenever I want, but I just don’t want to.

The best part: I play by the rules. I wear my mask, I wash my hands for at least 20 seconds first, there’s no contamination, I swear.  And no, I never open that forbidden whirlpool of the mid-cycle washer, nor do I tear your still-circulating clothes from the heat of the dryer.  But as soon as that timer hits zero, all bets are off.  It’s not even entirely selfish, it’s really for the good of the community.  I see myself as sort of a modern day Robin Hood, stealing from the dryer-rich and giving to the dryer-poor.  I’ll probably put it on my resume to be honest.

So next time you come back to a sack of your sopping wet clothes congealing in a clear plastic trash bag on top of a wide open washing machine, just know, you’ve been Bagged. You better set that timer on your phone for a few minutes earlier than your cycle ends, because if you’re even just a few minutes late, rest assured, I will be Right. On. Time.

© 2021