The laundry room in my apartment building is tiny, and though there are 24 units and only two washers and two dryers, I somehow never run into anyone else doing their laundry. The one time I did, the person said, “Wow, I NEVER see anyone else doing laundry.” It’s all very mysterious.
One morning, I lugged my sack of clothes like Santa Claus down to the laundry room and opened the door to what I typically expect to be an empty room. Instead, approximately ten middle-aged men in flanel shirts were standing in a semi-circle, arms crossed, staring intently ahead. When I entered their gaze suddenly shifted to me, as if I had just interrupted a meeting of the minds.
After the initial shock wore off, I said, “Ummm, can I do my laundry?” They burst out laughing in a synchronized cackle, but didn’t answer. I started inching towards the machines when I heard my landlord’s voice call out, “Go ahead, Lauren, we’re almost done in here.” I couldn’t even see him through the burly mass of men tightly squeezed in the tiny space, then they filed out of the room without explanation. When the room was empty I just stood there, waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out.
I later learned that the mysterious men were from the hydro company doing some planning for later construction on the building. The hydro meters are housed in the laundry room. A lot less exciting then me thinking I’d stumbled on a secret lumberjack convention.