Posted by: robinsonwarner | July 21, 2008

The Underwear Tax

It’s four o’clock on a Saturday.  The undergrads at a small liberal arts college in the Northeast are preparing themselves for another night of heavy drinking.  The students are wholly convinced that they “pre-game harder than you party” or that their bar scene is indeed the dopest in the country.  Because like… there’s this one bar where they make a drink that you totally have to drink while you’re riding a mechanical bull blindfolded.  And if you don’t drink it fast enough they electrocute your genitals.  Wicked. 


Our scene focuses on the laundry room of an on campus apartment facility right on the main street of the campus.  Deep in the basement Rob is begrudgingly doing his laundry.  He has no socks left, he is on his last pair of underwear and he’s wearing that t-shirt from high school that magically “shrunk” over the past three years.  Rob continues to reassure himself that this is the shirt’s fault and not the 2,000 plus calories he ingests three to four nights a week in beer and pizza.  But there is laundry to be done and Rob must be diligent at his task because his lucky rugby shirt requires washing and chicks love rugby shirts and sometimes the guys that wear them.  This is not something proven scientifically, but rather something he suspects in the depths of his loins.  He goes to unload one of the washing machines, but stops dead once he sees what is in it.


What was in this washing machine is something very strange and mysterious to men of all ages.  They have been known to be called “delicates” by women.  But men know better than to call them this.  They are known in guy language as “bras and underwear”.  They come in various shapes and sizes, colors, prints, designs and styles.  Men don’t know the names of these things, but they know that they are very, very afraid of seeing them in the washing machine.  This is a Worst Case Scenario. 


As Rob takes a deep breath he desperately checks all the other washing machines in the laundry room to see how much time is left on them.  There is upwards of twenty minutes left on every single machine.  His mind races.  He will have to do the unthinkable, forbidden, borderline creepy thing.  He will have to remove the bras and underwear from the washing machine and put them into the dryer.


The estimated distance between the washing machine and the nearest available dryer is seven and half feet.  If Rob takes strides that are two and a half feet long, it will take him three strides to successfully move the contents.    If each stride takes 1.2 seconds, that is a total of 3.6 seconds of having “Girl stuff” in his arms.  Why is Rob so concerned?  He is concerned because of the three possible outcomes, each with increasing levels of embarrassment. 


The first outcome involves another guy deciding to do his laundry in that 3.6 second period.  He will see the guy holding the underwear, laugh at the unfortunate predicament of his fellow man and move on instantly. 


The second outcome involves another Girl coming down while he is moving the Girl stuff.  The Girl will probably think it looks funny to see such a large man handling such petite and wildly colored underwear.  Rob will be tragically embarrassed, but the Girl will move on and think it is no big deal.


The third outcome is by far the most embarrassing for the guy.  As the guy is moving these frilled and brightly colored things, the Girl to whom the underwear belongs walks into the laundry room.  Two things can then happen.  The guy spontaneously combusts or he will play it cool and ask if she brought fabric softener.  They will then have sex. 

I’m kidding, but that would be pretty rad if it happened though.


As Rob ponders these outcomes he shudders at the last one.  How horrible that would be.  He decides that he is a grown man and can handle this situation.  He’s just going to go for it. 


His heart is racing.  He kneels down, grabs all of the underwear and bras, pivots back towards the dryer.  He takes his first step and everything is cool.  On his second step the unthinkable happens.  Some underwear-like-thing begins to fall off the top of the pile he is carrying.  He panics.  In an effort to save the underwear he disrupts the delicate balance of delicates in his hands.  They fall out of his hands and scatter all across the floor.  It looks like a nuclear bomb of underwear has just hit in the laundry room.  Rob begins to sweat nervously.  Someone could come in any moment.  He gets on his knees and begins to frantically grab at thongs and boy shorts and bras with lace and… well he doesn’t know what he is grabbing half the time and that is the problem.  He is elated as he grabs the last piece…


Girl:  What are you doing?


Rob:  Oh, I was just moving some stuff to the dryer and I dropped it.


Girl:  That was nice of you.  I think that is my stuff.


Rob:  Oh… yikes.  Well… should I just go ahead and put it in the dryer then?


Girl:  I suppose so.


Rob:  Do you have any sabric foftener?


Girl:  Excuse me?


Rob:  We should have sex.


Girl:  What?!


Rob:  I said do you have any fabric softener.


Girl:  Oh yeah.  Right here.


Rob puts the delicates into the washing machine.  Turns back to her, grabs the “sabric foftener” from her outstretched hand and starts the dryer.


Rob:  Okay.  Well I’ll see you later I suppose.


Girl:  Ahem, aren’t you forgetting something?


Rob:  I don’t know what you mean.


Girl:  Is that my underwear in your pocket?


Rob:  Yes.  I thought I would keep it.


Girl:  Why would you think that?


Rob:  Because… well I helped you move your stuff to the dryer.  Like a panties tax.


Girl:  What the hell is the “panties tax”?


Rob:  You know, I get to take panties from the loads I help transfer from the washer to the dryer.


Girl:  That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.


Rob:  You’re ridiculous, where are you from, Europe?  Listen bitch, this is America, and in America we have the panties tax.


Girl:  That is the most absurd thing….Oh my God.  I’ve heard about you.  I know you who you are.  A bunch of my roommates said that their underwear was missing last week.  It was you and your ridiculous “panties tax”.  That is so creepy.


Rob:  But… the panties tax…


Girl:  Christ on a pogo stick, can you just forget the panties tax.  Wait… why am I even calling it that?  It’s not real… and stop saying panties.  That is the most awkward word.  That and the word “moist”.


Rob:  What if I said…


Girl:  Don’t you say it…


Rob: …. “moist panties”.


Girl:  Blaaaaaargh


Rob:  Holy shit!  You just threw up all over your panties…  I mean… underwear stuff.  I guess you’ll have to wash them again.


Girl:  Yep.  I suppose so.


Rob:  Need any help?  It’s tax free.


Girl:  I should have joined the Army.



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