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Giddens: Not in the mood for Laundromat
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Donna and I have been without a washer and dryer in the house almost eight months, now.

We left our washer and dryer in our old house in Augusta, figuring we'd buy new appliances when we got a home of our own.

But we're still renting and we're still waiting. And while we're waiting, the clothes pile up. I'm reusing towels. Shirts and pants are getting a second wearing, too.

I draw the line at reusing sweaty workout or yardwork clothes, though, and underwear is never better the second day.

I'd like to think that we're saving money and water, and that it's better for the environment not to be doing a daily load of wash.

But then we've bought more clothes than we would have in the past few months, because sometimes we just wanted something clean to wear without having to go to the Laundromat.

It's like being back in college. We tote hampers filled with clothes when we visit our old house and our son in Augusta or my mom in Thomasville.

Barring that, we've become regulars at the local laundry on Emory Street.

We've met some nice folks there. We talked raising kids with a lady from Porterdale and how well water can cause you problems with clothes discoloration if there's been too much rain with a woman from out in the county.
The laundry is clean, well-lighted and perfectly serviceable. The only problem is that when some of the larger washers go into the spin cycle, you don't want to be sitting down or the vibration will bounce you from the seat.

While the folks are nice, we're getting tired of the routine.

For one thing, it's expensive. A load of wash will cost you about $5 to wash and dry now, about 10 times what we paid in college. We'd also stuff the washer to waaay above the agitator in college, but now we sort clothes and keep it down to the proper size so the clothes will actually get clean.

Also, it's not nearly as much fun doing wash at the Laundromat when you're middle aged than it is when you're in your 20s, especially in a college town.

Back in college in Athens, the laundry was next to a bar, Papa Joe's, a throw-your-peanut hulls-on-the-floor dive at the top of the hill on Baxter Street. You'd put a load on and pass the time at Papa Joe's.

There was symmetry there: Soap suds and beer suds.

When the wash cycle was over, you'd put the clothes in the dryer and head back to Papa Joe's for another round, and to finish your peanuts.

Usually, it was a quiet place to pass the time while the clothes were washing, but sometimes Papa Joe's would attract some obnoxious underclassmen from the high-rise dorms.

When that happened, we would extract our revenge by leaving them with a special little song on the jukebox's eclectic song list, an obnoxious rendition of the Glenn Miller Orchestra's signature song, "In the Mood," as performed by clucking chickens (The Henhouse Five Plus Too, AKA Ray Stevens).

Groans would ensue. Fists would have flown if we hadn't "flown the coop."

It was a good thing that the juke box was by the bar door.

Tharon Giddens is editor of The Covington News. Reach him at (678) 750-5011 or at