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A glimpse beneath a reporter's surface - Clay Wilson

Ah, the joys of the bachelor life. Staying out 'til all hours, checking out the ladies – blow-drying underwear.

This may be one of those stories I should just keep to myself. But in an effort to instill a sense of trust in readers, I want to be as transparent as possible.

It starts, as many sad stories told by men do, with a washing machine.

My sister and brother-in-law were kind enough to give me their old washing machine. I'm very grateful for it; the only problem is that the washer doesn't seem to drain properly. I have to spin the clothes several times to get the excess water out.

So last Wednesday night I had to wash some "white clothes." I mean, I had to.

Every good bachelor will say that it's perfectly acceptable in a pinch to dig a pair of pants or a shirt out of the dirty clothes hamper or the pile on the floor.

But that's not acceptable with underwear. Even bachelors have some standards.

The problem was, by the time I put my unmentionables in the washer it was about 11 p.m.

My plan was to perform the requisite extra spins and load the things into the dryer before setting off on a late night jaunt to a friend's apartment. My plan didn't come off.

When I arrived back around 3 a.m., I remembered the clothes. Sure enough, they were still standing in water. I spun them again, but guiltily: The washer is just across the hall from my roommate's bedroom.

After the second spin, the clothes still weren't as dry as they needed to be. But I just couldn't bring myself to subject my roommate to that noise again.

So I put the clothes in the dryer, set it for the longest amount of time possible, and went to bed.

Bright and early Thursday, I went down to get a fresh pair of undies. But, alas! Just as I feared, they still weren't dry.

It was then, caught between the prospect of being late for work because I was waiting for my underwear to dry, or going through the day with semi-soaked cotton riding where the sun doesn't shine, that genius struck.

I bounded up the stairs, opened a secret drawer and pulled out a blow dryer. I admit, I have a blow dryer. It's a relic from a simpler era when a man could blow-dry his hair without being told that the only place he'd ever get married is San Francisco.

For the next 10 or so minutes, the steady whine of the dryer filled the room. But when I pulled on the drawers, they were still just a tad damp.

There are certain places on a man's body that shouldn't be subjected to electrically heated, forced air. The area generally covered by underwear is one of them. To readers, therefore, I offer this tip: One shouldn't dry his underwear with a blow dryer while the garment is on his body.

But ultimately, the cloth got dry enough for me to tolerably wear all day. I won't even have any permanent scarring from the burns – I don't think.

I could expound upon other benefits of being a bachelor – the great variety of foods that now come in boxes, the fact that a one-inch thick layer of dust on everything never hurt anybody, etc.

But it's getting late, and I've got some dark clothes that need washing.

Besides, the blow dryer may not have worked as well as I believed. I think I'm catching a cold.

Clay Wilson is the education reporter for the Daily Herald. His column appears on Wednesdays. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or by e-mail at cwilson@henryherald.com.