The Jelly Donut Coin Laundry

When is going to the laundromat a life changing experience?  Well- it’s not.  At least not in Reno, I can tell you.  Perhaps hiking in the near-by Sierras will move your soul, but taking care of  a pile of dirty clothes just falls under life maintainance with a sigh.

In my cozy 1950’s duplex, located in what is called the “charming old southwest” part of town,  I seem to get by okay without a washer and dryer.  Here’s how- when I have procrastinated as much as is humanly possible, when I have purchased yet more new underwear and socks, when I can no longer jump up and down on the laundry hamper enough to keep the fabric overflow in check, immediate action ensues.

Gathering all vestitus dirteus in sight, I go to the Jelly Donut Coin Laundry.

Truth be told, the “Jelly Donut Coin Laundry” really isn’t the “Jelly Donut Coin Laundry”.  Unfortunately, it is boringly named,  “Reno Mega Laundry.”  Now it just so happens that the Jelly Donut sweet bomb shop is immediately next door to the Reno Mega Laundry,  so they share a sign.  But the way in which they do so is wonderfully homogenizing, the layout unintentionally blending separate identities of two vastly different yet equally mundane enterprises into a pretty cool sounding name for a laundromat.  So everybody calls it just that.  In fact I would wager that people have come to do laundry there even if they have a washer and dryer just so they can say they have done the Jelly Donut Coin Laundry.

Everyone backs in, making it look like a used car lot, as well as a laundromat and donut shop, further confusing the City of Reno business licensing division.

It is a testimony to the improving health habits of Nevadans that I have never,  ever, seen one person doing their laundry while munching on a maple bar from next door.  I like my teeth as well as a balanced amount of insulin in the bod so I agree with fellow laundromatists in sticking to the business at hand.

No coin operated front loaders here. Try next door.

Don’t get me wrong,  I have seen vans full of  people making devoted pilgrimage to the Jelly Donut Shop.  But never carrying dirty laundry.  It seems 100% of them do their laundry at home before treating themselves to deep-fried sweetbread as a reward.

Meanwhile, those who are cleaning their clothes next door seem to be a surprisingly well-rounded group.   For sure the largest portion of the team are Latino mothers.  There are also young couples (usually at odds on just how is the best way to go about doing their newly combined laundry), dads with kids, confirmed bachelors like myself who just don’t want to haul a washer or dryer if another move is called for, construction workers, people of all ages.  I saw Mitt Romney there today.  But he was on TV.

Is this a dream?

Mr. Mitt often wears stone washed jeans on the campaign trail and you can make two very safe bets here:

1) He paid a heckuva lot more for those designer jeans than I did  for my Levis at Wal-Mart.

2) Mitt has never been in a laundromat in his life.

He looks like he feels bad that he showed up today in a place where he has never really been but I am glad he was kinda there.

The men’s side.

The hard working women’s side.

If you have ever had the pleasure of going to a laundromat,  I am sure you have noticed something obvious – people don’t really find pleasure in going to a laundromat.  Like putting on a deet laden mosquito repellant before going out in the woods, most people put on this bubble of anonymity mixed with a high amount of don’t talk with me and a dash of resentment at having to be seen in a laundromat in the first place

Except for the kids.

Blessed with the capacity for play and relationship where ever they may find themselves, they are a delight.  It is always an enjoyment to see bouncing, flashing tennis shoes, games of tag,  someone asking for and giving back hugs.

Almost as welcome as the kids at the Jelly Donut Coin Laundry is the fact that now you don’t have to pay a dime to dry your clothes.  It’s free!  I don’t know how they pulled this off.  The cost of washing your clothes didn’t get raised, there aren’t any more people showing up to clean their clothes and take advantage of this bargain than there were before.  And athough I’m not entirely sure,  (given the track record of the current administration ) management probably did not get a green energy grant for Mr. Obama.  It is indeed a laundry mystery……… as big a mystery as to why some quarters are accepted into the washing machine temple and some are rejected.  Truly baffling.  All quarters are round.  They all have the same weight.  They all have the same monetary value.  Yet, while many go forward in hygienic service, others do not.  Theirs is not the path of clean.  They shall not pass through the slotted gates to drop into the ocean of Washington.  They must go on to prove themselves elsewhere in the world of economics.  Go figure.

Or just go next door and use them to pay for that chocolate eclair you’ve been lusting after all these months.   Go ahead.  You’ve earned it.

This is where your life flashes before your eyes.

Thanks for taking some LIP from me,

Bruce

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