crotch calamity

Customer: Can you fix this by Tuesday?

Me: What, ma’am?

Customer: The tear here.

Me: That’s not a tear, ma’am. Moths have eaten away the crotch.

Before working as a gift wrapper and after being the lotion straighten-upper at a ritzy potions and creams boutique, I worked at a dry cleaner for five months. The other low-paying jobs? I took willingly. This low-paying job? The result of maternal coercion.

My mom got the brilliant idea to buy a dry cleaner. She wanted to be the Queen of Dry Clean. Too bad she didn’t know anything about the business.

Rather than saving us both the trouble and just coming clean with the plan, she began her campaign by asking if I’d ever thought about becoming a spy. I was in the middle of watching Little House on the Prairie, so I ignored her.

Since that didn’t bring about the desired reaction, she changed direction by proclaiming that she had found her calling in life. Lady, at 60, the only calling you’re hearing is the Voice of Death.

She convinced me that working at the dry cleaners across the street would be a good idea. I could learn the trade and come home and dutifully report my findings.

It wasn’t psychically shattering at first. I manned the cash register and made a game of closing my eyes before turning on the revolving rack and using my latent skills of clairvoyance to bring the rack to the right place. It worked out pretty well; I was usually only 100 or 200 off. Looking back, I’m pretty pissed I didn’t explore my gifted sixth sense a little further.

I didn’t mind processing the dirty clothes for cleaning. It didn’t bother me to stick my hand into pockets to make sure they didn’t contain any used condoms, hooker phone numbers, money, snotty tissue, weapons, papers containing chewed gum,  hairballs, syringes, drugs or any other remnants of daily life.

What sucked was that there wasn’t any hand soap in the bathroom. I got tired of walking next door to Von’s to wash my hands before lunch, so I started bringing a travel-sized hand soap to work every day. I didn’t share it with anybody. That travel-sized buddy was the only way I wasn’t going to ingest syphilis or leprosy with my lunch, and I was willing to shiv anybody who tried to take a squirt.

I just prayed to sweet Jesus that none of the other employees smelled my Moonlit Path handwash every time I came out of the bathroom.

Five months in, my mom decided that owning a dry cleaner was not her life’s mission. Fine by me. I went to work after her announcement intending to give my two-weeks notice. Then, Ms. Jumpsuit walked in.

The single item in her hand had a large gaping hole in the crotch. Like the $8-an-hour  brave dumbass I was, I leaned in for a closer look because it didn’t look like a rip. I asked her how long it had been since she had worn her lovely purple silk jumpsuit. She mumbled something about August.

August was seven months ago.

Using the spy skills I had honed during my five months, I pieced together key information. She had worn the silk jumpsuit to a party seven months ago….sans underwear. She had left it in the dark recesses of her closet without getting it cleaned first. When she pulled it out for another party, she noticed the hole.

I told her the hole was moth damage. I tried not to use the term “crotch sweat” while discussing the matter. She demanded we fix the hole. I lowered my head and assumed a subservient stance before telling her that we were fresh out of silkworms that day, and we couldn’t make new silk to replace the damage her dirty-ass habits had caused.

She stormed out.

I gathered my purse and checked my pocket for my secret buddy, Hand Soap. I wanted to be responsible and work my last two weeks, but nothing’s ever the same after crotch sweat.

Psst….Think Ahead. Empty your pockets before you go to the cleaners. Also, don’t wait seven months before getting your shit cleaned. I care, people.
Ms. Jumpsuit’s bad adult behavior makes me laugh…and shudder. Have you seen bad adult behavior?
P.S. I did an interview. Favorite question-Have you gotten any death threats from Tim Geithner?

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  • Kelli

    I was having a mid-morning snack of an apple. I had to stop reading, finish eating and then come back. I guess the image at the top should have served as a warning!

  • Debora

    When I first started dating my ex-husband, he used to blow his nose on his shirt sleeves. For real. I figure ignoring that red flag probably means I fully deserve everything that happened after that point.

  • areyoukiddingme

    Eeeeewwww! I would not want to work in a cleaners!

    I work in a crime lab now, so if I want to be exposed to the most revolting things people can do, I just wander down to the Biology/DNA section and ask what they’ve got going on. All I see is how filthy people can be in their living habits – we don’t have to deal with many bodily fluids in my section.

  • Corrine

    I never ceased to be amazed at the bad behavior of adults in this world.

    I am however surprised that your customer wasn’t smart enough to figure out the crotch problem on her own!!

    Liz….loved your interview!!! Well done girl!!

  • EmilyZ

    I too worked at a drycleaners during my tender youth…a few of the fun things I found in pockets include: pot, casino chips, money, and an emerald ring. Besides used tissues, I never encountered anything truly disgusting. Side note, I always returned money if it was more than $20…I can’t say the same for my coworkers. Also, the woman with the emerald ring had been talking on her phone while dropping the clothes off about how her husband was going to kill her because she lost it. I called her to let her know I had found it, and she brought me flowers. It was so nice. That ring must have been worth a lot. On the gross note, I just remembered that a lady whose husband had been in a horrific car accident tried to get his “accident” clothes cleaned by us, covered in blood and other icky accident substances. We gently suggested she throw the clothes away.

  • Jennifer Clark

    Eeeeeeuuuuuwa! That’s just about one of the grossest things I’ve hear/imagined in a long time! And considering what I used to find in the twin’s diapers, that’s saying something!

  • Dead Cow Girl

    YOU are hilarious! I will indeed check my pockets! Reminds me of the time we bought some porn in China Town as a gag gift because of the HORRIBLE(ly funny) translations on the front cover.

    And left it next to the TV.

    And our chinese maid came to clean.

    I can only imagine what she thought.

  • Ann @ I blog, therefore I am.

    LMAO. I love it! I work with a woman who doesn’t use her hands after using the restroom. GAG!

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    Kelli-sorry for almost ruining your morning snack. that’s a talent of mine….making people sad or mad without even trying.

    debora- i guess you couldn’t help being so compassionate and loving to a person in desperate need of ….attention? you’re a good person. better than me

    areyoukiddingme- i will pay you a fajillion dollars if you write a post about this stuff (also, a fajillion dollars is only 18 cents)

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    corrine- thanks for the kind words. she wasn’t smart. at all. there was no way she could have figured this out.

    emilyz-oh no, no she di-unt. man, like he was going to wear that stuff again and not get all sad. we should have a conversation about our jobs.

    jennifer- i know. sigh. i know.

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    deadcowgirl- hey, you can buy non-chinese porn this weekend at AEE. now that’s AWESOME.

    ann- probably the only time i’d ever time down a cookie being offered is if it came from that lady’s hands

  • Amanda

    Damn. Now I’ve gotta go through all of my clothes and figure out which ones have crotch sweat holes. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Midwestern Mama Holly

    Feeling the need for a Silkwood Scrub now.

  • Miranda Kaye

    Yuuuuuuuck! The only bad adult behavior i’ve seen is pregnant chicks in bars, that smoke…it really makes me want to punch their face. :)

  • the mama bird diaries

    I’ve never brought anything really gross to the drycleaner but I did once bring boots (that my daughter had thrown-up in) to the shoe cobbler to be cleaned. In my defense, I really tried to clean them first. Ok, now I’m ashamed. I’m definitely not bringing in all my crotchless jumpsuits.

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    amanda- you’re welcome. anytime. saving the world one crotch at a time.

    mamaholly- im sorry. and, me too.

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    miranda-ohmygod, i think we go to the same bars.

    mamabird-please don’t leave me hanging. just HOW did she throw up in her boots?

  • Rainyday

    Awwww yuckles!!!!

    I worked in a shoe store for years and had sweet little old ladies pee on the chairs more times than you’d believe. And the ones who’d pull off their stocking to try something on and have bits of foot flesh come off. And the number of times I said “I notice you’re wearing your toenails a bit long. Maybe with a shorted cut you’d get a better fit?”…. ahhh, the good ol’ days!

    Don’t get me started about the pervy phone calls I’d get while working at a satellite TV call centre. They called me Porn Queen for a while. Eeeeeeew.

  • Tay Talk

    I may have read that whole post without blinking.

    The introduction was so intriguing that I started reading fast. Then faster and faster. When you explained why there was a moth hole in her chauch I started to pull a face, the ewwww face with a little chuckle.

  • Bodaciousboomer

    Kiddo I found this post both quite informative yet highly disturbing at the same time. BTW- I met my husband one night, went home with him and married him a couple of weeks later. In a few months it’ll be 29 years. BTW- Love your frig cleaning regalia.

  • Debora

    Elizabeth, “in desperate need of attention” is a remarkably apt description of my ex. He craved it from everyone. Of course in his mind attention=sex, so — I found out after we split — he spent pretty much our entire marriage getting “attention” from every man and woman that showed an interest. Had a whole double life going on. Crazy stuff.