Dirty Laundry

Not a day goes by that I don’t get a phone call from a total stranger wanting to help me. Yesterday, a young lady named Lisa told me that because I stayed at one of their properties in the past, she wanted to give me a week in Orlando. One of us must have amnesia. I don’t remember staying at their resort.

An hour later, I received an offer to consolidate my credit card debt, thus saving me thousands of dollars. Another caller wanted to provide an extended warranty on our 2001 Toyota. What a blessing to have all these thoughtful people interested in my well-being. Is this a great country, or what?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our purple-clad garden gnome, who would love to sell you 100-word overdraft protection, is Mammy Warbucks Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Douglas MacIlroy


In days of olde

When knights were bold

And Fruit of the Looms not yet invented

King Arthur’s men

Would often send

Their underwear out to the cleaners


There’s nothing worse

Said the laundry serf

Than a knight who’s gone too long

Tis a life of pain

To remove such stains

From chainmail that is reeking


Twice dipped in lye

Then hung to dry

A jingling banner in the breeze

The maiden sighs

With lovelorn eyes

And the knight cries, “No starch, please!”


79 Comments on “Dirty Laundry

  1. I was going to say “if I recall correctly” the underwear back then consisted of a strip of cloth carefully wrapped around and tied = but I’m not that old!

    The Orlando girl always sounds exactly the same no matter how many times she calls. I once accused her of being a machine. Suddenly the sound quality changed and she assured me she was not a machine, but then she went right back to her spiel with no recognition of my own humanity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you’re not old enough to recall what they wore under there armor. Perhaps Perry Block will drop by and we can ask him.

      I love your response to the Orlando girl. I’ve gotten to the point where I refuse to recognize her humanity as well.


  2. Next to what Scots wear under kilts probably the next question many want answered is what knights wore under armor. I hate to imagine the condition of it after such rousing experiences as spending a day in the saddle, jousting. fighting, and drinking at taverns. I didn’t realize laundries existed. I have profound sympathy for the serfs working there. I also sympathize with wild animals trying to survive along the travel routes taken by said knights. Another hilarious post, Russell. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 2 people

    • I feel sorry for their horse. Who would want a heavy, stinky, metal contraption sitting on your back. I suspect many of the knights tales or courageous daring-do were huge embellishments–bigger liars than fishermen.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The stories were probably mostly written years later to add glamour to the period. There’s not much glamor about war and getting wounded in dangerous games. A horse was in as much danger as a knight as many died in wars. It was also highly political. The romance was added later. Women think they have it bad now. They were merely property back then. I agree about the sad plight of horses carrying reeking knights. The castles were cold and dirty. I read that some out-of-the-way corners were used as urinals. There wasn’t much good about some old days. 😦 — Suzanne

        Liked by 1 person

      • My Dad said the same thing about the period he grew up in (born in 1909). In his opinion, there was nothing good about the old days. “These are the good ol’ days,” he would say, and he was right.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear Sir T. Whitey,

    Thank you for clearing up underlying questions that I’m sure we’ve all asked ourselves. Nice to see you’re waxing poetic these days. It brought to mind one of my dear old dad’s favorite verses that I shall share:
    In days of old
    When knights were bold
    And toilets were not invented.
    They’d leave their load
    In the middle of the road
    And walk away contented.
    (Ah the things we remember from childhood.)
    Now that I’ve dropped that load…
    Shalom from the purple-clad garden gnome,

    Mammy Warbucks W(T)F

    Liked by 5 people

    • Dear Mammy Warbucks W(T)F,

      My dear old dad had several favorite limericks too. Unfortunately, none are suitable for sharing on a family-friendly venue, such as this one.

      As to your Dad’s limerick, perhaps this is what the Beatles were referencing when they sang, “Why don’t we do it in the Road?”

      Here’s a tip for you–don’t wipe on poison ivy.
      Sir T. Whitey


  4. Starched chainmail? Good lord, you’d have to be tough to ride a horse wearing that! You made me chuckle Russell. And I’m so pleased to hear there are so many people wanting to help you – my advice is take advantage of every offer, especially if a Nigerian prince emails asking for your bank details. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Funny you should mention the Nigerian prince, Lynn. He called twice yesterday. I have a hard time understanding what he’s saying (his English isn’t good) but I did give him a bank account and routing number that I made up on the spot. Someone is in for a surprize!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. But those suits of armor had drop seats in the back, right? I’ve often wondered how really awful a knight must have smelled back in the days of chivalry. Perhaps the maidens in distress had swollen adenoids and couldn’t smell a thing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know about the drop seats–the very first union suit, right? I wonder what local they were members of?

      If the fair maiden wasn’t in distress before the knight arrived, her olfactory system soon became under attack.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Be careful not to pinch yourself, or have them crawl up the back.
      The cleaners hate using lye, but it’s the only thing that will eat the crust off.


    • Now we have a special connection, Tracey. Does having the same phone angels make us cousins? I hope the same girls don’t call Perry too. I’m not sure I could stand being related to him.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I thought I’d gone to someone else’s website, (have you tarted it up?) but having read it I realised it was mucky pup Russell again. And it’s breakfast time… I should know better.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I spent a few nights in shining plaster once, is that the same experience?

    You’ve also gone poetic Russell, nice one. You should do this more often.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never seen plaster shine, so you must have been in Hollywood, in which case it would count.
      Glad you enjoyed my little limerick.


  8. As underwear chainmail sounds mighty painful. Wouldn’t that pull mighty hard on the ol’ pubes? Maybe that’s the real reason knights screamed so loudly on the battlefield. A great poem. I really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What fun! Astronauts, those shining knights of the sky, have similar problems I suspect. Thank you for sharing that pongy piece, that stinky story, that toilet tale – it’s highly entertaining. And I love that you did it in verse!
    As regards telesales, I once had a caller say, “Our records show you recently had a car accident?”
    She sounded very determined, but I hadn’t had a car accident…
    “Can I talk to you about it?”
    “No, I’m afraid not. You see it was a fatal accident.”
    “Yes. I was killed. Goodbye”
    I hung up…

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Very funny poem, brilliant take on the photograph. Those knights really suffered! As for phone issues, offering to sell the caller a 1974 Ford Fiesta with hardly any rust seems to bore them quite quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Perhaps you mean the Pinto (also known as the Ford Firebomb), the infamous compact car that would burst into flames upon contact. I would think terrorists (I mean, telemarketers) would love to buy one of those.


    • I think the lye will take care of the stains. Let’s hope the cleaner does a good job with the rinse. As for the visual image in your mind, take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I see your sense of humor is as acute as ev. Of couse the biggest problem with armor and on horseback was that the knight was so easy to knock off with a good pole-ax. And once flat on the ground they were like turtles.

    As to your proffered stay in Orlando, well, you poor thing. Is that all? I had a representative of the World Monetary fund e- mail me that they were sending an ambassador to me from Jakarta with about 6 million US— supposedly American foreign aid dollars-
    — for me. Eat your heart out

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been compared to a turtle a few times, but it was in reference to the speed I move after being assigned a “honey-do” task.

      I’m green with envy over your $6 million landfall. Now, you’ll be able to buy my book. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m rather dreading having to entertain that ambassador. I fear he may have expensive tastes and expect more than just standing outside and watching the migrating geese. Shall I send him your way? You’re quite skilled at entertaining. 🙂

        The representative’s ready to send funds as soon as I sent certain info, but my dear husband’s suspicious nature is a problem. He has never allowed me to send our banking info in order to claim all the millions of dollars and British pounds I’ve inherited from long-lost relatives through the years. Thus we’re still poor.

        I appreciate that all you want is for me to buy your book. When my church sisters heard about my windfall they suggested I could pay for the new church building we’re planning.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m flattered that you think I skilled at entertaining. However, I fear the ambassador from Jakarta might not be able to afford my fee for a weekend of entertainment.

        My wife is suspicious of such windfalls also and is rather protective of our personal information. Therefore, we have missed several such “golden opportunities.”

        Tell you what, once the new church is completed, I’ll donate a book to the church library.


  12. Made me laugh again, Russell. The idea of chain mail undergarments is eye watering enough, but please, no starch. Reminds me of my mother’s excessive use of the stuff and I never want to go back to those times.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hilarious! And good to see you wax lyrical, your talents abound! Chainmail underwear sounds torturous, but then I think of the poor laundry serf who has to wash them.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is such an educational post. I’m learning things I never wanted to know. 😀 Great fun, Russel. I’ll be sending you a link later today, where you can put in your passwords, bank data, and such. I’ll store it for you safely, promise!


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