Charles Darwin Perplexed by Vassar Laundry Room

Image courtesy of Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy / HMS Beagle.

Sept. 14, 1872

Upon reports of a secretive band of humans interacting with highly-advanced underground industrial machinery beneath Vassar, my crew members began to investigate. 

We dug for hours through an uninhabited stretch of land beneath the main corridor, facing scorching heat, foul smells, limited access to sunlight and pestering sounds from a pipe that dripped what we could only presume was water from the ceiling. After the 45th hour of our dig, our geologist stumbled upon the hallowed site of popular legend and, in awe, presented to us a half a dozen state-of-the-art, sleek mechanical formations that glistened like rubies in an otherwise dismal location. 

We soon caught our first glimpse of the band of humans who frequent the machines. It seems they use the mysterious mechanical marvels as an altar for worship, where, after inserting $1.60, they pray that their laundry gods will bestow their fabrics with the gift of water. On the all-too-frequent occasion when the laundry deities do not provide the desired liquid cleanse, the humans respond with frustrated shouting. But despite their near-constant exasperation, the humans always return to the machines; any who avoid the ritual for more than a week are quickly shunned by their cohort when they inevitably produce unholy pheromones. 

Facing the sacred water contraptions are imposing structures that bestow the gift of heat upon the clothing. Their heat gods are not as powerful as their water gods, taking double the amount of time to work their magic on the garments they receive. But the heat gods make up for their lack of physical power with intense emotional fury. When any human pushes their buttons, the devices emit a low noise and begin to tumble rapidly, toasting the clothing with the force of a passionate inferno. Many of the heat contraptions become so infuriated that they digest the fabrics that they are fed, regurgitating a soft, gray, fuzzy substance after they finish their meal. 

This heat gift is highly coveted by the humans who violently compete to collect their newly-warmed clothing in a variety of poorly-designed bags and baskets. To ensure success in this survival of the fastest, some humans use electronic monitoring methods to observe when the next bestowal is available. Other humans are more rapacious; they stop the machine midway through the cycle and steal the treasured warmth for themselves. No one likes those humans. 

The humans have, of late, been approaching the machines fearfully, for the room is covered with half-used bandaids, spilled detergent, piles of forsaken clothing, clumps of lint, abandoned socks and haphazardly scattered tissues strewn about as if a tornado had ravaged the hallowed space. Our tornadic suspicions were confirmed when one human spoke of the Voracious Tornado Monster that has been ravaging the site of worship. The Monster vomits clothing in every location possible, including on tables, on the floor and even on top of the holy appliances of heat and water bestowal. The humans have never seen the mysterious Voracious Tornado Monster, so while they often leave it passive-aggressive notes, they have never been able to vanquish it completely. 

Our expedition concluded after several hours of observing the humans in their daily routines. I congratulated our crew on our success; despite the taxing initial dig, we had discovered a new band of humans and the intricate machines they worship so intensely. We still do not understand their strange practices, but for now, we will leave them be. 

We wish the humans the best of luck in their efforts to vanquish the Voracious Tornado Monster. 


One Comment

  1. This humorous and imaginative account of human interactions with laundry machines in an underground setting provides an amusing perspective on everyday life. It highlights the quirky rituals and behaviors that can be observed when people engage with seemingly mundane technology, turning a simple task into an intriguing exploration.

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