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In the Midst of Laundry We Are in Taco

“Media vita in morte sumus”

Paradise is a one-laundromat town. That’s fine since it is a very serviceable laundromat indeed. It is clean, well-maintained, and sanitary. It is right next door to the latest woodfired pizza oven of Paradise, right in front of the full-service Mexican butcher shop of Paradise, and tucked in just to the south and a little below the recently renovated Taco Bell of Paradise. As a man living alone with lots of clothing and ties older than some of my readers I elected not to get yet another washer-dryer set but to content myself with a once a fortnight afternoon at the Paradise Laundromat with a side-trip to the Taco Bell where the Taco Supreme remains one of my two fast-food fetishes.

It’s an excellent plan until today when pulling into the parking lot I looked in the window and noted a hastily scrawled sign that stated “Closed until further notice. If you have laundry inside call us at 555-1212 and we’ll try to get it to you as soon as possible.”

Humm, I pondered as I ponderingly will ponder. It looked to be a strange wasted trip and then I remembered that at least I was right next to the Taco Bell and…

But the Taco Bell, up the slight hill to my right, was also closed and dark. Curious, I parked and walked into the Mexican butcher which was doing its usual solid afternoon business. “What gives? What happened to the laundromat and Taco Bell,” I asked the butcher.

He gave me a straight look and said, “Go look at the back of this building.”

I went outside and took a look at the back of the building. It had an SUV parked inside it — or, should I say, “half-parked” inside.

It would seem that a lady of certain years had, at the end of the always backed up Taco Bell drive-through lane made a silly little mistake and mistook the accelerator for the brake. She tore through the drive-through sign, through the drive-through lane itself, and then — hitting the curb at the far side of the drive-through lane achieved lift-off and arced through the air into the back wall of the laundromat that was about four feet lower than the drive-through lane.

Result? The impact and sudden appearance of an SUV hood at about head height after blowing out a couple of industrial dryers missed everybody but did succeed moving them, at speed, into the parking lot. At the Taco Bell deep growl came from all those on their lunch breaks in the drive-through that could see their chances for a Gordito fading far, far away.

“I was just sitting here waiting for my rugs to be finished, there was three of us up front, two guys and me,” Jackie Brooks told the Paradise Post. “All of a sudden the building shook, it actually sounded like the building blew up like you see on TV.”

Thank God we have TV, otherwise we’d have no analogies for those moments in the modern age when an SUV on a Taco run jumps the curb blasts through a wall and plunges its chromed hood deep into the guts of a bank of industrial-strength clothes dryers.

For me, this means a trek of some 21 miles to a laundromat that has no Taco Bell. It’s quite a first world problem to have. On the other hand that particular distant laundromat happens to be about ten yards from Priya Indian Cuisine and its fantastic Indian buffet, so I suppose I can suffer.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • pbird July 17, 2018, 6:09 PM

    Beware the Butter Chicken if you expect to be walking and talking for a few hours.

  • Sam L. July 17, 2018, 6:32 PM

    I’m guessing this wasn’t YOUR day. Bummmmmmmmmer,

  • Monty James July 17, 2018, 7:13 PM

    “Hold my Ensure and watch this!”

  • Gordon Scott July 17, 2018, 7:32 PM

    Sure, the Indian buffet is worthy. And they can probably serve up that mango milky drink that’s pretty good. But is there a F’Real machine nearby?

  • Vanderleun July 17, 2018, 7:32 PM

    And it’s Monty for the win!

  • Vanderleun July 17, 2018, 7:36 PM

    Yes, Gordon, there is a F’Real milkshake machine near to the buffet.

  • BillH July 18, 2018, 8:00 AM

    I follow the doings in a little Montana town I spent time in in the ’80s-’90s, and they pretty much parallel this tale. I call it life in the slow lane.

  • ghostsniper July 18, 2018, 8:40 AM

    I was working in a small office with 2 other doods about 1983 when this very thing occurred and yep it was an old lady at the wheel. Jumped the parking space bumper, came across the sidewalk, then right through the floor to ceiling plate glass. I seen her coming out of my periphery and laid rubber. No one was harmed but the old lady was shook up. This was pre-airbags. The boss called his brother to bring some plywood, turned the air conditioner down a couple notches, scooted the drawing boards back where they belong, and we got back to work.

  • Rick July 18, 2018, 8:46 AM

    Back 10 years or so ago I was standing at the cash register buying some books at a thrift store. The whole front of the large store was tinted glass floor to ceiling. I noticed what looked like the glass bulging to my right and had time to think how weird it was when an older white Buick crashed through burning rubber the whole time. The cashier screamed and I watched in awe as the Buick gathered up racks of clothes on its trip to the back of the store. One customer dove out of the way as the car’s momentum slowed and finally came to a stop near the back wall. The manager and a clerk were both running to the front. The clerk ran to the cashier, both older ladies, and they fell into each other’s arms crying and sobbing. The manager walked up to me and we looked at each other, said “Wow!” at the same time and broke up laughing. The driver cut off the engine and just sat in the car I’m sure contemplating what was probably her last time behind a steering wheel. The manager and I had walked over by this time and may sure no one was hurt while the 2 clerks continued to cry and wail. I had never considered an event like this to be part of my bucket list but I was glad to add it and scratch it off at the same time. The two opposite reactions from the men and women confirmed by opinions of our roles in society as well. All in all, it was an amazing experience.

  • Vanderleun July 18, 2018, 8:54 AM

    “Okay, everybody remember where we parked…”

  • DrTedNelson July 18, 2018, 9:08 AM

    That happened to our nearby Norm’s, but they never close. Just a little plywood in the entry way.

  • Groman July 19, 2018, 7:23 AM

    Reminds me of the Runaway Audi hoax that 60 Minutes dished up in the late eighties. In every case it was the driver that caused the crash not the car but don’t let that get in the way of “good journalism.”

  • ErisGuy July 19, 2018, 9:20 AM

    ‘Thank God we have TV, otherwise we’d have no analogies for those moments in the modern age when an SUV on a Taco run jumps the curb blasts through a wall and plunges its chromed hood deep into the guts of a bank of industrial-strength clothes dryers.’

    You have topped Dave Barry, sir.

  • Blondi Utronki July 19, 2018, 10:10 AM

    This made me think of the Northern Exposure episode in which Maggie gets a washer and dryer so she won’t have to go to the laundry mat anymore. Then after she gets her new appliances, she finds out she misses the goings on and gossiping at the laundry mat with Chris and Marilyn so she tries to get Marilyn to come to her house to do laundry but Marilyn isn’t interested. She says she likes the way the laundry mat smells. In the end, Maggie returns to the laundry mat.