The Only Reasonable Way to Deal With Stolen Laundry
I'm missing a black T-shirt that says "Microsoft SQL Server Devcon 2009" on it. I think someone maybe got a little careless and took it from the machine around here. If that was you, it's totally cool if you just put it back up here on the shelf. No questions asked. It is very precious to me.
... and that's more than enough time for you to have checked your closets and found my shirt. It's also enough time for you to have been down here at least once to see this note, so don't even try to throw that excuse at me. You don't have so many clothes that you can afford to go without doing laundry for two whole weeks. You're not P-Freaking-Diddy.
Diddy, seen here relaxing at home.
You know what I think the problem is? You didn't take this note seriously. I don't entirely blame you; I hate these little passive-aggressive notes left in common areas too. "What a priggish asshole!" I bet you probably said when you read it. "I hate him and his wretched, shirtless frame!"
Well guess what? This isn't a passive-aggressive note anymore! This is, straight up, an active-aggressive note! If my shirt isn't returned to me immediately, I will do horrible things to you and your beloved possessions. This is going to be in the newspapers. "Holy shit!" the townspeople will exclaim when they read about what I've done. "What is wrong with the world?" they'll add.
But you'll know what's wrong. My shirt is missing.
In conclusion, return my god damned shirt.
You have now had three weeks to read this note and return my shirt. Given your previously acknowledged levels of non-Diddyness, I think we can also agree that you have had ample opportunity to see this note. In fact, I know you've seen it. And laughed at it. Like this is all some kind of joke.
How do I know this? You see that hamper full of dryer sheets and lint balls in the corner? That was me, every day, for the last week. I saw all of you from my linty little laundry blind, reading and ignoring and laughing at me.
Not so funny anymore, is it?
I also note that none of you have dared try laundering my shirt here, which tells me I'm on the right track. You know you've done something wrong, like a puppy whimpering at his sad little turd in the middle of the kitchen floor. And now you're trying to conceal the turd that is your laundry crime. Maybe you've hidden the shirt at the bottom of a drawer, hoping that drowns out the screams that haunt your dreams. Maybe you only wear it when you're several blocks away from home, peeling off your outer layers like some kind of Laundry-Thief-Superman. Or maybe you only put it on at night, in the safety of your own home, prancing back and forth in front of the mirror, delighted in your own deviancy, you sick fuck.
Well, you've had your final warning. Return my shirt before shit gets real.
You've had your warnings about oncoming shit-realness. And now I've stolen several of your own garments. Yeah. Not that many of you seemed to notice. In fact, none of you have. I sort of hoped that this might cause everyone to share in my sense of victimization and take this whole laundry-thief thing more seriously. Torches and pitchforks and baying hounds, all to track down the real villain here.
That's the original laundry thief, by the way, not me. I'm more like an antihero here, I think.
But with not even the tiniest bay from even the tiniest hound, I decided to change gears and just flat out blackmail each and every one of you, you laundry thieves and laundry-thief enablers. How would I do this? Well, you'd be surprised how much you can learn about a person by their clothes. Things like ...
Apartment 101: You either lead a very exciting life or are a really sloppy drunk, to judge by both the number and sheer size of some of the skid marks you've left. If my shirt isn't returned, I'll ... well, I guess I've told everyone already. I'll probably just stay upwind of you.
Apartment 102: You seem to launder an awful lot of lacy undergarments. Well, a lot for a dude.
Apartment 103: You seem to launder a totally normal amount of lacy undergarments, but they have an awful lot of unusual bulges in the crotch. Well, a lot for a lady.
Apartment 104: I didn't need to look at your clothes to know how to blackmail you. You're quite clearly growing weed in your apartment. Everyone in the building knows about it, as, indeed, it'd be impossible not to notice the four extension cords running down the hall and under your door. I actually put some Febreeze on some of your things, just for everyone's benefit.
Apartment 201: You kind of look like you've worn a few programming T-shirts in your time, and are, as such, one of my top suspects. Unfortunately, all of your clothes were boring and unblackmailable, though you'll be happy to know that I was able to commit a series of disgusting, high-intensity crimes around the city while wearing one of your more identifiable hoodies. (Left a few skid marks of my own, actually.)
Apartment 203: Your clothes were also pretty boring, so after I stole them, just for the hell of it, I tried putting them on to pose as you and seduce your wife. This was, frankly, a pretty transparent ruse, and that she went for it so readily doesn't auger well for the future of your relationship.
Apartment 204: While I was making tender, unhurried love to Apartment 203's wife, she mentioned that your husband came by at least a couple times a week to "borrow sugar." (The quotation marks were hers.)
So, in conclusion, I think we can all see that I've got you bastards by the short and curlies. And in a few cases, I even have some of your short and curlies. Don't go to the police. Don't try to stop me. Just return my shirt before someone gets hurt.
Did you think you could smoke me out? You thought the police could help you? Or maybe I'm being egocentric. Maybe they didn't come for me. There were a few reasons they could have visited. The multiple tear-choked slap fights on the second floor. The angry shouting from Apartment 104. The sound of a grow-up being rapidly disassembled from Apartment 104. The fire from Apartment 104.
Actually, I guess all that did kind of result from my actions. The police, and firemen, and that one priest were, ultimately, here for me. I guess I owe you an apology.
Hell, you know something? Forget it. I don't even want the shirt back. I'm going to dedicate my life to avenging laundry crimes. Every time a quarter is eaten, I will be there. Every time a sock disappears, I will uncover it. Every time a load of laundry is left unattended in the machine for hours on end, I will beat that person with rocks.
I am unshirted and I am unleashed.
Heeeeeeeeey, motherfuckers. I probably owe you an apology.
You see, last night, while prosecuting the Laundry War (mainly by peering in your windows while you changed), I found it. The Shirt. Apartment 201, that pencil-necked little fuck, was wearing The Shirt and nothing else, prancing around like the deviant I always suspected him to be (see a few threatening notes above). After crashing through the window and pinning him to the wall by his throat, I began reading him his Laundry Rights (kind of a freestyle rap about the spring fresh hell he was about to descend into). And while I was trying to come up with a rhyme for "static," he managed to choke out that it was actually his shirt. He'd lost it in the laundry himself a few years ago.
(Which kind of made sense, because I couldn't quite recall how I'd ended up with it. I don't even know who Devcon is.)
The wife half of Apartment 203 also had some light to shed on the situation. (She was borrowing some sugar from Apartment 201 at the time.) The dryer has an odd little nook that keeps snagging people's clothes. She'd figured it out a few months earlier when she'd found some oddly bulged panties she didn't recognize in her laundry and naturally assumed that her husband was having an affair with an oddly bulged woman. It was only later that she realized her laundry-related mistake, but by that point the sugar had already been borrowed, as it were.
"You do an awful lot of baking," I said.
"Are you still not getting that?" she replied.
Anyways, with that all settled, I'd just like to apologize for all the fire damage I've caused and marriages I've ended, and remind everyone that I'm still deadly serious about those piles of laundry left in the machine.
Maybe a cap of the bleach in the hair will teach some manners.
Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and is standing right behind you. Join him on Facebook or Twitter to register your displeasure with this situation.