The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Detergent Vending Machines
In these days of buttons and beeps it's refreshing to find one of the old soap box vending machines that works via levers and gravity. I can imagine early Hittite vending machines built on the same principles, forty slaves employed to shift the lever to "Biz," and another forty to pull the knob. Many would be crushed by the huge cardboard box that came crashing down, but their sacrifice to their despotic god-ruler would not be forgotten, and in the next life they would be elevated to the status of "New Improved Slave with April-Fresh Garments." B

Fabric Softener
Call me calloused, but I've never suffered from hard clothes. As long as the mustard stains come out, I'm not usually concerned about such niceties as making sure that my towels are soft enough to adequately cushion the impact of falling teddy bears. Speaking of which, tell me the Snuggle bear isn't eerie. It encapsulates everything that's wrong with puppetry today. D+

Dryer Lint
You know, if someone volunteered to be the George Washington Carver of dryer lint, I bet we could find enough ecologically sound uses for the stuff to make hemp look like Styrofoam hamburger boxes by comparison. Lint will save the planet! I fully expect next year's globally-conscious hipsters to be sporting their 100% organic lint jackets and baseball caps. C+

Is there such thing as a laundry cart in good condition, or do they come straight out the factory with a bent hanger bar and a stuck wheel? These were a lot more fun when I was a kid and my brother and I would play Laundry Cart Drag Racing, switching off between being the pilot/helpless-victim-of-dryer-collisions and the cart-pusher/Mom-lookout. B+

There's this one series of laundromat posters that look like they were created circa 1963 by the same creative minds that brought you get well cards about nurse bosoms. The most memorable of these has a freaky-looking cartoon mortician saying "Don't Dye Here." Pretty weird, but considering that most laundromat hours I've logged to date have been spent fighting off choking boredom, a little visual diversion is welcome, no matter how unsettling. C

Bulletin Boards
I don't know who decided that laundromats are the social and economic centers of the modern world, but at least these provide a bit of entertainment. I mean, if you've seen one Strat for sale you've seen them all, and if I wanted my house cleaned, my back massaged, or my income invested in multi-level marketing schemes, I probably wouldn't go to the bulletin boards at the 'mat, but it's always interesting to see what kind of requirements people have for roommates, ("Must not eat meat, worship graven images, laugh at Yo-Yo Ma's name.") and what local cultural activities are coming up ("Master of the Latvian Armpit Banjo!"). B-

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