The dust bunnies congregated in the corner of the empty laundry room. Their protest over the loss of the washer and dryer.
“You know, Fannie, we should probably replace the washer and dryer, don’t you think?” asked Richard watching me wipe the dust bunnies out of the corner.
“The only reason I’ve been putting it off is I don’t know which one to buy,” I said.
“Well, let’s talk it over with Mr. Sweeney when we are at the laundromat next week. I can guarantee he will have an opinion.”
“What’s your exit strategy? Once you get him going, you’re not going to be able to get him to stop.”
“I’m pretty sure I can out last him, but just in case, I will call you in to help me. Just be ready to jump in between us,” he said.
Standing outside the laundromat, Richard breathed on the glass and drew a smily face. It faded just before Mr. Sweeney arrived to unlocked the door for us.
“Good morning you two, how’s it going this morning?” asked Mr. Sweeney, with his customary bright smile and shock of white hair crowning his head. “I’m surprised to see you again, I figured you would have bought a washer and dryer by now.”
“Funny you should mention it,” said Richard. “We can’t make up our mind, which one to buy.”
“Ah, I see,” he said, “perhaps I can shed a little light on the subject for you.”
Whenever Mr. Sweeney sheds light on a subject, my mind fogs. Richard on the other hand, kept pace with him.
I would tune in to hear bits of the conversation, “…the warranty is pretty good, but you should really consider a front loader if you want to get maximum efficiency…don’t believe what they tell you about the agitators they just aren’t as efficient…”
Transferring the laundry from the washer to the dryer, both men huddled in the corner, as though discussing the fate of the world. Mr. Sweeney’s arms moved with enthusiasm as he warmed up to his topic, his neck straining while trying to maintain eye contact.
Forty minutes later Richard showed signs of fatigue.
The dryer’s buzzer made both men jump. Richard rushed over to the dryer. Mr. Sweeney followed him without missing a beat.
“Fannie, would you come over here to help me?” asked Richard pointing to a spot between them.
I moved between the two men and reached into the laundry basket.
Still keeping step, Mr. Sweeney said, “Richard, whatever you do, make sure you get a good warranty. They just don’t make equipment the way they used to.”
Richard grabbed me by the shoulders and turned my back to Mr. Sweeney.
Mr. Sweeney paused his speech for the first time in almost two hours.
Richard spun me around to face him. “I’ve had her for more than 10 years, and all of the parts still work and the warranty is still good.”
Bursting into laughter, Mr. Sweeney and I bumped heads and I dropped my laundry.
The following week Mr. Sweeney said, “Good morning you two. Is the warranty was still good?”