by Laura Solomon
and Kerryn Young
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Just because my
hairdressing career was over didnt mean I
couldnt excel at something else. I didnt
sit around feeling sorry for myself, didnt
cry, didnt mope. Sure I got money from my
Dad but I still wanted to join the workforce. I
wanted to get out and meet people. I pulled
myself up by my own bra straps. I got the local
paper and looked in the Situations Vacant. I set
my sights high. Luckily for me, the local
laundromat was hiring. Senior Supervisor. I liked
the ring of it. Maybe they would give me a shiny
badge to wear on my chest.
I went along the following
Monday to meet Beryl the boss of the Laundromat.
She was wearing a velour tracksuit that showed
off her mono bossom to full effect. She looked to
be in her early sixities and was wearing
immaculate full makeup orange lipstick and
Its a very
important role, said Beryl You can
start immediately. We need someone focused and
efficient, people need their laundry clean and
tidy and not mixed up, people dont want
their jock straps tangled up with their hankies.
We pay top dollar ten cents more than
minimum wage so we therefore expect our workers
to comply with certain standards. Presentation is
key. Some girls let themselves go to seed after a
while. I want you coming to work proud and pretty.
Beryl gestured towards the
stack of magazines, These will keep you
occupied, but dont forget the customers.
Remember the customer always comes first, and dont
be getting too full of yourself either. Its
a powerful position but dont let it go to
your head, the last girl we had to fire because
she started interrupting peoples spin cycles,
pushing buttons willy nilly. Ive been a
slave to this place for 35 years, you dont
need a husband when you work here - Im
married to the laundromat, may as well have a
ring upon my finger.
Beryl had a crush on Donald
Trump pictures of him were plastered on
the walls of her office; Donald in his swimming
pool wearing only his Speedos, Donald in the Oval
Office looking authoritative, Donald lying on his
bed on his stomach with his chin in his hands and
his feet kicked up towards his bum like a Playboy
bunny. There was also a picture of the famous man
on her coffee mug.
She introduced me to one of
my special duties which was to pick the tissue
fluff off clothing after it had been through the
washing machine. A tedious job but I did my best
at it I wanted to impress her. She pulled
out two of the washing machines and told me it
was my job to clean down the back of them. It
looked like it hadnt been cleaned in years.
There were dead mice and lint, old tennis shoes
and hankies down there - dead cockroaches too.
Second day on the job Beryl
was with me supervising. A radio played quietly
in the background. I was picking lint off a cardy
when I just happened to hear the announcer say
And now its time for Dicks Forever!
with their new hit single Back Door Boy.
Hey, I said to
Beryl. Hey I did their hair! Turn it up a
I didnt want to miss
being attached to greatness if DF were going to
get their fifteen minutes.
Beryl scowled but did as
she was asked. The music played and then it was
time for an interview.
Were here today
with Benjamin Foolscap the lead singer of Dicks
Forever! Benjamin would you tell us a little
about the origins of your song Back Door Boy.
Sure. Its about
one time when I came home drunk and my dad wouldnt
let me in through the front door so I had to go
round the back.
Okay. And who
arranges venues for you to play in Benjamin or
Benny. May I call you Benny?
Yes, please do. O
Daddys very well connected. He arranges all
our gigs. In fact most of the time he pays the
pubs and clubs to take us. But I understand thats
I see. And thats
an intriguing name Dicks Forever! Could
you tell our eager listeners a little about how
you came up with the name of your band.
Well, I feel that
women have had their time in the sun. Feminism
has run rampant. What about poor old men. Weve
been overrun. Women have taken over in the
boardroom and in the bedroom. Weve had The
Vagina Monologues. Its time for the penis
to have some power!
Thanks for that. Did
you hear that listeners? Its time for the
penis to have some power. That was Benjamin
Foolscap from Dicks Forever! enlightening us with
his views. Thank you Benjamin.
Beryl tut-tutted something
about what is the world coming to and
turned down the radio. She said she wanted to
leave early so she gave me the keys to lock up,
said it was a big responsibility but that she was
I was leaving work that
evening and was just turning the key in the lock,
when somebody came up from behind and put a
plastic garbage bag over my head, shoved both
arms up behind my back and marched me over to a
van that was waiting for me. I was roughly shoved
up and into the van and then we sped off through
the night. Kidnapped!
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