Mrs Wishy Washy gets McDs

Mrs Wishy Washy came home from work. It had been an eventful morning at work but she had nevertheless met all the crucial deadlines and managed to avoid another 3.30pm meeting. Her little girl was already at kindy and Mrs Wishy Washy was home in time to create some order out of the chaos before school pickup time. Mrs Wishy Washy's favourite tool for this creation of order was the washing machine and so she filled it up with flannels and towels and pyjamas and knickers and tea towels, almost all of which she found on the floor throughout the house as she walked through collecting.

Mrs Wishy Washy made herself a glass of water with apple cider vinegar (Mrs Wishy Washy had read a lot of books about good health and was convinced that apple cider vinegar was a very good thing and even better, no one could get DIC-ed for drinking apple cider vinegar before the school pickup run) and headed for the computer to read some e-mails and stave off cleaning for a few minutes longer.

Soon it was time to be good again. Mrs Wishy Washy turned on some music and began to dance. Oh, no she didn't. Dancing was what the Watercress Tuna and the children of Champion Street did, not their mummies. Their mummies were probably doing shifts packing groceries at the local New World. Mrs Wishy Washy remembered that in the morning's rush, no one had fed the chooks so she headed out to do just that. On the way back, armed with ten eggs (no one collected them yesterday), she noticed the silence.

Mrs Wishy Washy's servant was not being faithful. It was not doing anything at all. Indeed, it turned out that neither the washing machine nor the dryer would emit the slightest sound of life. It also turned out that when Mrs Wishy Washy stood on her daughter's special chair to look at the fusebox, that she could make neither head, tail nor any other kind of logical sense from the many porcelain fuse boxes except to note how extremely dirty the entire box was.

One of the benefits of living in a small town is that Mrs Wishy Washy has met a very nice electrician at her friend's house before and she rings his business up and makes an appointment to spend some money with Peter the electrician on Thursday.

This still left the problem of all those soggy towels and knickers and pyjamas sitting in the faithless servant. Mrs Wishy Washy, mindful of the imminent visit of a relative stranger, tidied and vacuumed the dining room and then piled all the soggy clothes in buckets and headed off to her friend Mrs Mary K.

Mrs Mary K is 83 years old. She has a washing machine and tumble drier which work. She has fully functional electrics in her home. In the middle of all of this, and around the edges as well, hail storms and rain and general storminess precluded using the washing line for anything but extra rinses. So Mrs Wishy Washy took her washing to Mrs Mary K's house and put it in Mary's washing machine and neglected to turn the washing machine taps on and thus wasted ages and ages of time and briefly thought she had broken Mary's machine as well.

Eventually, all was well. The washing was clean and no longer soggy. It was in the tumble drier while the children watched the disney cartoon channel after eating a lot of biscuits and Mrs Wishy Washy and Mrs Mary K sat down and drank tea and spoke, among other things, about washing clothes through the twentieth century, the use of coppers, hand wringers and of the services of the Chinese laundry for starching the collars and cuffs of grandfathers who worked at the court.

But all good things must come to an end, and before the washing was remotely dry, the little girl had fallen asleep on the couch watching Little Einsteins. Mrs Wishy Washy was prone to forgetting a few things, but one of them was not the grave danger to a mother's sanity of letting a three year old fall asleep at 4.45 in the afternoon.

Which is why it came to be that the children and the damp washing were bundled into the car and taken straight home to find their Daddy trudging up the driveway. Which is why Mrs Wishy Washy deposited the children with their father and went in search of Chinese takeaways which were not closed for holidays (the note on the door was signed "Shop Owner"), then a fish and chip shop actually prepared to serve her, then one which was actually open and then finally, into the expensive embrace (choke) of the McDonalds drive-thru.

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