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Isn't she lovely?

Interesting letter here from a reader in Bristol, England.

He says, “Dear Heen, I know you’re not an agony aunt [now that’s a quaint term] but I suspect you might be the one person who could help me out, seeing as how you have such a sick imagination.”

I was intrigued, so I continued reading. “It turns out that I need advice as to how to be sure that my fiancée is really the bride for me.”

Boring, I thought. But…

“… I am into washing machines.”

Ah ha.

The reader from Bristol, who signs his name as “Cowardly Anonymous”, went on to explain in great detail his teenage love affair with a Samsung WA8OU3 and a deeper relationship with Whirlpool GSW9800P that ended just last year. Apparently, C.A. from Bristol proposed marriage to Whirlpool, but she turned him down and broke his heart. C.A. is now dating an AEG Electrolux (he prefers not to give us the model number) and is afraid of making the wrong move. How to be sure that AEG E is the girl for him?

Well, I have to say this really got me thinking. I had never heard of a human being in love with a washing machine. I mean, come on, we have all heard people (usually women, let’s face it) say, “Oh, I really love my new microwave oven” and even “I couldn’t live without my Thermomix”, but we’ve moved up a level here. This guy is actually attracted to his washing machine (and, by the look of things, to most other washing machines, as well) in the way that you and I are attracted to our own species (as a rule.) And, reading between the lines, I don’t think we can call this a fetish, of a purely erotic nature; this is full-blown adult love, a caring and sharing relationship between consenting adults with a view to forming a family and all that.

I needed to get into C.A.´s skin, so to speak, to understand his predicament, so I took matters into my own hands the other day and sought to initiate some kind of intimacy with a washing machine. My own model is, as it happens, a Samsung, so I gave it some quality time and tried to develop a loving relationship with it (should I say her?) but it/she was obviously not interested – after being treated as a mundane household appliance for so long, she presumably sees me now as a brother or something, who knows?

So I went to the Corte Inglés department stores here in Zaragoza and tried flirting with the washing machines on display. I got a bit of a flutter out of a Zanussi, I have to confess, but then I noticed she was also making eyes at a young couple of prospective customers, so I thought she must just be on the game. Maybe she fancies trios, for all I know. I had almost given up when, out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a Miele W360. She was stunning. Shapely and yet demure, not bragging but definitely aware of her charms. I sidled over to her and whispered a few sweet words as I pawed her control panels. A fatal mistake!

A sales assistant appeared by my side out of thin air. He started crapping on about the machine’s features but I just wanted to be alone with her. I wasn’t interested in how many rpm’s she could do, how she could detect the weight of the load and adjust the suds automatically, I just wanted to chat her up. I knew that if I stayed any longer, I would have bought the washing machine immediately, just to shut the sales assistant up. I could tell, too, that my Miele (what a sweet name!) wanted the guy to disappear, but we had to put up with his blathering for a few more minutes until I said, “OK, thank you, I’ll think about it” and pretended to walk off. He then accosted the couple and the Zanussi and I rushed back to my Miele and swore I could make her very happy.

But that’s as far as I went. I chickened out.  I realised I was being dragged into something that my inner brain, my deep censor, rejected. It’s like when you realise that you fancy your niece or something. I went home and took a cold shower. I wrote back furiously to C.A. in Bristol and said he ought to be ashamed of himself. Why, he almost perverted me!

So, conclusions. Washing machines can make excellent mistresses, I don’t doubt, but one shouldn’t marry one. Yes, sure they’re beguiling, they’re made to make you want one, but underneath that slick sexy veneer there’s no beating heart, just a spinning drum that goes round and round, round and round, drawing you in, deeper and deeper, until she says, “Honey, I think I’m pregnant” and then you’re well and truly scuppered.   Mixed marriages are hard work, after all. Just think of the kids, dammit.



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