Crazy Machine

Phillip and I went to the laundromat this morning. As usual, I used one big washer, and he used three or four smaller washers. We took a seat together on the bench in front of my washer.

Phillip got up to check on his washers, and when he returned he asked, “How come my clothes have 13 minutes to go, and yours still has 21 minutes?”

I set my book aside and watched my washer. It was going through an odd combination of Wash, Rinse, Drain, back to Rinse, back to Drain, and yet the time remaining was hanging at 21 minutes. There are no laundromat attendants on the weekend, but in an emergency, we can go next door to the grocery, and they’d know who to contact. My machine was acting weird, but it didn’t seem like an emergency.

Phillip went to go transfer his washing, which was done, to the dryers. My washer, meanwhile, was still displaying 21 minutes remaining.

I watched the dryer display doing its odd cycles, with 21 minutes always remaining. As I was wondering at what point I should just pull my clothes out of the washer, the display jumped from 21 to 7 minutes. Then, a minute later, it showed 6 minutes remaining. From there, the display counted down as it should.

At 2 minutes remaining, I went to go get a laundry cart. I returned to the washer, and watched the display change from 2 to 1. A minute later, it went up from 1 to 2. Then, a minute later, it was back down to 1. And then, finally, my washing was done.

I suddenly remembered watching Kerbal Space Program update last night, with its erratic “estimated time remaining”.

That was my excitement for the day. The dryer worked flawlessly. Then, later in the day, it was a teriyaki lunch and trips to the Post Office and library.

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