You may have missed this on your Facebook feed, but during the recent Labour Day holiday, an event of unimaginably catastrophic magnitude happened. It happened very early in the morning when Amanda emerged from her bedroom and padded to the laundry room.
The previous night, she’d put all her delicate Victoria’s Secret underwear in the wash. She carefully set the machine to the gentle cycle and went to bed, secure in the knowledge that in the morning, everything would be nicely clean, freshly scented and ready to dry quietly in the shade.
She later said she realized that something was not quite right from the wet floor and the gurgling noise emanating from the washing machine.
“Oh, is that what that noise was?” Saffy said. “I thought it was a distant thunderstorm or something! It kept me up all night!”
By that stage, we’d managed to turn off the main tap feeding the leaking washing machine, and cleared the drain so the water could all run out. Mops in hand, we stood around the machine and stared at it, in much the same way some dog owners stand and look at shredded couch cushions whilst their Chihuahua and Doberman sit in the corner, guilt etched on every line of their faces.
“What am I going to do?” Amanda said finally.
“What do you mean what are you going to do?” Saffy asked.
“Well, I have a week’s worth of Victoria’s Secret underwear in there and I can’t get them out. The whole thing has short-circuited so I can’t even open the door!”
I said the whole thing reminded me of a recent episode of ‘Scandal’ where the villain pushed Huck’s car into the sea and he couldn’t get out because the electronic windows wouldn’t work.
Amanda turned to me. “Seriously?”
“The whole scene stretched the realms of imagination a little,” I admitted, “but it was very gripping.”
In response, Amanda turned to Saffy. “So, what am I going to do? I need that underwear! I have three dates lined up this week. I need to look and feel good!”
Saffy bent down to peer through the circular door of our dead washing machine. Inside, you could see a jumble of creamy ivory lace. She tapped the glass. “So close and yet so far,” she murmured. Then, she straightened up and said briskly, “I guess the only thing we can do is to get a new machine and when they come and replace this, they can also open it up!”
Which is how an hour later, we found ourselves at a major appliances store on Orchard Road in the washing machine section.
“My God, why are there so many versions?” Saffy moaned to Lam, the sales assistant who, I couldn’t help but notice, kept staring at her impressive bosom.
Lam coughed. “Yah, it depend on how big your load is…” He trailed off, probably replaying the sentence in his head. To his credit, he recovered and pushed on. “And depend on what kind of clothes your family wear. If factory worker and got a lot of stain, then this model by LG very good…”
Amanda squinted at the price tag. “Three thousand dollars?” she said. “For a washing machine?”
“Got dryer, oh so!”
“It better have an oven as well!” Amanda snapped. “I don’t think so. Do you know what I could get at Louis Vuitton for three thousand dollars?”
“A button, probably,” Saffy murmured to me out of the corner of her mouth.
Lam recovered gamely. I was starting to be really impressed by the resilience of the guy. “But, hor, if you have only light dirt, then you can go with this model. Only four nine nine!”
Amanda blinked. “Well, ok, then, we have a deal, but when you deliver today, you have to also open up the old machine. I have…I have…things in it that I…uh…need to wear.”
Lam paused. “Today, hah? Today cannot. Today is public holiday, so all my driver on leave or book up or-redi. Earliest I can deliver is Wear-nurse-day!”
Amanda sucked in her breath.
Like the opening scene in ‘Star Wars’ where the Imperial cruiser slides into view after the credits, Saffy’s awesome bosom cut into Lam’s field of vision as she positioned herself in front of him. “Now,” she began silkily, in the same tone that has reduced many hardened CEOs to quivering jelly, “surely, you can make some teensy tiny adjustments to the schedule?”
Later, in the cab zooming home with our same day delivery order secured, Saffy said she really should think about getting her breasts insured.