I still can’t forget the time that old washing machine almost ate my brother.
It was an anachronistic throwback of a washing machine I remember so well. And this antiquated piece of machinery was responsible for the single-most traumatic experience of my young life, other than maybe when the monkey attacked cousin Mike…but that’s another story. Built sort of like a primitive version of R2D2, it consisted of a tub mounted on legs with two wringers mounted over the tub and driven by a belt which ran the agitator as well as the wringers. Wet, soggy clothes were fished from the tub and fed by hand through the wringers squeezing the water out of the wet clothes, which were then hung out on a solar-powered clothesline to complete. Such was the technology at our house in the mid-sixties.
I suppose the crude device was at least one step up in the right direction on the evolutionary ladder among inanimate objects and was slightly better than a contraption straight out of the Flintstones. Perhaps if we had a few prehistoric brutes lumbering about, we could have harnessed them instead for more ingenious forms of paleolithic engineering.
Long before “Terminator, The Rise Of The Machines” came out, I was already convinced that machines were evil and were only waiting their turn to turn on mankind when we were least expecting it. I may have been 8 when the washing machine tried to devour my younger brother starting with his arm and slowly pull him through the wringer until digested. It was a harrowing experience to say the least. Being the calm and cool person I was, I promptly panicked and screamed. Meanwhile in the midst of my primal meltdown, mom calmly disengaged the rack the rollers were mounted on, releasing the tension, and immediately saved the day. My brother is now thankfully able to pick his nose with either hand. Although a conceivably happier ending than the prospect of my brother running around the house minus an arm pulled off nonetheless it still led to much suffering and misery in my life when he eventually learned to play the piano. Not a lot of one-armed piano players out there! There was a one-armed villain that caused a lot of trouble on The Fugitive but I don’t think he played the piano?
This was before Alfred Hitchcock or Rod Serling were allowed to traumatize impressionable young minds on TV.
To this day I owe mom for my brother who incredibly has both arms and his sense of humor still attached.