It took me two days, but I was able to fight my way through the scrum of people who wanted to use the washing machines in the basement of my apartment building. Apartment building washing machines are notoriously evil devices, clattering and rattling until you begin to wonder if they’re going to get up and walk way; it’s as if they’re designed to wash clothes by shaking the dirt out. Dryers, however, are even worse. Even on the “delicates” setting, they run far too hot, far too rough, and far too long to be in any way healthy for your clothes.

I usually try to avoid putting my shirts in apartment building dryers, but on a nasty, humid day like this, hanging wet clothes around my apartment just didn’t seem like a good idea, so I reluctantly fed them into the evil dryer’s maw. I was very careful: I switched it to the lowest setting and pulled them out after half a cycle. And yet they still came out looking frayed, with loose threads poking out all over the place. And when I actually wear them, I suspect that there will be some shrinkage to be reckoned with as well.

I think I finally understand why people buy houses. It’s so they can have their own non-evil appliances.