It’s 9am: do you know where your pants are?

“…do you use a public laundrymat? Because they can be perilous places. I’ve lost my lucky rocketship underwear, a work shirt, and other assorted garments to the gaping maw of the public laundrymat…even when I sit listlessly in front of the washers and dryers and watch. Or do Sudoku. Maybe someone is sneaking in and pilfering my underwear at particularly tricky sudoku moments…

And I’ve noticed that the clothing sacrificed to the laundrymat gods tends to be the clothing one is most fond of, tragically. ”

I wrote the above in response to a woeful tale of missing pants.

Now, as a card carrying California hippie, I am familiar with the “uh, whose pants are these? Oh well, they fit” syndrome. Especially after an evening of sporting in the hot tub, I tend not to be too fussy about which pants I’m wearing, because my own always make their way back, given unique properties of my height and body type. But I consider this more of a temporary pant loan, as all parties do find their pants eventually. Although once I did go home pantsless, lap draped in a fetching scarf, and that would be the one time the Highway Patrol pulled me over. I don’t think they noticed, luckily, as it was dark.

What I’m talking about here is instances where your pants don’t come back.

It has come to my attention that pant escapes, pant pilfering, and other pant-associated issues are a growing problem. I have a feeling it’s going to become a breaking point in the upcoming elections, because my first question for those running for DA is this:

“Do you take a tough line on pants?”

As anyone who goes to the laundrymat on a regular basis knows, losing clothing is, sadly, an occupational hazard. Back in the days when I had a car, I used to drop laundry off, do errands, rotate it, do more errands, and pick it up. Sometimes I would end up with an orphan sock, or a mislaid shirt. (Once I thought I had lost my favourite pair of socks in the entire world, and they turned up inside my duvet cover about six months later…after several washings, I might add. Perhaps they were on an existential vacation.)

I wonder where these pieces of clothing go. I really doubt that people are going around stealing socks. Unless the sock thief is an amputee. Perhaps I should be looking out for an amputee with small feet. Only all the amputees I know wear socks on their prostheses, too. Or underwear, for that matter: who steals underwear? I’m sorry, that’s weird. I’ve heard rumours on the old internet that there is a thriving market in worn women’s underwear, which is a bit mysterious to me. But by the time it’s gone through the washer, most of the fun must have been extracted, along with the filth. (Not that my underwear is ever filthy…please. But sometimes after a long day at work, in and out of the sauna, it’s a little sweaty.) Now, entire pairs of pants and totally awesome shirts make more sense, as stolen items. But really. I go to a reasonably respectable laundrymat, and I’ve been going there for over 10 years, and in all my time at Lucy’s, I’ve never seen clothing thieves in action.

I’m wondering if Whirlpool has a special “Black Hole” model for laundrymats, because it’s the only rational explanation for what’s going on. Somewhere in the universe there is a huge pile of lucky rocketship underwear, excellent pairs of pants, tragically hip shirts, orphan socks, and assorted laundry sundries. Perhaps that is where heaven is, and when I die I will be reunited with my long lost textile friends.

I can only hope.

Meanwhile, I gird my loins for an assault on the laundrymat citadel on Wednesday, and I tell you what: I’ll be guarding my pants.