Saturday, January 24, 2009

naked man in laundromat! news at 11!

Pullman is a small town—something like 28,000 residents of which 20,000 are students, or something like that. In other words, Pullman isn't San Jose, where there were probably 28,000 people just in my neighborhood. So, when I see a naked man at the laundromat in Pullman, it's Big News or a Curiosity. In San Jose it would just be a case of "get the hell out of dodge because who knows what's going to happen next."

In Pullman, my gym is located across the street from a laundromat. All the bikes/elliptical machines/treadmills face the street/laundromat, and both storefronts (gym and laundromat) are all windows. I remember when I first came to Pullman and was at the gym regularly, one fellow who always showed up at the same time as I did (v. early) would put his clothes in the washer, run across the street and do the treadmill for 20 minutes, then run back across the street and put his clothes in the dryer, then run back again and lift weights for 60 minutes until his clothes were dry. I admired his efficiency.

Today, I got to the gym at 5:30 and a woman was on the elliptical and as soon as I got inside she said "look at that, isn't that strange?" I thought she was pointing to the TV which was playing some sort of cartoonish music video—I don't know what it was because I don't watch videos or know anything about popular music—but she said "no, across the street." I looked over in time to see a guy in boxer shorts turn over on his side, like he was trying to sleep on the washers.

I said, "huh. looks like he's trying to sleep on the washing machine. at least he's clothed." The woman said he had been there at least as long as she had, and previously had been sitting on the washing machine just sort of rocking back and forth. We debated whether to call the cops—more for the guy's own safety than anything else, because we figured there was a good chance he was coming off some bad trip or had vomited all over his clothes and needed to wash them immediately, or...who knows. We didn't call anyone, though, and went back to our workouts.

Half an hour later the cops ended up over there—don't know who called or if they were just driving by. Four cops were there, and the guy put his clothes on and left without apparent incident. But four cops! At 6 in the morning! Big news. In a couple days the police activity log will be online and I'll see what the official complaint was, if anything.

But yeah, that's what passes for news around here. Then again, I'd rather hear about mostly-naked men in laundromats than the 20% budget cut on campus.