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I remember a cartoon from one of the ‘gay rags’ about a couple Joe and Max. In this one, Joe is binding and gagging Max for a night of S&M bondage. After gagging Max, Joe says ‘Before we begin ….’ and pulls out some hand towels. ‘This is a dish rag and this is a good towel for guests,” he states, “do not mix them up”. Joe goes on to lecture the gagged and struggling Max about other differences among the towels, adding education/instructions how to start the dishwasher and how to flush the toilet etc.

I think of this cartoon when I fold the clean towels. We have heaps. The hand towels fall into the following five taxonomies:

“Good” kitchen hand towels, for drying dishes and wet hands.

“Office” towels that I bring home from the work kitchens; destined to return to work.

“Bad” kitchen hand towels, for spills and such.

“Gym” towels.

“Cleaning” towels for dusting and cleaning up dog accidents.

Max A.K.A Someone has some challenges keeping the categories clear, but in his defense it is hard to remember which ones go where. Like the rings in the Olympic flag, the categories overlap but not much. Making things more ticklish, over time the ‘good’ towels evolve into ‘bad’ and go down the Chain of Being to become ‘cleaning’ towels. In theory after these becoming unusable they are discarded. Someone doesn’t worry too much about the taxonomy of towels; he takes the zen approach ‘all is one, lumping all into the common category ‘Towel’, resulting in some old hole-filled thing hanging in the kitchen while Urs Truly is at the gym benching pressing upon a floral Laura Ashley print. Oh the embarrassment. To save us from the evil powers of anarchy and bad taste, I am Towel Master, in charge of washing and sorting all towels in order to keep things right with the Universe.

The large towels have fewer and more precise boundaries:

Bath towels

Pool towels


Rubbish towels for washing the dog and for stepping on when boots or paws are muddy that sort of thing.

These towel types are easier to tell apart as the bath ones are light green and the rest are not. Years of use have worn them down and they are ready to join their brothers in The Rubbish Towel Club.

Over the years it seems we have accumulated a lot of towels; you could fill your bins with our discards. All roads lead to Rome and all towels in time becoming Cleaning types. I doubt Goodwill et. al. wants any of our degenerates so I probably should toss the worse offenders out. They’ve had a good life.

I wouldn’t mind getting new Bath towels, and the good kitchen towels seem OK for now. Just save me a few non-floral ones for the gym.

Does your Max ‘mix up the towels” as it were, causing grief, ructions, or fisticuffs?

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May 2022

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018