Wringer Washer Safety: You Will Pay for Lazy.

BCC: People who like to laugh at my expense when I do something incredibly stupid.


Since we will likely be using our 1943 electric wringer washer for the foreseeable future, there are safety lessons I need to remember about these devices. (The manufacturer of our front loading machine condemned it after they put in $18,000 of warranty labour and parts trying to repair it over the entire Spring, Summer, and Autumn, and failing: that is more than our house cost.)

Such as: Do not lean over an operating wringer.

I’d washed a load of clothes, and the wet clothes were sitting in the right side of the kitchen sink for the wringer. I swung the wringer arm over the sink division, to run the clothes through the wringer to the left side.

I was on the left side. Bad choice. Really Bad. Should have been on the right side.

I engaged the wringer. The fiddleboard under the wringer normally deflects water to the right side (though you can hold it down to deflect it to the left), hence my clothes on the right. (The water would run out of the wringer over the still unwrung clothes.)

Unfortunately the plug socket is to the left of the sink, so I was on the left.

I leaned over the operating wringer (this is not the test you use to join Mensa, Intertel, and ISPE) and started feeding clothes toward myself through the operating wringer. (I should have walked around the machine first.)

Since I was leaning over, as I fed the second piece of clothing into the wringer, it picked up my extra-long hair with the clothing. As the wringer operates quite quickly, my head was being dragged over the wringer while it pulled my hair, scalp, eyeballs, and neck away from my body. Ow.

Simultaneously, I reached out with my left hand to pull the cord out of the wall (I couldn’t reach it as I was being dragged toward a much thinner future by the wringer), head-butted the emergency wringer release lever (embossing “emergency release” in bas-relief and backward in my forehead, but failing to butt it hard enough to release the upper platen of the wringer), and slammed the wringer engagement lever into reverse with my right hand (successful, and my hair started rolling back out).

Ow. It pulled quite a bit of hair out of my head, but it is mostly okay. Don’t do that. Always feed the clothes away from you.

James, in Ouchbraska.


"Madness takes its toll: please have exact change."—Mensa Bulletin, October 2011.

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Comment by Randall Smith on December 30, 2012 at 7:08am

Didn't you say you needed a haircut anyway?! Except for the unfortunate results, this is an amusing story. PS: I was born in '43!



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