Welcome to Adventures at the Creepermat!

I started this blog because I constantly find myself being amused, disgusted, or simply baffled by the things that occur while I am situated at the laundromat.

I'm sure you're wondering why the heck I call it the Creepermat. A few of my friends and I refer to weird people as Creepers. Laundromats seem to be a haven for the weird, the destitute, and the generally entertaining to watch.

I've been doing laundry in public laundromats since I moved out on my own in 2004. I used to loathe it and put it off for as long as I could, often going nearly a month without doing laundry. The past year, though, I've realized what a gold mine of observations I've come up with during just about every laundromat experience, and I've finally motivated myself to kick the procrastination and start a damn blog about it already.

I live in the Ohio Valley; the nearest small towns, and the ones where I usually end up with my 6 baskets of pee-stained kid sheets, grease-smelling Garfield's uniforms, and 79 pairs of underwear, are St Clairsville OH and Wheeling WV. The nearest large city is Pittsburgh, which is over an hour away. I'm sure that information alone is enough to allude to the types of people I encounter on these adventures. I am at the top of Appalachia, before you venture into Wrong Turn territory. Rednecks and the general span of low to lower middle class folks are my usual company.

Enjoy, and be sure to leave comments and feedback for me!


Mar 20, 2010

Creepy owners?

Pulling up to the Creepermat to an empty parking lot was a huge disappointment. Before this blog, I would have relished the quiet and engrossed myself in a book; but you wouldn't have much to read if I did that now, so I always hope for at least a little bit of company.

I got inside with my 3 loads and noticed that someone had clothes in one of the industrial dryers. I live in such a small area that it's really alright for you to leave your clothes at the laundromat. I do it a lot myself without a single worry about coming back and my clothes being gone or vandalized or worn by some other weirdo.

I decided to get myself a snack; a bottle of water and a bag of Sun Chips sounded pretty satisfying. The water came out no problem, but the snack machine was giving me grief. My bag of Sun Chips got stuck right above the door flap. I watched a guy go through a window on one of those machines trying to rock it to get his bag, so I didn't want to take that route. Thankfully, the owner/manager lady showed up. She asked me what happened, and I told her it got stuck. She shook it a few times then went to her car to get money to try to get another bag to push it down. Right when she came back, the bag fell. I thanked her for her attempt at helping, and she mumbled something about not liking Sun Chips.

Then, she just...kept mumbling. For about 15 minutes she paced back and forth across the 'mat, mumbling to herself, checking washers and dryers to make sure no one left any clothes behind. I couldn't understand what she was saying, but it sounded like a lot of grumbling and complaining.

During my lonely visit, 5 different cars pulled into the lot, parked, sat for a few minutes, then left without getting out or meeting anyone. I suspected drug deals, but no one ever approached any of the parked vehicles. My guess is either a lot of people needed to pull over to make phone calls, or some drug dealer stood a bunch of people up.

While I was loading my clothes into a dryer, the lay whose clothes were in the dryer when I got there returned to retrieve her garments. As I mentioned before, this is a really small area with a relatively low crime rate. The laundromat was empty other than me, and the parking is directly in front of the building with only a sidewalk separating the spaces from the entrance. This woman got out of her SUV and locked it before coming into the 'mat. She spent a grand total of 3 minutes gathering her clothes (yes, I did keep track) then walked right back outside and had to spend about another minute fiddling with her keys to get her doors unlocked again. Pointless, if you ask me, but this is coming from the girl who rarely ever locks her doors unless she's in a big city or plans on being away from her car for at least a full work shift. Hell, I leave my doors and trunk open while I'm in the laundromat gathering my stuff when I;m finished so that I can just walk outside and throw everything in without a fuss. People are way too paranoid.

The only leftover clothes the owner lady found were these:


Displeased with my uneventful night, I went home and put everything away. Maybe next time will be a little more noteworthy.

Mar 10, 2010

Creepers are creepy.

The Creepermat truly lived up to my affectionate nickname whatever day I did laundry. I don't even remember, but it was a few days ago. There were 6 cars in the lot. I used the left side of the 'mat because the right side was overpopulated with a herd of creepers. Five very weird looking guys stationed at various areas on the right side all stared at me as I walked in. Two of them continued to stare at me the entire time I was in the laundromat; the same two had their faces smashed up to the door as I was walking in. There wasn't anything interesting going on outside, so I really have no clue what they were doing.

One in particular really weirded me out; he gawked openly, completely unashamed. I felt it, and I could usually see him in my peripheral vision. He was wearing a Harley Davidson hat, gray sweater, and dirty jeans with mud-crusted work boots; most of the others were in around the same attire. He was 40ish, weathered, with leathery skin from years of construction work. Blond hair and mustache.

He watched me put all of my laundry in the washers. I dropped a quarter in one of the washers. He said "You tryin' to launder money?" and snickered like he was incredibly clever. I suppressed a rude comment, gave a short smile and awkward laugh, and walked away.

There was one older lady; she was occupying the left side with me, but she didn't look very friendly so I didn't try to make conversation. I brought in food from Burger King, but I don't like people watching me eat. Every single creeper in the 'mat had their eyes locked on me, so I quickly shoveled my burger and didn't bother with the fries. They were gawking at me like "Thou shalt not consume food whilst in a public laundry" were one of the 10 commandments.

I spent most of this visit staring down at my book, trying not to be severely creeped out by the five men watching me like I were on stage at a strip club. I made sure to hold my book so that the cover could be seen. I was reading a book about serial killers. I wish it had creeped them out, but creepers aren't called creepers because THEY get weirded out, but because they weird YOU out, so this obviously failed. If anything, it probably got their tongues wagging even more. Creepy.