The Laundry Thief: A modern-day Batman

Not the hero we wanted, but maybe the hero we deserve.

As an eerie feeling crawls up your spine, a force propels your body off your unbelievably uncomfortable twin XL mattress, and you remember you left your laundry in one of the communal machines. Normally, you’d leave it there: it’s not like it’s going anywhere. However, you recall that on TU Snaps, a host of kids complained about the infamous Laundry Thief. Your senses scream “warning” as your vision flashes red and you run to the laundry room, only to be faced by a catastrophic site. Clothes, scattered everywhere. With horror, you realize the truest sacrifice: your Folklore cardigan/signed jersey/some other important piece of clothing, gone. Limited edition and worth over $500 on the black market.

Well, well, well, if it isn’t the consequences of your own actions.

A modern-day Batman has emerged on campus. Their goal? To punish the juveniles who get too caught up in turning the ground floor of the Witt-Winn Residence Hall into a nightclub as opposed to getting their laundry out in a timely manner. Batman’s execution? Effective. By stealing people’s laundry when it’s stewed for far too long in a decomposing washing machine, our local hero is setting a noble precedent: get your laundry, or it will be stolen. Unfortunately, there are still some people out there who choose to not heed their warning. Evidently, there are a lot of you out there who fail to implement or even understand rudimentary laundry etiquette; let me take this opportunity to remind you why that’s important.

Ever notice that every laundry room on campus has the smell of musty, rotting wood and wet socks? That’s not just karma, that’s mildew and mold. These awful bacterias grow when exposed to extended periods of humidity, in dark and moisture-filled areas. If you take out your clothes on time and leave the washer doors open, you’ll find less green stuff on your favorite jeans.

If the unsanitary nature of wearing mold on your body fails to instill fear in you, maybe empathy (or guilt) can. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), side effects of prolonged mold exposure include headaches, difficulty breathing, skin irritation, allergic reactions and asthma symptoms.

In case you failed to realize it, this is not your house. Your parents aren’t here to clean up after you and no one is responsible for your clothes getting stolen except you. The answer is plain as day. If you get your laundry on time, it will not be stolen. No one’s breaking into the laundry machines in the dead of night, unscrewing hinges and stealthily fleeing; someone is flinging your clothes out of a dryer and setting up a mini thrift store.

The infamous Laundry Thief and pursuer of justice is none other than a fellow Trinity student. It’s likely to be multiple people; in fact, I’d assert that it’s whoever sees their new, cute top on the floor of the laundry room. We’ve all been that deviant who dumps people’s clothes out haphazardly, giving their Nike sweats little to no attention as we chuck them over our shoulders. In that sense, haven’t we all contributed to our local laundry thieves’ endeavors? Haven’t we all contributed to making some poor human lose their favorite hoodie? Instead of hating on this array of Batmen, maybe we should take it as a sign to be more self-aware.

I know that sometimes we make mistakes and we oversleep or get distracted. I’m definitely no exception to this. Nonetheless, the smell of mildew shouldn’t be so pungent that it hits you like a ton of bricks when you walk into the laundry room. At some point, an “accident” is no longer an excuse or a valid reason for the widespread lack of courtesy which makes people think it’s okay to snooze that alarm for the fifth time.

It’s so easy to abide by basic laundry etiquette, and by doing so, decrease your chance of losing your comfort piece of clothing. Set a timer, get your clothes on time. While you’re at it — and stop me if this one is too crazy — but maybe clean out that nasty lint tray so that when our school inevitably catches fire, it’s not because of the Beze Residence Hall’s laundry machines.

The bar is on the floor here, people. Don’t make me call your parents.