Literal French Laundry

IMG_3575 (2)
The assertive note. 

I’m in a bad mood.  Yeah.  My stomach hurts. It’s kind of cold and the window is open. Although it’s five inches from me, it feels much too far to travel for comfort.   Also, I have a pain in my neck.  This isn’t a metaphor. I’m not talking about someone being a pain in the neck.  If I were, I would be like “Prioritizing peace is a pain in the neck.”  But, I’m not talking about a pain in my neck; no, this is about laundry.

So, first, in this blog, Le Poisson Nage, you may have noticed I have a deep respect for France.  Why?  Mostly because I like their yogurt.  I like their dating show about French farmers looking for love. And, I like this French tattoo artist, Faustine D.R. Tarmasz,  who I follow on Instagram (link at bottom of page).  Yeah.  I like France.  I like that the French aren’t afraid of darkness, of sadness, and of death.  Sometimes it’s relaxing to not have to be cheerful.

I also like that a common French response to political chaos is to pin a photo of Marine Le Pen on our dartboard after central left globalist Emmanuel Macron won the first election and then to stand in our backyard and then realize we are both really bad at darts.  And then inviting all of our friends over to see how good they are at sending darts into this photo.  Some of them are really good at this.

I like Emmanuel Macron.  He finds his own path. He married his French high school teacher; I married my French tutor.  He is concerned that fascism may take over our world.  Me too.  We have a lot in common.  It’s obvious.

Anyway, I don’t know what’s going to happen in France, but last Sunday when the results came in at 5pm (US time) things looked pretty hopeful and as an American, I haven’t felt that kind of hope in about seven months now.  Maybe that’s why my neck hurts all the time.

Anyway, I’m getting off what’s really important: my complaint about French laundry techniques.  In my experience, the British do this too.  The French air dry their towels instead of putting them in the dryer. Yes, sure.  Certainly, it is more environmental to air dry your towels.  Of course.   But, I was recently at a meditation retreat and I composted a tissue; I’ve regretted this for four weeks now.  Sometimes being environmental requires being even smarter than just pretty smart.

So, two days ago, I wrote a very assertive note to Vincent addressing his laundry method of hanging up the towels instead of putting them in the dryer.  I wrote that American designer, J. Ross Moore, from North Dakota didn’t invent this awesome technology so we could have these horrible sand paper towels. That we, here, in America, used our heads to figure out how to avoid scratchy towels.  That’s why we invented this machine.  Obviously.

But, then I looked into it more.  Around 1799, a French person, Pochon, invented the ventilator–a kind of rotating bin with holes in it that circled over the fire.  But, then this caused a lot of fire problems.  So, later, in 1892, an African-American, George T. Sampson, got the patent and figured out that the heat from the stove was better to dry the laundry than the fire.  Smart.  Then in depression era America, along comes the  North Dakotan and figures out a way to sell it for about $250.

The point: we need each other to make things better.

So, maybe, it’s good for the skin to be scratched up once in a while, maybe it’s good to feel kind of shredded.  Maybe this kind of discomfort is good for me, for us.  Because maybe there’s an even better way to dry towels–maybe the Dutch book designer, Irma Bloom or South African, Elon Musk can offer their thoughts.  Maybe there are some great laundry ideas we don’t even know about.  Maybe these new innovated laundry techniques might just be able to save us all.



  1. Totally cool French tattoo illustrator:
  2. More about Emmanuel Macron:
  3. More about Laundry Techniques:
  4. Irma Bloom’s books:
  5. The featured image is a Japanese bonsai that has been in training since 1625 and is at the Arboretum near Washington, DC.  It survived nuclear war and was tended by the Yamaki family who then gave it as gift for The United States of America’s 200th birthday.  We are a young country and I’ve always found it important to have older friends.









7 thoughts on “Literal French Laundry

  1. coteetcampagne says:

    Scratchy towels are a penalty for Not Being French; but you’d know that.

    So, you married your French tutor ? Cool. Would be even cooler if you had a similar age gap to M. Macron. Did marrying your French tutor vastly improve your understanding of that language? I ask because I am still struggling with it; maybe I could dump Trev and marry a French tutor if you rceommend it?

    1. Lex Leclerc says:

      The thing has helped improve my French the most is my French in laws. I always study a lot more right before I see them and right after. Perhaps there are some retired French parents you could rent/barter for?

  2. jmcadam says:

    You could always turn hanging your towels on a clothes line into something positive. May I suggest that when you’re expecting company wash something special, and then hang the washing by colour and shape, or shapes and sizes, on the backyard line; jumpers always look good when mixed with towels. Perhaps you could get a bamboo folding clothes drying rack for indoor displays. Just a thought.

  3. dolphinswithmohawks says:

    The proper way to air dry a towel so that it stays soft and does not morph into sandpaper is to take it with you to the car, then go for a drive. Once you’ve reached a cruising speed of 65 MPH, grab towel and hang it out the window. The whipping wind will not only dry the towel, but prevent it from becoming stiff. While the freeway is ok, doing this in town adds more excitement as you swerve around cars and petrified pedestrians. The extra movements give the towel even more softness.

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