Coping: The Competitive Laundry League

Last week, after reading about the plans for the Cotton Mouth Creek Golf Course, and hearing the latest nonsensical YJ (yellow journo) pap about sports star this and standings that, Elaine presented herself in my office nearly in tears.

Why do we pay people for this crap?”  She was deeply distraught….but that’s often when her best ideas appear.

“What do you mean?” I asked, trying to present myself as innocent and uninformed – a fairly easy task.


We pay people for sports!  I mean look at this crap:  Athletes are making millions of dollars per year for what??? Hitting a ball with a stick?”

Apparently, she’d caught a sports mention on her favorite all news station (WOAI, San Antonio) about some athlete, or other.

We have gotten SO STUPID as a country…do you realize what a scam it is to PAY to watch someone cooking on television?  Yeah…we do that.  Every (expletive) woman in America cooks,, right?  But some fat guy with an accent comes along and people will PAY for that.  Why doesn’t anyone come over to our place and PAY ME when I cook?”

She was sort of half-glaring at me and she was worked up into a lather.

“Well, maybe there’s a way to change that….”  I spoke softly, not wanting to get her blood pressure any higher.

What do you mean?

“Well, remember here about 12-years ago, when I was trying to clear 12-acres of brush with a 42-inch riding mower?  That’s when I came up with the idea of the American Competitive Lawn Mowing Association.”

Yeah, I remember.  But didn’t someone beat you to it?”

“Not with the idea, but in terms of roll-out, yeah.”

If you don’t remember our columns that far back (and there’s a reason to forget some of them, no doubt, especially those dealing with doom porn…) the idea eventually became the United States Lawn Mower Racing Association and they have a dandy website over here.


So what are you saying?”

“Well, dear, let’s take a page from the Peoplenomics unpublished manuscript “How to Monetize ANYTHING” because ANYTHING can be monetized because this is America and we’re all CRAZY.”

I then ran through the list of monetized crazinesses we have collectively bought into because while Americans may be clever and inventive in rare (Tom Edison-like) moments, for the most part, Archie and Edith Bunker were pinnacles of middle class awareness.

“So you have your monetization of gays, monetization of genders, monetization of golf, monetization of swimming, monetization of oil changes, monetization of lawn mowing, monetization of cooking, monetization of auto repairs, monetization of traffic jams….”

Who did that?

“Just go listen to your radio station again…sponsored traffic reports…. where there’s a human activity, there’s a way to monetize it.  That’s my point.  All you have to do, my dear, is find some activity that’s done in your daily life – ideally everyone’s – and figure a way to monetize it!”

Elaine’s face brightened a bit.  She does all kinds of things and she’s very talented at all of them.  But her art (painting) for example, isn’t something that just everyone can do.  We kicked around a few things.

How about doing laundry?”

“You may be onto something there. But, of course, you’d have to select which monetization channel to do first.”

What do you mean?

“Sometimes, a person will monetize be becoming an expert.  Take war, for example, or politics.  Not everyone can do it, but to monetize about all you need is a) rank and b) a publisher.  Then you write a book.  Then, when CNN,  or whoever’s snooze network calls, you’ve got product to sell and presto!  You’re in the money.

But it doesn’t have to work that way.  Doing high dollar tasks – like athletes do – simple things that they convince people to pay stupid amounts of money for – that’s an approach, too.

Or you could become the “first” at something or hold a record and get it into the Guinness Book… see?”

OK, so everyone does….oh, let’s say laundry.  How would you monetize that?”

“Seems simple enough:  You would pick certain metrics within the category and figure out a scoring method.  Maybe one track is “cost of stain removal.”  Another might be the “timed bath towel fold.”  And since you usually change the bed and do laundry on the same day (I do notice her work!), maybe “king-size bed-making with a mattress flip” could be in there too.”

So we’d do a standard stain, on something like a regular terrycloth washcloth, and see who could get the stain out cheapest and fastest?”

Exactly!  Sure, you could drown it in Oxy-Clean and that would work, but what about a spritz of detergent and some hydrogen peroxide?  Then use a standard light source and our old light meter from the film days to judge which way works best at what price point…”

We’d need rules, of course….”

Standard Wash Loads, too.  And maybe there could be a special category for people who still remember how to iron…and you know, Niagara Starch might be a potential sponsor….”

By this point, she was beaming.

Sure, the world is crazy, obsessed with making a buck, and taking advantage.  But why not just go with the flow…and a double rinse, of course?

I’ve started to call her “Commissioner” because I’ve noticed that the commissioners of these major sports deals tend to make a pile of dough.

Besides, if should could sell a Franchise – which would include a copy of her ebook “Professionsal Home Laundry Secrets – Half a Century of Hacks” – to half the homes in America, why she’d make enough money to launch the next level in home maintenance monetization.

The Professional Bathroom Cleaners Association.

Or, maybe we should be satisfied with one launch and….(bad pun alert) just scrub the other idea.

Write when you get the laundry done,  (and I can fwd email to the Commissioner if you’d like a franchise!)

17 thoughts on “Coping: The Competitive Laundry League”

  1. Elaine might enjoy reading Don Aslett’s many amusing books with practical genius included on cleaning. Such as Clutter’s Last Stand, and Let your house Do the Housework.

  2. Around here, the geezer locals discuss the monetization of sports and its value to daily life versus the impending experience of dealing with nursing home personnel. The conclusion usually values the girl changing bedpans eclipsing any ball tosser.

  3. How about monetizing the last supper by creating a cook book of foods that Christ ate at the last supper?

  4. Naw, just do a “Preppers” channel. Just think of all the guests you could invite on to talk about the latest tricks and processes for making your self; most importantly in the very near future, more cost effective and living on $10.00 per day.
    How to protect your financial assets from another Jon Corzine, or Bernie Madoff. How to survive on cat tail roots and choke cherries for three days. The possibilities are endless. And what will be more important in peoples minds within 2 to 3 years, sports and the Kardashians, or how do I pay my electric bill ??

    • “How to protect your financial assets from another Jon Corzine,” Isn’t it interesting that nobody ever asked publicly where are the billions? Similar about the boarding @ the Boston airport of the 9.11 pilots. No one talks about it publicly. In plain sight and yet few care! ;-( ;-( ;-( ;-( ;-( ;-( (People = sheep).

  5. “we have gotten so stupid as a country,”

    This reminds me of a conversation I had last week…
    A few years ago I purchased another three kw of solar and this year an opportunity arose for me to put the panels up..
    Which had people asking me about my reasons.
    My theory is we all should be implementing change. Change is usually met with a great deal of misery but if it’s implemented gradually pretty soon it’s done.
    Similar to a friend of mine who decided to build a garage it pained him to see the monumental challenge and at times he questioned why he even considered the task. I told him then don’t look at the whole job but one board. When you get home from work lay out your wall and add one board.
    He balked I would stop by and have him nail one board after work. Before the end of two weeks his garage frame was up.
    It’s the same with the huge power companies implementing renewables.
    Years ago my grandkids asked me a question about why trees grew the way they do. I sat them down and we talked about the efficiency of a tree.
    The roots the trunk the branches the limbs and leaves. Pulled out my test equipment showing them how in the photosynthesis process how each leaf produces a small minute voltage which stimulates the roots etc. How the tree follows the fib. Spiral making a tree or plant one of the most efficient systems on the planet.
    The power companies view change like all the energy should come from the roots..instead of being a tree.
    They view in my opinion the situation like the show home improvement Tim taylor on tool time..
    Instead they could be taking it slow instead of huge solar arrays or large wind turbines go small like leaves in a tree. Take a power pole two east three south two west you’ve completed your tree spiral and well over a killowatts. One solar panels on every house in our state would be well over a megawatts of energy..
    The root power plants will always be needed respect the past and embrace the future one panel at a time before long you’ve made the change gracefully.
    Right now I am sure all plans have been put on the back burner.. instead we know change will have to happen. The other thing going small dispersed you don’t have the added cost of huge infrastructure changes.

    • in my minds eye the five worst things that ever happened was 1. including the money set aside by laborers for social security into the general budget
      2. deregulation of the oil industry
      3. deregulation of the medical and insurance industry
      4. allowing special interest and lobbyists open court to donate what they want.
      5. allowing industry to import without tarrifs
      one of the major reasons we decided to implement home solar into our own household was one safety and security in case of a storm or power outage. also to show our grandchildren that this is what we should be doing as a society. we came home discussing what we wanted to share with our kids as a legacy when on the tv there was a round table discussion with the public utilities commission and the heads of the power companies along with the television announcer.. they said that even if there wasn’t an increase in demand that power costs would raise five hundred percent in twenty five years.. in my minds eye.. that would mean that anyone making eight dollars an hour would have to make fifty eight dollars an hour just to keep up with the rising costs of energy and definitely threaten our economy I don’t know about around your part of the country but here the average raise is about two percent not forty percent and there isn’t a blue sky if their prices keep rising they find ways to cut back and that is with employee’s and benefits a two edged sword .. anyone hear the words hyper inflation. that same thing happened with the oil deregulation.. I will never forget that day.. it was 67.9 a gallon I was tired got home and eating supper the president talking about his action of deregulation and how the oil industry could save us money with an open competitive market.. the next morning it was 109.9 I about fell over.. the same thing with healthcare.. before deregulation everyone part time full time etc.. had health insurance as a basic job benefit with low cost for families..afterwards costs took off and employers quit offering the insurance and industry started to import rather than produce.. by opening the doors for special interest groups to donate whatever they want.. well we know how that is turning out.. backroom deals and under the table deals are no longer backroom and under the table.. they pretty much toss it all in your face now and say see so what if you don’t like it.. its legal now..
      by adding the social security funds into the general budget well they did use it to bail out the bankers during the eighties.. and now those hitting retirement are no longer valued but leaches on society on social give away programs.. it doesn’t matter that thirty percent of your wage went into the coffer for that that is how it is viewed..

  6. I agree with Elaine – I do NOT understand the whole sports thing – where people pay huge bucks to watch others hit a ball only to chase after it and then hit it again – repeat repeat. And athlete salaries – o.k. so their money making days are limited typically by age and/or injuries, but so is anyone else’s money making days–companies go broke, they downsize and you lose your job, or get fired – a number of reasons the average working person’s money making days are limited. Athletes are grossly overpaid and are so only because doing so is legally allowed. Yes, their skill set for that particular skill is honed and fine-tuned, but not to the tune of $64 million….that is simply obscene.

    Personally, I have only attended one professional sporting event in my entire long life- and it was one of those corporate mandatory attendance events. Don’t attend them, don’t watch them, don’t read about them – I have more important things to do with my time and life.

  7. After serving 4 years in the Air Force starting in 1975, and then mostly forgetting about that time, around 2003 I was actually a little annoyed at someone who “thanked me for my service”. What?!?! I went into the USAF to become an air traffic controller and parlayed it into a long career with FAA. I never felt like I was sacrificing anything and even felt as though I was receiving way more than I deserved for that time and effort. Sure I made less than my civilian peers while on active duty, had to grow up quickly, become a responsible and reliable person, and ensure I never made a mistake at work, but it was really never a hardship. Doing a job I loved, traveling the world mostly for free, no need to think about what to wear each day, food and lodging if I wanted it, and a bit of pay – what’s not to like?

    That said, I do agree that the phrase is appropriate for those that have served in an active combat zone, or, who are deployed far from family for an extended time. But as a society I suspect the phrase “thank you for your service” is just another way to virtue signal – basically saying something you don’t really mean or fully understand. I do think George means it when he writes it, but most (I think) are simply parroting what they’ve heard.

    The idea of monetizing everything occurred to me in a narrow way back in 1982. When commuting to work one morning with a co-worker, I thought about making air traffic control into a sport (of sorts) and monetizing it as well. The idea was that a camera might carry the radar and voice of an enroute ATC sector and the controllers would compete to see who could handle as many aircraft as possible, efficiently as possible, while handling any number of unexpected scenarios (convective weather cells, emergencies, lost comm with random aircraft, etc.) Put it on TV and pay the controllers similar to pro sports athletes. Make each ARTCC into a pseudo-franchise (but keep them federalized so they don’t go rogue) and charge the networks to air one hour segments. We nixed the idea only because it seemed that if the public saw a few things that are done, the fear of flying might grow a bit. Conversely, if people really understood what we do, the fear of flying that exists in some might go away. But ultimately the liability factor made the idea seem impossible. So naturally you can expect at some point that someone will try it.

    • I rather surprised the wife of a military acquaintance when she ‘thanked me for my service’ upon learning I was a Vietnam-era vet. First I was surprised… then I rather curtly replied that “I was the one that got ‘serviced’in the deal”. It was a different time then. The draft was on. I enlisted because I was ‘draft elegible’ and no one would hire me… blatant in-my-face discrimination that would be illegal today.

      Unwilling or forced conscription made for an ugly mood among the troops and Americans of the time. No…. don’t you DARE ‘thank me for my service’. It wasn’t voluntary, and I wasn’t proud to ‘serve’. It was a Federal sentence of an innocent person.

      • @ Hank in Hawaii;

        I think if the draft were reinstated today, it might be enough to cause a “snowflake revolution”. I just cannot imagine many of today’s parents and their kids going along with selective service, lottery or not. I also think the blackout of returning bodies and amputee retirees, along with the crazy patriotic commercials for the US armed forces are the only thing that keeps the fodder coming.

        I watched the movie “Starship Troopers”, where they had PSA’s about signing up. It seemed totally plausible that with interactive television, this is where the military is going. And again, in the movie, there was no blood or negative image to be seen – just uber-patriotic narrative.

        It was really sort of creepy watching that movie – all you need to do is substitute the “evil country” of the month for the aliens and it would be accurate.

    • Sir,

      I think most of the population that “thanks you for your service” means it from the bottom of their heart. Most of us understand or have some inkling of what you have given up to keep us safe, We do not have the words to t hank you properly.

  8. Elite athletes (and other high-profile entertainers) garner huge paychecks because they can.

    They are “worth it” because their prominence with both their associated media industry and their fans, sells stuff.

    It is not until we grow up and realize we have enough stuff, and that Shaq’s mattress, Tiger’s putter, Katy Perry’s mascara, and Nicole’s cologne are all cheap, overpriced crap that we’d never intentionally own, that homo consumptus can take a step back and realize it’s paying a King’s Ransom to a bevy of Court Jesters.

    Whether they are sports figures, singers, dancers, actors, or talking heads, they are ALL just court jesters for the masses. I ceased being amused nearly 25 years ago, when I learned how big advertising budgets were, and how large the average retail markup [was] ON EVERYTHING, to cover said ad-budget…

  9. If Elaine chooses to start the House Cleaning Western Conference, she can always have them train at my place.

    • I don’t think the venue would work, Mike. Need to have adult supervision ROFLOL

      • You’re right. I’ve never acted my age and never will. I’ll just have to find a good woman that knows how to cook and clean, along with keeping us both happy.

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