Laundry is like a sleeping giant you know is in your basement. You tend to it when you have to, then try to pretend it isn't there the rest of the time.
I like doing laundry, for the most part. I get that from my mother. I love going through the motions: sorting, filling the washer, hanging clothes on the line. Few people (read: children) follow me to the bowels of the house to the laundry room. It is a peaceful process. It is fortunate I like laundry; eight people make a LOT of dirty clothes.
However, I do not like hauling clothes up and down stairs. My clothes line is clear across the yard--more hauling. I tolerate folding clothes, but hate putting them away. And I hate talking my family members into putting their clothes away, too.
So, there's my feelings on the matter. Now to dive into the matter I find in my laundry.
One of the grossest things I've found in the washer was a worm. It may have been alive when it went into the washer, but it was very dead when I found it. Who had a worm in their pocket?! Sarah tried to keep worms in a cardboard jewelry box last summer. I opened the box to find several dried worms. When I told her that worms can't live in boxes because they need water, she got ready to water the dead worms. "No, sweetie, you will just make dead worm soup."
More than once, because we have laying hens, a smashed egg-in-a-pocket has gone through the wash. Carrying eggs in your pockets is a dangerous thing. Carrying eggs any way is a dangerous thing. You bend over and they fall out of your pocket. You drop the second egg into your pocket just a little too hard. You forget the eggs are there and whack the side of your coat with...anything. When you hear that sound, your brain begins processing, trying to figure out just where it's heard that before. It almost sounds like a muffled...breaking...egg...ah, nuts!! I forgot I put that in there! Maybe your sweet daughter smashes the egg in her pocket, doesn't tell you, and drops the coat in the laundry (that alone should make you suspicious). Egg shells are difficult to get out of the bottom of the washer!! Trust me on this...I did it today.
Pens, crayons, markers: the evil enemies of laundry. How many clothes have been ruined by this terrible trio? I washed a load of new white dress shirts and two new blouses, only to take them out of the dryer streaked with purply-blue. Nothing, nothing, nothing would take all of it out. It was horrible, heart-breaking. Why can't blue crayons and pens go through the laundry with a load of jeans? Well, it has happened, but the effects are so much less depressing.
Now we swing into sweets. Suckers, mints, gum, mini candy bars. Often I take empty wrappers out of the dryer, hoping they were empty when they went in. Sometimes the candy comes out still in the package and mostly intact. Sometimes the clothes need rewashed to get the dryer-melted stickiness out. If I have personally washed chocolate, I have blocked that memory. How awful to waste chocolate...what a potential mess!
Probably once a month I find a tube of lip gloss in the wash. I keep one in my pocket all the times to ward off chapped lips (and to look alluringly kissable to my prince charming). Sometimes they make it through the laundry just fine, although I've had tubes misshaped by the heat of the dryer. Lip balm and lipstick don't always make it out alive. There's nothing like noticing dark spots on the dried clothes, searching the dryer and finding an empty tube. Now to treat each stain and rewash the load. Oh, and wasn't that my favorite color/flavor?
I have not had the misfortune of washing electronics. I know people who have, though. My mother was helping my sister's family out by doing their laundry. I believe she found a cell phone and an ipod thoroughly cleaned, but no longer functioning. In fact, I think it happened more than once. Ouch.
The moral of the story: Check pockets, and hope there are no worms in one!