The Curious Case of the Slow Washing Machine

“Honey, the washing machine will need to be replaced,” Mrs. Wells said. “It takes it four hours to wash a load of clothes.”

“It came with the house, who knows how old it is,” Mr. Wells said. “Do you think we can put up with it for another month? Our budget is a little tight right now.”

“Maybe we can find a used machine that we could buy sooner? It would cost a lot less,” Mrs. Wells said.

“That’s a great idea. Let’s see what we can find.”

So, the Wells family searched craigslist and yard sales and eventually found a washing machine in fairly good used condition.   It took Mr. Wells hours to install it, much to his surprise. However, they were pleased to find an inexpensive fix to their problem.

Unfortunately, the new washing machine had the same problems as the old one. “Do you think it’s a problem with the plumbing?” Mrs. Wells asked.

“What do you mean?” Mr. Wells asked.

“Well, maybe the water pressure is just really, really bad,” Mrs. Wells said.

“Is the spin cycle slow?”

Mrs. Wells sighed. “Yes. I can barely tell the machine is working at all. Do you think the electricity is slow?”

Mr. Wells snorted. “It doesn’t work that way. I guess we’ll just have to save up for a new machine.”

Mrs. Wells tried washing clothes in the bathtub, because it took less time. However, it took more effort, so she gave that up. She was worried that it would raise their electric and water bills to always be running the washing machine. However, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference.

So, they got used to laundry taking extra time to do.   They’d completely forgotten all about the strangely slow washing machine. And then one day Mr. Wells passed an appliance sale the day before Mrs. Wells’ birthday. The stars were aligned. He brought home a new washing machine that evening.

And the new washing machine took four hours to wash a load of laundry. “Take it back,” Mrs. Wells said. “I told you it was the water or the electricity or something.”

Mr. Wells took it back. He came home and studied the empty spot where the washing machine was.   He sat on the floor and looked at his watch. Everything seemed normal.   He went into the kitchen and checked the clock. His watch was wrong.

He took the clock off the wall and set it down on the floor in the laundry room. He checked his watch. The second hand on the clock was moving far too slow. “Honey, you have to come see this,” he said.

Mrs. Wells looked down at the floor. “What do I need to see?” she asked. “Isn’t that the clock from the kitchen?”

“Watch the second hand,” Mr. Wells said.

Mrs. Wells watched. “Oh no. Now the clock is broken,” she said.

Mr. Wells picked up the clock and set it down in the hallway. The second hand moved normally.   “We have a temporal anomaly in our house,” Mr. Wells said. “Best house ever!”

“What good are temporal anomalies?” Mrs. Wells asked.

“Um, that’s a good question,” Mr. Wells said. “But everyone at work will be so jealous. I can’t wait to tell them.”

“But what about the laundry?” Mrs. Wells said.   “Can we move the washing machine to somewhere a little faster?”

“Sure,” Mr. Wells said. And they did. Mrs. Wells now stores fruits and vegetables and loaves of bread in her laundry room. They stay fresh much longer than normal. She says she thinks everyone should have a nice temporal anomaly at home.   They certainly are handy, as long as you don’t leave any appliances in them, of course.