As a five-year old child, I enjoyed watching cartoons, so on a sunny Saturday morning, I’m watching the Bugs Bunny, Road Runner show and I’m in haven, watching all the cartoon action and I loved when the show ends with its iconic signature sign off statement from Porky Pig, “Thats All Folks”.
I turned the television off and walked into the kitchen, where my mother asked, “are you going outside to play”? I said yes, and I stepped onto the back porch and thought of my toys in the basement, so I walked back through the house into the basement to get some of my toys.
As I walked past my mothers Sears, Kenmore Wringer, washing machine, I heard the rhythmic sound of the agitator, so I open up the top lid and looked inside to see the water churning back and forth washing the clothes and I was mesmerized with joy.
I looked for a while, when I looked up to see the wringer section, sitting above the barrel of the machine, (see photo below), call to me, “Lets Play”. So as any young kid, I turned on the wringer rollers and I began taking clothes from the agitating barrel, placing them in between the two rubber rollers squeezing the water out of the clothes. This was so cool, it was like seeing the cartoons characters flatten, and I was having fun!
As they fell into the empty galvanized container on the other side, I was thrilled watching the rollers squeeze the water out of the clothes. This was better than playing in the backyard, swinging on my swing, riding my bicycle or playing with my dog, until, my thumb became wedged between the rubber rollers.
Needless to say, I became petrified with fear. I felt like the Wylie E. Coyote, with its tail slammed with the “Acme Anvil” as I watched the rubber rollers continue squeezing and rubbing my thumb dry.
I used every once of my strength, pulling in the opposite direction, to prevent the rollers from consuming my thumb, my hand, my wrist, and my arm. Thank goodness, I was that “Fat kid who loved cake’ because I fought with all of my strength along with yelling at the top of my lungs for help.
I heard above as my mother yelled for me and running along with my older brother through the house, in search of me. When I heard my mother running down the basement stairs and I viewed her running towards me, with the look of a terrified mother who is seeking their child.
I was relieved beyond belief as she approached, raising her right hand and smashing it against the top of the wringer apparatus and the two rollers separated immediately releasing my thumb. I was happy as I cried when my mother inspected the scars left by the machines rubber rollers and said, “You should not have played with the machine and I though you were in the backyard”!
Fortunately, I suffered no broken bones or tear of the skin. I did have a scar on my left thumb, that is visible today as I type. I’m proud to say I put up a great fight, since the rollers never got above my thumb.
Up to that point and time in my life, I was so innocent, without a care in the world until that fateful Saturday morning, when playing with a wringer washer machine, caused me to realize I was like Wylie E. Coyote from the looney-tune cartoons and that some days I could never get the Road Runner.