Ethan Switch - Thursday, 26 September 2002
There's a fine line between walking fresh and wearing the stink of musk that seeps into clothes as you sweat. Alas, you want to, but don't always get to wash out the wear before the week is done. You could either wear one fresh shirt per day, or just wear the same one until your nose says to swap it out.
Then there's that line other than the Hill's Hoist.
You're the kind of person who wears a fresh new undershirt everyday. This shirt might be a singlet, a T-shirt, or just some ratty-tatty tank top. Either way, you love the feel of a good clean shirt on you between your skin and the outer layer.
This leaves you with a sniff-tested good shirt just wasting away after a single day's use ready to jump the waters of the washing machine. Whiffing it says it's still good for a few more rounds. So why waste? You don't have to.
Swap out the seven shirts for the week and make do with just three in the cycle. You save both on the shirt wear and tear and laundry costs due thanks to a simple, yet effective spin of a far longer span between the necessary loads.
The Battle Plan
Mark out your days into three periods: Workhorse, Relaxed and Dead.
These periods are where the shirts will shift along and make their trip to the laundry basket that much slower.
- Workhorse - This is the period when you have some kind of job or task that requires some kind of contribution to the world or your community at local and/or large.
- Relaxed - Defined as the period when you're just relaxing around the home not doing that much, and certainly not sweating the bullets of pounding a night's work.
- Dead - If you're narcoleptic or an insomniac, you have bigger problems than working out how to juggle your laundry duties. Basically, this is when you're asleep.
Grab a shirt and wear it for the entire day. This is the foot soldier, the frontline infantry. When you're done with this, lay it out somewhere for it to air, don't just throw it into a heap and don't fold it up. You want this thing to breathe for what it's going to be put through. This is the Workhorse.
When you head to bed and after you've taken a shower, switch into a fresh new undershirt. Sleep in it and do nothing else. This is your Dead shirt.
(Don't be so disgusting as to sleep in a day's sweat here. We might be skipping extra washing, but we're not looking to be feral.)
Next morning, take the Dead shirt and lay it out. The bed is fine. Don't scrumple it. Hanging it is better. Key here, as with all shirts in the cycle, is to let it breathe when you're not wearing it.
Slip into another shirt for breakfast. This is the Relaxed. Be calm, the morning is about being calm. Waste your stress at work, but try and keep home a stress-free environment. This isn't part of the Three Shirt Cycle. It's just good sense.
As you're heading off to work, slip into the Workhorse and let the Relaxed sit around somewhere in the house to breathe and lie in wait until you're home.
Go about your productive day. Because you're putting something into society right? You're not just mooching?
When you get back, turn out the Workhorse and let it air as you slip back into Relaxed. Make sure, if you can, that any sweat you have on you between shirt changes is wiped away. If the Workhorse doesn't get to air properly, the results might widen your personal space the next day.
Do your home duties and chill out in Relaxed.
When you're ready for bed, slip back into Dead mode.
Continue this swap cycle until the Workhorse feels like a rest. You'll know this when you know this. Or, some time after the third day.
When Workhorse is ready for the washing, move Relaxed to Workhorse, Dead to Relaxed and a new shirt into the Dead spot.
And that is the Three T-Shirt Cycle.
Sweat changes the pace on when the shirts move up the chain cycle. The faster and greater the sweathog you are, the less time between shirt shift changes.
If you're zen and don't sweat at all, you could conceivably stretch this out to a month-long process.
Boxers and briefs are entirely another matter. The incident of dribble or a fart cloud will render the whole piece stained and in need of a visit in hot water.
Sharts are wholly their own monster and underwear in the path of such should be doused in bleach, set alight and buried accordingly.
Remember: You still have to do some laundry in the end.
By Ethan Switch
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