One morning as she washed, Max noticed that Fran was leaking water. Max called the washing machine repair man, named Larry, that he usually used to repair any of his washers that had problems.

Larry says to Max:

“Fran is old. It might take a day or two to find a part that fits her.”

As usual, Larry was in no hurry to leave – preferring instead to ask for a cup of coffee and gossip. Larry told Max about all the women he was meeting on dating sites and how much sex he was having. He then asked Max a very awkward question.

Larry to Max:

“When was the last time you had sex?”

When Max said nothing, Larry smiled and said:

“Never? Ok. I will put you on a dating site.”

Max was uncertain about this idea but Larry was clearly amused and got to work. He used his smart phone to take a photo of Max, which actually looked quite good – in part because Max, in accordance with his profession and the urgings of his aunty who owned the laundromat before he inherited it, had an interest in clothes and was generally well dressed. It was not long before Larry had finished Max’s profile on a dating site. There were, of course, a few exaggerations – one might say “lies”.  

Larry to Max:

“Everyone lies on these sites, and we are not actually lying – only exaggerating a little!”

Before he left, Larry sent messages to several women on the site indicating that Max was interested in them. Larry returned the next day.

Larry to Max:

“It was not easy to find a part for Fran, but I did. It is good as new and I will install it now. Any messages on the dating site?”

Taking the phone from Max, Larry could see that he had received some replies but he had not followed them up. So Larry again took Max’s phone and send some messages giving the address of the laundromat. The next afternoon a woman named Stacy arrived looking for Max. She was somewhat younger than he but nicely dressed.

Sally to Max:

“As soon as I saw your photo, I knew that I wanted to meet you. You are so attractive. I have also brought some of my best clothes for you to wash and take care of.”

When Max told Sally that he could not leave the laundromat and go to a coffee shop, she went and brought some take-away coffee and biscuits. Max clearly liked the attention. Larry had switched-off Fran’s electricity supply when repairing her, so Fran knew nothing of Max being on a dating site until she washed Stacy’s clothes. Fran was immediately jealous and wanted to know more about Stacy – and particularly anything bad about her! Stacy’s clothes said that she lived with a man who did not have a job. In fact, this man had just been released from prison where he had been for a thing called “fraud”. Stacy’s clothes did not know what “fraud” was, so Fran told them.


“But why is she here now with Max?”

One of the clothes items being washed:

“We think it is because he has 5 laundromats and much money. Stacy’s man said something like ‘he is a good target for us’.”


“Max only has this laundromat. And he only has it because his aunt left it to him when she died.”

Fran wanted to warn Max but could not, and Stacy’s clothes showed little sympathy for her situation. Fran needed to do the wash cycle that Max specified when he pushed the buttons to start her, and even her rising anger could not lead to a change – even though she wanted to make life tough for both Stacy and her clothes. But luck was to be on Fran’s side. In order to increase the profitability of his work for Max, Larry had bought an old second-hand part in poor condition – it was certainly not “as good as new” – and used it to repair Fran. At this very moment this second-hand part failed and hot soapy water spewed out of Fran spraying Stacy.

Stacy to Max:

“You have 5 laundromats. Why do you keep this crappy old washing machine?”

Max to Stacy:

“Fran is my favorite. And I only have this laundromat.”

Stacy glared at Max:

“You are stupid.”

Stacy then stormed out the door. Fran was not happy with her damaged water pipe, but was happy when Max lovingly opened the door and removed Stacy’s clothes and threw them into a basket. As Max checked the damaged part, Fran began singing to herself:

“Stacy’s stain has been washed away, but Larry’s lie hasn’t”.

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