1000 rpm

The washing machine was delivered, installed and tested a good few weeks before the baby was due, much to the couple’s relief. It washed well and it dried well. Joy. Happiness.

“One thing less to worry about,” said she.

“Yep, we don’t want to be washing by hand especially in the weeks immediately afterwards,” said he.

Even though neither of the two understood the user manual, they managed to get their laundry done despite a few mishaps like putting the softener in the wrong tray and forgetting to use detergent. They’d soon get the hang of it, they reckoned.

The machine sat contentedly in the utility room, with its huge mouth rounded in a large happy smile. It was here to do what the factory had created it to do and it was going to fulfil its purpose with all the diligence it could muster.

The baby arrived on time. It was a natural birth, no forceps or tongs needed. He attended and behaved as well and as lovingly as any dad could.

After a day or so he came to collect mother and child from the hospital and they happily drove home to their sweet little house.

“Did they give you a user manual?” asked he.

“No. I asked and they all laughed and said, if only,” said she.

So, there we have it. A baby with no user manual, a big machine that washes and dries and has a large baby size door and a user manual too complex to follow, and two sweet but not very bright new parents.

“Difficult to allocate blame,” said the coroner.

“A tragic case,” wrote the daily newspaper.

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