There are times I read “The Instructions” and times I don’t. I’ve lived long enough to accrue experience so when it says to plant the beans 3cm deep I just dig the sort of trench I’m in the mood to dig, chuck them in and hope they’re safe from the Pecky Birds and the Neighbours Evil Cat. They’re not up yet but I expect them any day soon.

When it comes to following instructions regarding any computery device I use, I’m the opposite. I could be classed as a zealot. Even when my mind is screaming ‘WRONG!’ I suck it up and much in all as I’d love to report differently, there’s yet to be a time when I’ve been lead astray. I’ve worked out this has nothing to do with the laws of physics and everything to do with the elastic supernerd brains now running the world. I’m not stressing. I know there are times ahead when they too will be un-done. Think about it. They’ve been programming since they could talk and only now with a few million dollars in the back pocket, are they free to do the things normal people do. IRL. I imagine the first major relationship breakup we’ll see the longed for ‘delete this person from every programe on every device with one click’ app. As they ease into glasses Unsubscribe to annoying newsletters will come in large font. When they finally decide normal is overrated and move on from single shots of gin/whisky/vodka/rum and into bottles, they’ll be ditching passwords and replacing them with.. nothing. Ok we can keep a password for the bank.

The bra instruction thing is somewhere inbetween. I mean they’re bra’s. I’ve been wearing them since my mother brought one home and I had to fold the ends over because they were overly optimistic sizing wise. Back then bra’s were made to last until the hooks fell off. I’d chuck them in the washing machine with the sludgy ‘white’ wash, but allowances were made. The only thing Mum never fed through the wringer was her underwire bra. I can see how a wrong feed into the wringer could have unforseen results so I applaud her forward thinking because I can 100% guarantee it wasn’t written on any tag. When I started buying my own bras I began reading the labels. What’s this ‘handwash only’ all about? I thought about it for 5 seconds and chucked them in the washing machine. Recently I’ve evolved to allow them their own little netting bag in the washing machine for reasons I really can’t explain except who doesn’t like a little netting bag? And I don’t hang them outside on the clothes line in the sharp sun and in range of birds with diarrhoea. So… what a surprise it was for me to note that my recent bra crop began sprouting small elastic ends out of their trimming. They look like the hairs on your legs three days after you’ve shaved them – if you had rubber hairs. This isn’t good. I had two choices. Buy more or handwash. I did both. The buying more was fun. Instead of the small Lingerie shop I usually frequent, I went into a department store with 20% off. They even had the one I’d ordered from the other store that’s been a month in the ‘pipeline’. And they had bra’s in packs of two. I have never seen two packs of my bra’s (I’m now wearing bra’s that say ‘Minimiser’ – an advertising promise with a fair amount of freeboard) so I came home with three new ‘brassiers’ and each one had a foldout list of instructions. I was looking forward to finally getting some care advice – sort of like the vet telling you what to do with the dog. I unpicked the stitches and unfolded five folds of an instruction sheet that read Handwash cold. Women’s bra (and sizes). Made in China. There you go. They want me to fail.

But I was inspired to try something different. My washing machine has a Delicate cycle. What could be more handwashy than delicate? As this was an experiement I put the old bras into the netting bag and chucked them into an empty drum. I didn’t think it was appropriate to use the everyday harsh chemicals on my delicate cycle, so I thought – I’ll use the woollen wash. I checked the dose – then just poured a bit into the soap delivery device, and turned the machine onto delicate. I was so in the mode that I even selected no final spin. I happened to walk past the washing machine about ten minutes later. The entire machine was full of fluff. There was a full-on fluff window and had I waited, as the wet patches on the floor show me, I would’ve seen the fluff oozing out the seal. When the cycle finished and I removed a netting bag of still full of woolwash bra’s, I had to spend another ten minutes rinsing them under cold water to get rid of the detergent. It gave me plenty of time to read the instructions on the back of the wool wash. Top loader machines only. Now who’d have thought they’d be like that?

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