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Mom! The Washing Machine Ate My Brother

Updated on June 5, 2020
jimagain profile image

Jim is an accomplished writer with many great literary achievements, most of which he simply made up.

But on the bright side...

I still can't forget the time that old washing machine almost ate my brother.

It was an anachronistic throwback of a washing machine I remember so well. And this antiquated piece of machinery was responsible for the single-most traumatic experience of my young life, other than maybe when the monkey attacked cousin Mike...but that's another story.

If you think Hansel & Gretel was scary, wait, 'til you hear this!

Built sort of like a primitive version of R2D2, it consisted of a tub mounted on legs with two wringers mounted over the tub and driven by a belt which ran the agitator as well as the wringers. Wet, soggy clothes were fished from the tub and fed by hand through the wringers squeezing the water out of the wet clothes, which were then hung out on a solar-powered clothesline to complete. Such was the technology at our house in the mid-sixties.

New & improved!

It's hard to imagine this machine being on the cutting edge of technology at any time but I suppose somewhere, some housewife saw it in a Sears & Roebuck catalogue and told her husband he had better buy it for her or he could wash his own clothes down at the creek. Compared to the old washboard, this must have been a marvel of technology. I realize some of you may have to 'google this' to see what I'm talking about. Prepare for culture shock!

I suppose the crude device was at least one step up in the right direction on the evolutionary ladder among inanimate objects and was slightly better than a contraption straight out of the Flintstones. Perhaps if we had a few prehistoric brutes lumbering about, we could have harnessed them instead for more ingenious forms of paleolithic engineering.

It probably would have been safer.


It was a harrowing experience for me at the time. Despite this, mom's cool head prevailed. My brother is now thankfully able to pick his nose with either hand.

Mom to the rescue...

Long before "Terminator, The Rise Of The Machines" came out, I was already convinced that machines were evil and were only waiting their turn to turn on mankind when we were least expecting it. I may have been eight when the washing machine tried to devour my younger brother, starting with his arm and slowly pulling him through the wringer until digested.

It was a harrowing experience to say the least.

Being the calm and cool person I was, I promptly panicked and screamed. Meanwhile in the midst of my primal meltdown, mom calmly disengaged the rack the rollers were mounted on, releasing the tension, and immediately saved the day.

My brother is now thankfully able to pick his nose with either hand. Although a conceivably happier ending than the prospect of my brother running around the house minus an arm pulled off; nonetheless it still led to much trauma and paranoia in my life when he eventually learned to play the piano. There aren't a lot of one-armed piano players out there! There was a one-armed villain that caused a lot of trouble on The Fugitive but I don't think he played the piano?

All this occurred before Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Sterling were allowed to terrorize kids in their own homes over the TV!

If they ever come out with a horror movie about a malevolent washing machine that eats children -shudder- I am not watching that!

To this day, when I walk by the washing machine, I keep an eye on that thing in case that old one is reincarnate!

I admit it. I was scared to watch "The Wizard of Oz" -tornados, that scary Wizard, the wicked witch ...but those terrible fliyng monkeys were the worst. To this day I avoid flying monkeys whenever possible!

© 2012 Jim Henderson


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