Hip, hip hooray! It’s 50 years since Australia’s first coin-op laundromat – set up by former American WWII vet David Cameron – opened in Melbourne
It’s a fact of the rare and lesser-spotted variety – so obscure you won’t even find it in the local version of Trivial Pursuit.
Indeed you may wonder how I even know, much less why anyone would care.
Yet discovering that it’s a commemorative occasion for the coin-op made my heart skip. It’s just the kind of thing a gal needs to hear when she’s about to pitch a day in the life of a laundrette as her best story idea and risks being hung out to dry by the editor.
One little factet and suddenly spinning a sordid yarn about other people’s dirty laundry had become a serious examination of social history, a thesis of sorts.
It’s the all-time best thing about journalism – the weird and unexpected things that come out in the wash.
Not a day goes by when you don’t learn something astonishing.
Like the frequency with which people leave their false teeth on trains or how much greenhouse gas is emitted by the average cremation.
Ditto spending the best part of half an hour listening to someone talk about bagpipes, for example, may sound like a headache. But knowledge is power, especially in a household always so divided during the now-traditional Anzac Day AFL match.
Hence my little jig when I learned you can’t play the Essendon theme song on the bagpipes very well because the great Scottish instrument has only nine notes. But Good Old Collingwood Forever translates brilliantly.
Now that’s what I call paying the piper and calling the tune.