The Casual Reporter: Trent Hauls a Washing Machine

Friday, November 28, 2008

Trent Hauls a Washing Machine

Pickup trucks are relatively rare in France and when I first arrived every time I saw one I pined for the truck I'd sold before moving here. I'd say to my wife something like, "Wow, look at that pickup. We should get one. They're so practical, like if you need to haul a washing machine or something." My wife would smile sympathetically and we'd go on our way.

When we were shopping for a vehicle and came across a van for sale I'd always make a similar comment. "That'd be good," I'd say. "It'd be great if we ever needed to haul a washing machine or something." This went on for years, me seeing a van or pickup or truck and absentmindedly making the comment, "That'd be great if we needed to haul a washing machine or something."

Finally, after one such comment, my wife said "What is it with you and washing machines? How often do you need to haul a washing machine? Is that what you do in Wyoming for fun, haul washing machines?" We laughed, but she had a point.
A few days later I was talking to Kevin about the PT Cruiser he'd just bought. He was proud he'd gotten it for 3,000 Euros less than the sticker and it was comfortable, had a nice stereo, etc. Then he opened up the hatch back to show me the inside and said, "This is what I really like. The back opens up and you can push the seats forward. It's big enough you could haul a washing machine in it."

What is it with the washing machine? Check this out:

The Porsche Cayenne is the sportiest, best-performing SUV, a high-performance machine that will fit a family of five, haul a small washing machine, tow a large boat and get you through the woods when there's no road.
A Porsche? Who the hell owns a Porsche and needs to haul a washing machine? Through the woods, when there's no road? Who would haul one in a Porsche even if they could? How did we men get into our heads that we all need to be able to haul washing machines? Perhaps it's a symbol of virility: being able to haul a washing machine is like being able to satisfy a woman. Size does matter.

In any case, I was very pleased a few years ago when we bought an Opel Zafira, a family minivan-type car that can seat seven but can also quickly convert into a large cargo space. Yesterday when I pulled up to the Indesit Factory Outlet store to buy a new washing machine I knew my moment had arrived. We selected our unit and waited for the guy to dolly it out to the car, then I opened up the back door. The Indesit man and I lifted the corner of the machine up to the bumper. As we tipped the machine upwards, he said of the opening to my car, "I'm not sure it's going to be tall enough." I smiled, confident, as we easily slid the washing machine into the car. I said, "Now THAT's a good car." He chuckled and smiled knowingly as if to say, "Indeed, my good friend, indeed. That IS a good car."


  1. Ah but do you know how to use a washing machine??

  2. Good point. Perhaps I should have written, "Size does matter - at least where the washing machine is concerned."

  3. bravo trent that is a wonderful article and i can absolutely relate not only because i lived in france feeling the same way. but because when i moved back to the states i bought a 83 mercedes and had no way to haul a horse without borrowing a rig. it makes you feel like a one legged man in a but kicking contest.

  4. Trent:

    Very amusing! You write well. Taking sort of an average, every day experience and making it interesting is tough to do.

    I wonder, however, how did these conversations sound in French?

    Keep them coming!


    Paul Daniels


I don't publish comments I feel are inappropriate, but since they filter through my email first, feel free to say whatever's on your mind. I enjoy the interaction.