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Dear nice person: you will get caught or cancer and that makes me happy.

February 23rd, 2011 · 62 comments

Laura in Tempe, Arizona found this note posted in the laundry room of her apartment complex, where it’s common knowledge that if you wash your clothes late at night, you’d best grab as they’re done.

Now, I realize not everyone will appreciate the subtlety of this kind of crazy. And sure, notes about stolen laundry aren’t all that uncommon. But for some reason, the peculiar syntax and semi-twisted tone of this one really got me. English majors, can we get a close reading here?

Dear nice person whom stole my laundry out of dryer 17, you are a low-life and I still recall your acts. You will get caught, or cancer and that makes me happy.

related: Panty raid!

FILED UNDER: Arizona · laundry · neighbors · spelling and grammar police · stealing · Tempe

62 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Me

    FIRST!!!! But I’m really wondering if the note-writer made it through the fourth grade. That, from my recollection, is when the “who” vs. “whom” distinction is made.

    Feb 23, 2011 at 11:23 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   kimmy78

      Speaking of wondering if the 4th grade has been passed are you saying you didn’t get past the “FIRST”?

      Feb 23, 2011 at 11:40 pm   rating: 74  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Lenny!

      I’m thinking he/she is just really excited that he/she made to the “FIRST!!!!” grade and decided to share with the rest of the class. Gold star for you.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 12:00 am   rating: 29  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Nunavut Guy

      I’ve been wondering what the little numbers beside the comment boxes signified.Thank you for clarifying that……….so the #1 means that you were first to post,good for you!(Dumb Ass)

      Feb 24, 2011 at 12:46 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

  • #2   K Nelson

    It does seem to have been written by a child. What gets me is the “I still recall your acts.” as though they happened long long ago… maybe this is a haunting of some kind…

    Feb 23, 2011 at 11:33 pm   rating: 31  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   seacurs

      I was there and I saw what you did; I saw it with my own two eyes.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 1:56 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   liddy

      haha that is FUNNY…a haunting….you crack me up

      Feb 25, 2011 at 6:15 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #3   Canthz_B bang

    “I still recall your acts”?

    How PA is it when you move to a place with your own in-unit washer and dryer and then feel the need to go back to your old apartment complex two years later to post a note in the laundry room?!

    Hypnotic regression fans take heed, and watch your laundry!

    Feb 23, 2011 at 11:36 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #4   Seanette

    I’m guessing English is not the writer’s native language.

    Feb 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Canthz_B bang

      It’s Tempe. Could be an ASU student!

      i kid my sun devils, i kid! :-P

      Feb 23, 2011 at 11:45 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   Lenny!

      My first thought too ;)

      Oh the joys of having to be a sun devil…

      Feb 24, 2011 at 12:05 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   Canthz_B bang

      Maybe English is not their first language after all. Maybe they’re Ukrainian and that Chernobyl-contaminated laundry will give them cancer.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 12:36 am   rating: 21  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   unholyghost2003 bang

      or perhaps the gentle green glow of the radiation is how they will get caught.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 9:19 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #4.5   Lauren--NY

      I’m with Seanette.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 11:10 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #4.6   infanttyrone

      Maybe a Ukranian Zappa or SNL fan ?

      Feb 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #5   Melodie

    Listen, lady, I don’t want to tell you how to live your life, but having such thoughts as “You are a low-life and I still recall your acts” is the whole entire reason why I have a drinking problem, and also insomnia.

    Detach with love and move on, is what I recommend. You can change long before they ever will, I assure you.

    Feb 23, 2011 at 11:43 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Russian

      I presume you’re not serious, since you don’t normally ‘detach with love’ from somebody you only share a washing machine with, but I really hope you are. Cos it makes your post both awesome and hilarious.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 8:06 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #6   Canthz_B bang

    Of course they can recall the Acts…I just never read anything in the Bible about laundry theft.

    Guess now we know what Jesus would do if your dryer cycle ended and you weren’t around.

    What?! He always seems to have on clean sheets when I see a painting of him!

    Feb 23, 2011 at 11:50 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   The Elf

      Would it not be covered by the Commandments? Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s laundry.

      What would Moses do?

      Feb 24, 2011 at 8:00 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   Canthz_B bang

      Nah, that’s what they call Old Tenement thinking. ;-)

      Feb 25, 2011 at 2:06 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   infanttyrone

      At last, a tenet of a tenant of an old tenement ?
      Where there’s a will there’s a testament…

      Feb 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #7   Canthz_B bang

    The love in this note is so moving…how can nice guys finish last if, even after they steal your laundry, when they get cancer they can give such happiness?

    Just goes to show you that life is all about “give and take”.

    Feb 24, 2011 at 12:34 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #8   JetJackson

    All I can think is…

    Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You stole my washing from dryer number 17! Prepare to die!

    Feb 24, 2011 at 12:51 am   rating: 64  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   The Elf

      Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia” – but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go against a Arizonan when stolen laundry is on the line”! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha…

      Feb 24, 2011 at 8:04 am   rating: 41  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   unholyghost2003 bang

      “on the line” bwahahahahaha

      Feb 24, 2011 at 9:05 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #8.3   Canthz_B bang

      “Never leave a laundry thief alive to fly at your clothesline.”

      (“Never leave an enemy alive to fly at your throat.”

      –Shaka Zulu’s mother)

      Feb 24, 2011 at 9:17 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #8.4   vera

      i love you.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 3:29 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #9   dixiechick

    This English major–and former teacher of Freshman Comp, so I’ve been through the wars of deciphering alien thought-processes–is still trying to parse this post.

    All I can come up with is bad juju for somebody, either in a past or present life.

    I’m going to nominate for “Bad Park You!”

    Feb 24, 2011 at 1:03 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

  • #10   heather

    SYLLEPSIS – “get caught or cancer”

    how poetic.

    Feb 24, 2011 at 2:41 am   rating: 12  small thumbs up

  • #11   Emily

    I teach people who are non-native English speakers, and none of them write with this kind of grammar. This person is either a child or an idiot.

    Chill, people. Why would you ever do your laundry and just leave it there? I find that more rude than having someone remove the laundry from the washer/dryer. Just buy a washer if you’re that pissed.

    Feb 24, 2011 at 5:43 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   The Elf

      No one likes laundry theft. That’s over the top. Yes, leaving your laundry in the dryer is rude. But stealing it is, well, illegal. It’s rude plus.

      That said, the note writer wishing cancer upon the thief is huge overreaction (and funny!).

      Feb 24, 2011 at 8:07 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   Cynta E.

      Hardly. Thieves all over deserve a pox. Or cancer. But the hypercorrection… oh, the hypercorrection.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #11.3   butt

      I’m usually very good about getting my laundry but once or twice it’s simply slipped my mind or my alarm didn’t go off etc. Decent people take it out and leave it on top of the dryer. IMO nothing justifies theft.

      Feb 25, 2011 at 10:03 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #12   nora

    Low life doesn’t have a hyphen…

    Feb 24, 2011 at 5:49 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #13   anglophile

    The “get caught or cancer” reminded me of “let go and let God”, which always makes me grind my teeth with the awkwardness of it all.

    Feb 24, 2011 at 8:22 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Canthz_B bang

      Isn’t “let go and let God” what the angel said to Mary?

      Damn good pick-up line if you ask me.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 9:09 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   The Elf

      I always thought it was “lie back and think of Judea”?

      Feb 24, 2011 at 11:05 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   quatfaux

      Had a guy try to pick me up once with “I don’t believe in sex outside of marriage, but you have the light of Jesus in your eyes, so it would be OK if we slept together.” Didn’t work for him. He was also wearing underwear on his head, which didn’t help.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 1:04 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #13.4   Canthz_B bang

      ROTFL…I’ll take The Elf for the win! :lol:

      Feb 24, 2011 at 7:19 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #14   KMacMurray

    “Whom” is fancy for “who.” That’s how you know the writer is educated and serious.

    Feb 24, 2011 at 9:33 am   rating: 33  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   wren

      It’s only fancy when it’s used correctly.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 9:39 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   autumn

      Aaaand wren misses the joke.

      Feb 25, 2011 at 6:55 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

  • #15   aaa bang

    Maybe it’s because TV Tropes ruins your life, but I feel an overwhelming urge to link to the article on disproportionate retribution.

    Feb 24, 2011 at 9:40 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   unholyghost2003 bang

      I have lost so many days link surfing on TV Tropes.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 10:02 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   aaa bang

      If I didn’t have to live life, all I would do is live on TV Tropes.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 10:11 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #16   bah

    Oh, I hope you’re joking…. for that statement is so far from accurate it’s not even funny

    Feb 24, 2011 at 10:32 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   anglophile

      For the love of all that is holy, if you want to argue with someone, please nest your comment!

      Feb 24, 2011 at 11:59 am   rating: 23  small thumbs up

  • #17   Adriana

    At a laundromat, I overheard a woman talking to her friend about how she’d had a $300 blouse stolen from a dryer at another laundromat. I was really feeling bad for her until she mentioned that she’d left it there overnight.


    Obviously, stealing is wrong, but if you leave your car unlocked with the keys in the ignition on a public street, you don’t expect to find it there in the morning. People steal, so if your clothes or your car or whatever you own is that important to you, then do what you can to protect your possessions.

    Also, as a matter of basic laundromat courtesy, don’t let your clothes sit in washers and dryers for a long time. If all the dryers are taken when I walk in, I start the clock. If there are still no dryers by the time I need them, I pull their clothes out myself after an hour. I don’t want to do that, but I’m not going to go out of my way to be courteous when others won’t be.

    Feb 24, 2011 at 10:36 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   unholyghost2003 bang

      Feel bad for her? Even w/o the “leaving it overnight” angle she clearly doesn’t have her priorities straight. Even if the cost of housing that includes in home washer dryer is impossible in your area what kind of person spends $300 on a blouse and then runs it through the abuse of a laundromat? You can shell out $300 for a blouse but not $10 to have it dry cleaned?

      Feb 24, 2011 at 11:19 am   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   Canthz_B bang

      Probably has $2500 rims on her 1987 Honda Civic too.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 7:23 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #17.3   liddy

      washing a $300 blouse at a laundromat and then forgetting it????? Hmmm, me thinks she exagerrated the cost just a tad.

      Feb 25, 2011 at 6:20 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #17.4   infanttyrone

      “A sister’ll put rims on a toaster if you let her.”

      (“A brother’ll put rims on a toaster if you let him.” Chris Rock)

      Feb 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #18   Laura

    Little backstory from my neighbor: it was a guy. Apparently it was all of his workout clothes and he also lived in my building. Yes, he is an ASU student, and he is an engineering major.

    I’m an ASU student as well. Go Sun Devils! :]

    Glad you guys enjoyed :]

    Feb 24, 2011 at 11:58 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   The Elf

      Engineering? Now it’s starting to make sense.

      Feb 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #19   Managed Hosting Los Angeles

    Aside from the grammatical errors, they’ve really managed to hit the passive-aggressive nail on the head.

    Feb 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #20   Divvitar

    Bad steal you! You get caught or cancer! I curse you!

    Feb 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #21   Important Dee

    Everyone knows that God’s punishment for laundry theft is cancer. “Vengeance is mine,” saith the Lord.

    Feb 25, 2011 at 2:06 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #22   calarch

    Handy guide for most “who” and “whom” usage:
    Use “who” when you are talking about “he,” “she” or “they.”
    Use “whom” when you are talking about “him,” “her” or “them.”

    Feb 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #22.1   AuntyBron

      This is passive aggressive notes – we don’t need no logic shit here!

      Feb 25, 2011 at 6:58 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #22.2   infanttyrone

      But if people don’t know how to use them correctly, how will they know how to use them incorrectly for comic effect ?

      Feb 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #23   Kal

    Passive agressive prozeugma.

    Mar 16, 2011 at 8:27 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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