Mildew Laundry Services


Bertram Mildew ran the laundry which bore his name, underlining the fact that he was the proud owner of this seldom-patronised venture. “Mildew Laundry Services” didn’t seem to cut it in a town bustling with shops selling everything from unnecessary trinkets to those nifty new slippers which, battery charged, add a comforting glow to your feet without placing an undue burden on the central heating system.

At last, as his capital reserves dwindled towards crisis point he took the bold step of contacting a powerful PR company in the next town. ‘Smoothie and Glib Ltd’,  masters of the flowing phrase sited  just beyond the world of meaning, who sent one of their sharper wordsters to, ” get a sense of the Mildew  enterprise,” and see how much they could drain out of his monetary reserves before he cottoned on to the fact that a laundry with the word ‘Mildew’ in its title was unlikely to attract custom from a town noted for the high percentage of neurotics amongst its population.

Across the road the local café, ‘Bland Eating’ which employed the slogan “Every allergy catered for”, seemed to enjoy a thriving existence, if you can ignore the fact that most of those who entered therin were checking the newspaper for nut content, or holding a handkerchief to their noses lest nearby trees tried to pollinate their nostrils. Even its rival, “The Fat Café”  which boasted in black print above the entrance, “All weights welcome: our doors accept any figure” managed to cram a decent number of customers into its outsized chairs on a regular basis. The sound of the waiter leaning over the table and asking in the quiet cultured voice he had gained while failing a degree at Oxford “Four eggs or six sir” added a surprisingly sophisticated tone to an eatery which was still saving up for tablecloths.

Sydney Byline,  “A tie to suit every mood,” was the sharpster sent by Smoothie and Glib to get the lie of the land. “The secret is in the name” he told Mr Mildew with a faintly showy sign of  perceptive powers. “Have you ever thought of changing it to something which would be less distracting to the customers of a laundry”

“I cannot change the name without offending the memory of my father. He would spin in his crematorium.” “I see” said the nimble advisor. “Perhaps if we combined his name with that of your mother we might distract from the ‘subtext’ if you follow me”  Mildew didn’t follow him, but gallantly offered up the surname of his mother as the route to business rescue, “Widebottom”

Our canny advisor, who had slipped into The Fat Café on his way to the appointment looked stunned for a second and then his face cleared and he said “Mildew and Widebottom, by-line, ‘No shirt too large, no dress too shapeless” and added, “That is the very thing to drag custom out of this odd and ill-peopled town. And then as an afterthought he continued, “Open at tactful hours” which might save the blushes of those still unfamiliar with the interior of a gym.

By these simple steps, Mildew found his fortunes restored and and social profile raised. Even the future Mrs Mildew, current name Sandra Boil was introduced to him while sneaking a stained party frock through his doors at 2:30 am, which ,mysteriously, had become his busiest hour.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, community, creative writing, employment, Environment, Fiction, fitness, humour, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Mildew Laundry Services

  1. eric keys says:

    Sadly, I suspect I would fit in quite well in this odd town.

    Like

  2. Ina says:

    Mildew … Maybe he should chance profession lol ! Love it.

    Like

  3. CKoepp says:

    *snicker* Great job on the restaurant names. In this burg, I have eaten — or tried to — at several Fat Cafes and have considered starting my own Bland Eating … in hopes of actually having somewhere safe to go. 🙂

    Like

  4. catterel says:

    I think I was in your Fat Café yesterday — so maybe I also live in this quirky town of marvellously named entrepreneurs and haven’t been paying proper attention 🙂

    Like

  5. CCKoepp says:

    Reblogged this on A Real Character and commented:
    Love Peter’s wit…

    Like

  6. Al says:

    One of your best, ducks. Got me grinning from ear to ear. I’ve often thought of opening a business making the engine covers for automobiles. I think “Hood’s Hoods” would fit in nicely in that quaint little village of yours.

    Like

  7. I want to visit, if only to collect a delightful photo gallery.

    Like

  8. Catnip says:

    Bravo….clap clap clap! Sometimes we can’t Change everything…we have to just change the way we think about them. This is fun and witty and I enjoyed reading this very much…still laughing. Very clever write! Love Catnip

    Like

  9. elainecanham says:

    Brilliant. And were his solicitors called Sue, Grabbit and Runne? (With apologies to Private Eye) Imagine if he had a sister called Mildred; Mildred Mildew. EEEuw.

    Like

  10. I would go to Mildew and Widebottom.

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  11. Read it. Enjoyed it. Enjoyed your wit. Really nice!!!!

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  12. Caroline says:

    Loved it1 Reminds me of shops in Southern Africa!!!

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  13. The Fat Café !
    Mr. Mildew!
    You crack me up! xxxxxxxxx

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  14. susanissima says:

    Don’t know where to begin! This is one hilarious read, Peter. You must’ve have been having a great time hammering it out. Bravissimo!

    Like

  15. That needs to be a book, Peter.

    Like

  16. ___ says:

    Clever as always. Thanks for the uplift.

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  17. Oh gosh! This is hilarious! Peter you are so very talented. I was laughing out loud at this one, I mean really laughing, tears and all! I simpy must share this on my Facebook page. By the way as a matter of interest big or small, my daughter has just purchased Living Life Backwards. When she will get round to reading it while ahe is living life upside down looking after a toddler and a nine month old remains Io be seen. But she will! 😊

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    • That is a matter of very big interest actually. It is a fact,which I can sadly confirm, that it is very hard for a new author to either sell a book or get established. After the initial hurra, a silence can develop around the enterprise and your ‘Amazon’ figures can move further and further down the food chain. Thus the news that anyone bought the book is very cheering. In the end, word of mouth and recommendation are the most powerful aids an author has. You are a friend, and a good one 🙂

      Like

  18. PS looking at a previous omment, you do humour so well! A book in the humour direction would be wonderful. My opinion anyway 😊

    Like

  19. Jen says:

    I wish the Bland Eating cafe existed in my neighborhood

    Like

  20. nelle says:

    What’s in a name? 😉

    Like

  21. This is a triumph of imagination!

    Like

  22. Jane Thorne says:

    This made me chuckle right through. It’s clever and funny Ducky. You are on top form. 🙂

    Like

  23. This entertaining essay reminds me of real life businesses with unfortunate names. Just in my little town we have Drown Funeral home… 🙂

    Like

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