File Under: Asinine

The Clothes Line by Helen Allingham

Hand to God, I am not making this up.

In  many communities in the U.S. you are NOT ALLOWED to hang laundry outside to dry. You can have all the goddamned guns you want, but god forbid someone see your BVDs flapping in the breeze.

U.S. residents fight for the right to hang laundry

Although there are no formal laws in this southeast Pennsylvania town against drying laundry outside, a town official called Froehlich to ask her to stop drying clothes in the sun. And she received two anonymous notes from neighbors saying they did not want to see her underwear flapping about.

“They said it made the place look like trailer trash,” she said, in her yard across the street from a row of neat, suburban houses. “They said they didn’t want to look at my ‘unmentionables.'”

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m old enough to remember my mother hanging wash out on a clothesline, and I’d bet most of the people protesting this woman’s use of a clothesline are as well. And even if they’re not, exactly how do they think people dried their laundry before electric and gas clothes dryers were invented?

The biggest challenge comes from condominiums and communities regulated by homeowner’s associations.

His principal opponents are the housing associations such as condominiums and townhouse communities that are home to an estimated 60 million Americans, or about 20 percent of the population. About half of those organizations have ‘no hanging’ rules, Lee said, and enforce them with fines.

I just know people in other parts of the world are going to be laughing their patooties off at this. They already know we’re a bunch of knotheads over here, and we just keep handing them more evidence. :::sigh:::


About D. D. Syrdal

Writer of vampire stories and science fiction. First novel, "Revenants Abroad", available now at Amazon,,, Smashwords. If you like a vampire you can go out drinking with and still respect yourself in the morning, I think you'd like Andrej.
This entry was posted in Green Living, suburban living, weirdness and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to File Under: Asinine

  1. maryjblog says:

    I spend so much time at your other excellent blog, Didge, that this post slipped past me until now. I think you know that I am not exactly an obsessive housekeeper, but I have a clothesline at my house and I use it 8 or 9 months of the year ( even in cold weather like this, I occasionally put sweaters or blankets out there if they are not dirty, but just need a little “airing out.”) I love my gas dryer, but I figure every load I can put out there is one less load that’s using fossil fuel, burdening my pocketbook AND the environment; even more so b/c air-dried clothes last longer, and thereby get more use before winding up in a landfill somewhere. The thing that offends me is that the people passing judgment on a choice as harmless as hanging clothes outdoors are often the same ones climbing in their SUVs with a bunch of reuseable bags, and stocking up on overpriced “green” products at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, making sanctimonious remarks about folks who don’t recycle.

    I’m militant about living in a community that permits a clothesline, because I figure if the municipal government can tell me when and where to hang my T-shirts to dry, what other life choices are they going to start forcing on me? It’s just the principal of the thing. ( PLUS the laundry smells so good that way!)

  2. Digital Dame says:

    Heya MJ 🙂 Thanks for dropping by over here. I have to say I have no idea if there are any such municipal codes in my area preventing hanging laundry out, but nobody does it that I ever see. I haven’t had a clothesline in years, I’m not even sure anyone sells them around here. I’m sure I can mail-order one, which I intend to do this year. My cycling mentor spent a year in the U.K. (ex-pat assignment for our company) and he never used a clothes dryer. Utilities (electricity in particular) are fantastically expensive over there, everything gets air-dried.

  3. maryjblog says:

    I have found that if you look in the aisle at Taget/Walmart/Kmart where they sell laundry baskets, ironing boards, and such, you can usually find the stuff for a clothesline. They also sell these collapsible racks that you can unfold like a lawn chair and use for smaller items – you could put it out on deck on sunny days (rare in your neck of the woods, I know; that’s probably why even the greenies don’t push this alternative out your way,) and make good use of it – we used to do that when I was single & shared an apartment.

  4. Digital Dame says:

    True, good laundry drying weather around here isn’t reliable until July. I’ll check at Target, I’m pretty sure I’ve at least seen clothespins there, so I would expect they have the rest of the necessary supplies.

  5. Pingback: Milestones and Veggies « Filling Spaces

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