We’ve all been there.

Denial: There’s no way that every dryer is taken on a Monday night. I’ve opened every door but alas, all are occupied.


Bargaining: Look, maybe it’s not so bad to take someone’s clothes out. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, right? Sure I’d be annoyed if someone did it to me, and it’s kind of an invasion of privacy. Plus what if I find something weird? It is someone else’s laundry. Plus, like, coronavirus, you know? UGH but I have homework to do and my clothes are still sopping wet. Is this person’s privacy more important than drying my clothes? Okay, let’s look at this from a utilitarian point of view. The point is to maximize the net positive effects of an action, right? So how do I know that the positive outcome of drying my clothes will outweigh the negative outcomes of invading this person’s privacy? …Okay, I have no idea how that shakes out. But I want dry clothes. The hedonists would agree with me, right? They would think that maximizing happiness and pleasure is the most important thing, and having dry clothes would absolutely make me happy and bring me pleasure. But when you think about what Kant would say about all this, his categorical imperative does basically imply that if I were to take this person’s laundry out, then I have to be okay with living in a world where everyone always messes with each other’s laundry. Am I okay with that? Jesus, that would turn these laundry rooms into the Wild West. There’d be laundry cowboys and laundry outlaws and laundry saloons but then cabals of laundry thieves would eventually plunge the university into a state of total chaos and disarray, kind of like Hobbes’ state of nature, but then we would have to fix it by making a social contract regulating who can take each other’s laundry out of the machines or if you can take someone’s clothes out at all, but what if someone doesn’t want to buy into the social contract, would they just have to transfer somewhere else, where they would just take someone else’s laundry out and restart the cy-

Acceptance: The laundry room is my home now.

Prime existential crisis spot via Bwog Archives.