Mangled Musings – or – how I learned that a dastardly destiny can lay in wait even for the most ‘innocent’.

A week or so ago a lady called Eva,  the author of one of the blogs I followwrote a wonderfully evocative post about a time gone by,  when her mother had talked her father into buying a Mangle.  Eva wrote her memories so beautifully that it caused followers to recall our own memories of days gone by.  My own memory was so vivid that I wrote about it in a comment on Eva’s blog, – just to make Eva laugh really,  –  but it also caused a laugh with a couple of folks who said I should share the memories on my blog too.

Now although I’m not entirely certain that anyone will be really interested,  in the spirit of sharing the smiles – and perhaps bringing back memories from your own childhood …  I share my woeful tale of my encounter with ….  The Mangle Monster!

Oh. MY. WORD!!! Do I remember mangles!!!

My Grandma had one.  The metal parts were painted bright pillarbox red, and it had long grey/white rubber rollers.  I loved it when Grandma allowed me to turn the mangle handle.

She would stand on one side of the thing, with her sheets, which she had washed in her really old-fashioned top load washing machine, removed, and then folded whilst wet, and then feed them into the ‘jaws’ of the mangle

I had to turn the mangle at just the right speed – because if I went too fast and she hadn’t had the chance to make sure the folds were in the right place, then I’d get a telling off!

Ohhh, I loved the mangle!

My mother too, had a mangle – but this was an electric one which was attached to the top of her electric, top loading, washing machine.  I’d been warned and warned  (accompanied by a stern wagging finger)  to “keep away from the mangle!” – but, it was no good.   I was bewitched by it.

One day,  the phone rang while Mom was about to feed washing through her mangle.  Everything was set and ready for her to wring the water out of the freshly washed washing, using the electric mangle, but just at that precise moment the phone rang, so she raced off to the hallway to answer it.  I was left in the kitchen, all alone, with the mangle rollers turning round and round.  I moved closer to the washing machine so that I could see better.  Yes, they were going round.  Just turning.  Not too fast, not too slow.  I could see the shiny red rubber rollers moving.  My fingers began to walk the walk over the metal of the washing machine.  I so wanted to touch the rollers.  The rubber looked as if it would be soft, and I wondered if it really was soft.  Surely it wouldn’t hurt just to touch it to see?  It wasn’t as if I was going to do anything to it.  I only wanted to just touch the roller to see how soft it felt.

I reached up and put my fingers on the roller.  All I wanted to do was just feel the smoothness of the roller.

And that, ladies and gentlemen,  was the day that I was acquainted with a very important lesson in life:  When your mother says not to do something – then you’d better not do it,  otherwise an unpleasant and disastrous destiny will descend upon your head!

Or upon . . .   no, – let me continue:

I felt my fingers touch the rollers.  Just ever so lightly – but not enough for me to get an actual feeling about how soft or hard the rollers were, so I touched them again, this time knowing that I had to touch a little harder and leave my fingers there just a teeny bit longer.

Mistake.  BIG  mistake.

Those rollers grabbed hold of my fingers and sucked on them really hard.  They stuck my finger tips to the rollers and then proceeded to pull them into the mouth of the mangle monster!   The rollers continued to roll steadily,  . . .   dragging all my fingers into the rollers   . . .    I screamed!!

“MOM! MO-O-OM!”  I yelled from where I stood, slowly being eaten by this vile dragon in the middle of our kitchen.  I could feel my eyes growing to the size of saucers.  “MOMM!!”  Panic was setting in.

I looked back at where my hand should have been on the end of my arm, and it had been swallowed!   It was NOW STARTING TO EAT MY WRIST!!!

“MOM. MOO-OM. I’M STUCK.  MO-O-O-O-O-O-M!” by now I was screeching.

I could vaguely hear her voice in the distance.  I knew she was still on the phone because I could hear her posh  ‘telephone voice’.

I looked at where my wrist had once been, and could see that my whole arm was now about to be taken forcibly and violently into the point of no return.  I was going to be eaten by this machine.  I knew I was going to be squished flat and very probably dead.

The machine began to make a very bad noise. It was growling, moaning and groaning.

This was it  . . .   this was where my short life was going to end.

I was just about to scream the living daylights  . . .   when suddenly,  like an Angel which had been sent from God,  there was my mom coming through the door to the kitchen  . . .  My Mom, – My Hero!  She was going to save me!

Thank you God for inventing Moms!

“HELP   . . . ” I cried.   “IT’S GOT ME!  IT WON’T STOP!!!” … by now I was feeling the pain of  me  pulling against the pull of the mangle rollers.  This machine was way stronger than I was.

My mother stood for a second,  took in the scene like only Moms can,  and instantly knew what to do.  She sprang into action.  Turning the machine off at the electric socket, she pulled out the plug,  and instantly the growling, groaning noise stopped and the mangle became still.   She lifted something on the top of each side of the rollers – sort of like a little metal cap – and then lifted the top roller out.  I was free, – and   . . . I was alive!  ALIVE!

Not only that but  . . . There was my arm!   It was still there.   I was incredulous!   I stood gazing, open mouthed, marvelling like an idiot at the wonderment of my arm still being intact – and not at all grizzled or eaten.  There wasn’t even any blood or anything!

I was feeling so much gratitude and thankfulness towards my mom for saving me from the gates of purgatory that I flung myself at her.  I was going to give her the love of her life, and squish her in a big hug like she’d never had ever before in her life.

She caught me with her hands on my shoulders.  One hand on each shoulder,  and just for a second I thought she was going to ask me if I was ok, and then probably kiss me and hug me and love me as one would love a favourite child.

But I couldn’t have been more further from reality if I’d have suddenly found myself on Mars.

There she stood,  one hand on each of my little shoulders (one of which by the way, was attached to the very arm which had just been eaten by the Mangle Monster, and so needed to be treated carefully so that it didn’t fall off!)  – she bent over just slightly and  . . . .  shook the living daylights out of me,  – and gave me the biggest telling off I’d had in my life, at the same time.

I heard exactly how much pocket-money I was going to be paying for the rest of my life if that dream machine was broken.

I heard that I should:   “wait till your father hears about this, young lady!”.

And I also was told that my mom was   “going to tell Grandma that you mustn’t be trusted with a mangle ever again!”

I was bewildered.   Did this woman not realise the danger I’d just been in?  Did she not understand that the very machine she was concerned about had just nearly eaten me alive?   Surely she had to see that this very machine was evil?!

Strangely enough – it was that last threat,  regarding her telling my Grandma that I shouldn’t be trusted with a mangle – which was the one that made me howl.   I was sent to my room to wait there until I was told to come out again.  (But quite frankly, I was in so much misery at that point that I didn’t care if I wasn’t allowed out of my room ever again!  What was the point if I couldn’t roll the handles of my Grandma’s Mangle,  – and even worse – I had been shown that my mother loved the Mangle Monster more than she loved me!   Surely it was the Mangle which should have been thrown out. Not me!!)

Oh yes … I have fond memories of Mangles. 😀

… and yes, –  it really is a true story. ~ Cobs. x

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12 thoughts on “Mangled Musings – or – how I learned that a dastardly destiny can lay in wait even for the most ‘innocent’.

    • Ohhh bless you Eva! I’m glad that you’re the first person to see this, you see … when I wrote my ‘mangle memories’ originally … I was typing at breakneck speed as I was trying to get the story down ‘on paper’ or rather – on ‘puter, at the same speed that it was coming back to memory – which, unusually for me and my shocking memory, was amazingly fast! Of course … I didn’t think to read it before I clicked to post the comment, so it was only when it appeared on the blog there that I suddenly realised that I’d misspelled words, (or in some places apparently made new ones up!) and … worse than that is … there’s no ‘edit’ button when you’re on someone elses blog! ROFL.

      So, there for all to see … is proof (as if proof were needed) that I’m a total numbskull who needs to remember to proof read before she clicks with the abandonment of all that is sensible!

      Aw … love you Eva … this whole mangled memories has been SO much fun. ~ Cobs. x

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  1. I had no idea what a mangle was and then, oh those roller thingies! My grandmother had one but I never got to see it in action. We never called it a mangle. I think we called it a wringer.

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  2. I remember thinking too that you should have turned this into a post because it was such a great, if not horrifying, story. I was nervous thinking I might get to the end of this to find you only had one arm, and if that was the case, how did you become so creative!

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  3. Oh what a story, and what a story teller you are. Strange, though I grew up in the 50s I have no memories of mangles or wringers….. Like the lady above, I was seriously worried about your hand and arm, so glad for a happy ending on that score….. memories, they are strange things……

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    • I think that it might be down to two things which perhaps meant that both my Mother and Grandma were still using a mangle: I was a ‘later in life’ baby for my mother – so she was a fair bit older than the other mums of children my age; and my Grandmother came from good old fashioned, set in her ways stuff, lived through both wars and so had her feet planted firmly in what she knew to be ‘the way it was done’. Maybe that’s why I came into contact with them. (‘came into contact’ being a slight understatement! LOL).
      Actually … thinking about it now – my grandmother on my fathers side didn’t have a mangle – so I might have hit the nail on the head with my reasoning.
      Love ~ Cobs. x

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  4. OMGOONESS I’m sure I shouldn’t be laughing nearly as much as I am ( sorry but it’s soooooooo funny)
    Right I’m now composed now ….. you poor thing !!!!
    *sorry I’ve lost it again*

    Liked by 1 person

    • You laugh your head off Mrs.P. I didn’t at the time … as you can imagine, it was rather traumatising, but now… looking at the scene like a fly on the wall, I can laugh at the daftness of it all.

      I can also see my moms point of view. This machine was a new gadget to her, so she didn’t want her little one mucking up the workings. And she had told me (warned me) about touching it. Over and over and over she told me, just to make sure that the message had been heard and understood!

      Sadly, she was given a child who tried her patience now and again, by the need to check things out for herself. Although – this is probably why she had to dye her hair from such an early(ish) age. lol

      Glad you got a chuckle. There’s nothing like a good ol’ giggle on a Thursday night. 🙂 Failing having an hour or two with friends. With Cake … obviously! 😮

      I just hope you had your incontinence knickers on. 😀 We don’t want to have to call the cleaners in, again!
      😀
      Squidges Mrs.P. Love you oodles ~ Cobs. x

      Liked by 1 person

      • Are you still the same today?? I have to press random buttons on the car radio or the computermebob when I have Noooooo idea what I’m doing ~ it drives Beloved insane LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        • uhm… yes, I’m still the same, but now.. I always remember which button I pressed so that I can tell who-ever I have to call to fix the problem that I caused. [imagine a red faced emoticon here because I don’t have the wordpress code for that picture]

          I do it in shops too. I press buttons and things on stuff …. just to see what the thing does. Or .. my favourite … I take the lids off things to see what’s inside, then I can’t get the lid back on again so I stand in the shop and call …. “MR. CO.O.O.O.O.BS: HELP!” And I leave him struggling so that I can open something else. LOL.

          Eventually Cobs the Bogeyman tells me off and says I’m not allowed to touch anything else.
          He’s mean like that.

          Liked by 1 person

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