A Journey Down a Laundry Chute

In my teens, our family lived in a house that had a built-in laundry chute. It went from the upstairs floor all the way down to the basement. My parents told me to never go down the chute. Of course, I didn’t listen. When I was about 15 years old, I took a trip down the laundry chute. Did I learn anything?


I tied a rope on the sink’s drain pipe in the upstairs bathroom, threw the rope down the chute, and started my descent. It was easy, but on the way down I got scratched pretty badly by an exposed nail.

What’s the Lesson of this Stupid Story?

It’s two sided. Let’s look at the good side first.

Don’t be afraid to take chances. Going down a laundry chute might seem pretty lame, but I was scared at the start. I thought I might wind up sliding down too fast and land on my head on the concrete floor in the basement. Still, as stupid as it was, I tried it.

Adventure is a good thing. I’m not suggesting we take life-threatening chances, but don’t be afraid to do some slightly dangerous shit. It helps to make us more brave. It builds character. And you can tell stupid stories later.

Think Twice Before Going Down a Laundry Chute

Here’s the downside. I disobeyed my parents. Well, I was a 15-year-old kid, what did you expect? The real lesson is simple: Don’t go down a laundry chute if you don’t know what’s in there.

I didn’t think to take a flashlight. I didn’t think about things like nails and splinters. The chute was made of wood. It wasn’t super sturdy. It easily could have broken on my way down. That could have been disastrous. It would have caused me to put my whole weight on the rope, which in turn could have pulled the drain pipe right out from under the sink. Holy shit!

My parents had good reason for telling me not to go down the laundry chute. There were potential dangers. I could have been injured and property could have been damaged.

The moral to the story is simple. Don’t be afraid to take risks. But don’t take unnecessary stupid risks.

It’s one thing to write a book. But unless you’re already rich, it would be stupid to quit your day job to do it. You can learn to rock climb, but free climbing a 500-foot ascent after two climbing lessons would be dumb as hell.

Still, would I do it again? Would I go down the laundry chute? Of course, if I were a 15-year-old kid.


Posted on Categories Life