Fiction Fragment: A Starched Shirt

He likes his shirts starched and well pressed. Pure cotton shirts, creaseless, like a baby’s bottom. She does it for him. She doesn’t mind ironing. There’s almost something hypnotic about watching the creases vanish under the ironing box.

Today morning though, the story is different. She has a horrible cold. She’s had it for two days. Her eyes constantly water. He seems to have noticed the rivers of phlegm. But hasn’t said anything about it. She tears up old cotton sarees and sneezes into them. Tissue paper burns her nose. In the dustbin are balls of cloth with snot inside them.

He wants her to iron his shirt. He sort of flings it on the dining table. He doesn’t request her to iron it. But he tells her that yesterday she hadn’t starched the shirt enough. It had lost its crispness even before his lunch. He tells her to put more of the starch spray. And use more force to iron the shirt.

He’s not in the room now. She looks at the cream coloured shirt. Suddenly the idea of being assaulted by the starch spray annoys her. There’s a sea of phlegm inside her. Ten minutes later the shirt is ironed. He wears it and seems very pleased by how crisp the shirt is. Like a paper dosai. He tells her, ‘See, a bit more of the spray and it comes out so fantastic. Do this everyday.’.

Only she knows that her snot has starch like properties. She had carefully spread the snot over the shirt, and then ironed. The heat sealed the starchy clear snot and the result was an unrivaled crispness. Maybe, she thought, all starch sprays come from third world countries, where people sell their snot. She decides to stop wasting money on the sprays.

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26 Responses to Fiction Fragment: A Starched Shirt

  1. apu says:

    ew. ew. ewww..
    liked it.


  2. IdeaSmith says:

    Eeeeewwww. Goo….bleh…dutty girl!


  3. Praveen says:

    LOL. smart woman 😀


  4. Nilu says:

    I think you should copyright Agmark Maamiyar muthirai.


  5. Shefaly says:

    Eeeeeuuuuwwww!! The girl needs to get some hot rasam down her throat. Fast. And some adrak-chai..

    Oh, and outsource ironing of shirts.


  6. Pingback: POEMS, POETS, RHYMES AND POETRY » Blog Archive » Fiction Fragment: A Starched Shirt

  7. Silence says:

    issh…. yuck ! the story is nice but the thought ! urrrgggghhhh


  8. sowmya says:

    The wickedness is back! It was missing in your previous few fiction fragments.


  9. Trevor Penn says:

    LOL, because i saw it coming and couldn’t believe it when it was actually there!!!


  10. AVantika says:

    Hell Hath Snot huh?



  11. rads says:

    rofl! Neha, with all the ideas in your head on paybacks, Sri must be one cautious dude! 😀


  12. Arunk says:

    yikes! People close to me think I am one who make jokes and references about things (like this), which make them cringe – but this one made ME cringe 🙂


  13. Rada says:

    Could it be the Delhi bomb blasts have unhinged a creative mind?



  14. buddy says:

    nicely written!


  15. noname says:

    She could also collect all those used condoms for a more potent starch !


  16. A human says:

    Viciously delicious


  17. prats says:

    Gosh!!! that was eeeksss…but great story here


  18. ilegirl says:

    Yuck, and :)! That was wicked and gross and somehow poetic at the same time.


  19. suranga says:

    My first reaction was “serves the fellow right!”. I dont know if truth is stranger than fiction, or fiction is stranger than truth. Snot. So what . Just read something about Sarah Palin’s teenage unwed pregnant daughter spitting and rubbing it in on her Down’s syndrome affected baby brothers head…… Snot or spit.. wonder if there is really something to it ….


  20. Shefaly says:

    @ Suranga

    I think you will mind moms have long been using ‘spit’ to settle unruly hair on kids’ heads.

    In crunch times like these, there is a pressing (no pun intended but hey!) need to find alternative uses for waste 😉

    Isn’t the mantra ‘reduce, reuse and then consider recycle’?


  21. Haha! Am so glad to have grossed out so many of you all at the same time! And men, beware – if your shirts are starched too well.. you never know…


  22. Mudra says:

    Whoaaa… Brilliant! I knew she’d get her revenge somehow, but my unimaginative mind didn’t go beyond burning the shirt…!


  23. mumbaigirl says:

    How oppressive. When someone tells you to do something one way only, everyday, in a situation like that. He deserved the snot.


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