(I have removed the digressions for the sake of clarity and length, though I left in the one with lstone because it contributes to the atmosphere; I also moved a couple of lines around for the same reason.)
oneironaut says, "FINALLY someone is here to FIX THE FUCKING WASHING MACHINE."
lilairen looks for the obvious agitation joke but fails to find it with good timing.
oneironaut laughs anyway.
brooksmoses says, "There's the other obvious joke, about how if it's fucking, it probably is a good idea to get it fixed before you've got a litter of baby washing machines on your hands."
oneironaut says, "Then I'd never have to share. ... breed faster, home appliance!"
lilairen says, "Depends on whether it's fucking in a procreative fashion, too."
oneironaut says, "Well, the only other appliance convenient to it is the dryer. Does it belong to a different species, or are they members of the same extremely sexually dimorphic species?"
lilairen says, "That's a good question, really. I can see arguments made either way."
oneironaut says, "If it's the latter, that raises questions about toilets and bidets."
lilairen says, "And then there are those washer-dryer-single-unit-closet-things, which suggest either a speciation point, a mule-type hybrid, or, uh, a third thing that fell out of my head when I got this far into the sentence."
brooksmoses says, "Hermaphrodite."
oneironaut says, "Or a hermaphrodite, or something like the supermales you get in some species of fish."
lilairen says, "Thank you."
brooksmoses says, "tiger_spot says that she thinks they're probably cooperative species, like humans and wolves, or whatnot. The fact that they are often seen in washer-dryer pairs but don't appear to breed argues against sexually-dimorphic members of the same species."
brooksmoses says, "I am wondering if maybe they're symbiotes of a sort where occasionally one gets a parasitic form where the dryer gets fused into the washer."
oneironaut says, "So is a washer-dryer a hybrid, or some kind of -- right."
brooksmoses says, "The fact that the dryer takes in the output of the washer argues for symbiotes."
brooksmoses says, "tiger_spot: 'I think they're plants. Or maybe a plant and a fungus. Clearly there's some nutrient-sharing going on. (Socks.)'"
lilairen says, "Or at least a form of co-evolution that allows for intricate interlacings, as they do occasionally appear independently. Though most often I think in the washer-but-no-dryer, not the other way around."
oneironaut says, "You're saying I wash my clothes in a giant lichen."
brooksmoses says, "Yes."
brooksmoses says, "She further argues that this implies that it's the washer that's the plant, and the dryer is (sort of) parasitic on it."
oneironaut says, "The symbiosis could be facultative rather than obligate. Though you don't often see a dryer without a washing machine, only the other way around. Maybe the dryer is actually parasitizing the washer."
oneironaut says, "Stop that."
brooksmoses says, "She says 'neener neener'."
lstone reads the conversation, nods thoughtfully, goes to work.
lstone pulls his clothes out of the parasite, first.
oneironaut says, "I suppose the strong resemblance between washers and dryers is an imitative camouflage thing, given that they don't even belong to the same kingdom."
lilairen goes back to washers and dryers. "Which do you suppose is more vulnerable to predation?"
oneironaut says, "Well ... dryers are almost always front load, whereas washers are sometimes top-load. I would think this makes dryers, on the whole, more accessible to variety of predators, whereas many washers are accessible only to predators that can climb."
lilairen says, "Because of access to the vulnerable innards."
lilairen says, "Both tend to keep their vulnerable backsides up against the wall."
oneironaut says, "Right. On the other hand, dryers have that big air tube. All the lines leading into and out of a washer are relatively small."
lilairen says, "Which is again a point in favor of dryer vulnerability."
lilairen says, "Which would indicate that the dryer's trying to pass as a washer."
brooksmoses says, "On the other hand, I've seen front-load washers, but no top-load dryers."
keshwyn wonders how line drying fits into all of this.
oneironaut says, "Oh right, I was building on a point about dryer vulnerability, not washer vulnerability. I, uh, forgot. Anyway, we're back to imitative camouflage, which I'm pretty sure is not the term for that. --Well, as suggested by some long squiggly lines in the Burgess Shale...."
brooksmoses says, "I have successfully re-distracted tiger_spot (who is now swatting me as I type this), and she thinks they're either like plants or buffalo, and there aren't any large predators in the typical home environment."
lilairen says, "The size of the access lines indicates small predators."
oneironaut says, "We seem to be talking mostly about small predators that can climb inside them, anyw.... Seriously, stop it."
brooksmoses says, "Of course, in the laundromat environment, there are the predators who are after the quarters, but usually they're attacking the obviously-parasitic-or-symbiotic quarter-eating organisms, and only incidentally attacking the washers and dryers that host them."
oneironaut considers the significance of the PLEASE DO NOT USE DYE IN THESE MACHINES sign in the laundry room.
brooksmoses says, "tiger_spot also feels that it's an important point that what happens when a small predator climbs inside the washer or dryer is nothing good (for the predator)."
oneironaut says, "I wouldn't be too sure about that. It's not like dryers are in operation all the time. Hunting water buffalo is dangerous too, but predators still do it."
brooksmoses says, "Hmm."
oneironaut says, "The quarter-eating mechanisms may actually have some kind of symbiosis with the predators. All that rattling change is noisy, and alerts them."
brooksmoses says, "But there are clearly other predators who attack the quarter boxes and destroy them to take the quarters."
brooksmoses says, "It's a complex ecosystem. I wonder how the security cameras fit into it...."