Cleaners find trash, treasures in pockets

Posted: Sunday, September 07, 2003

AMARILLO, Texas Veteran laundry operators warn that anything left in pockets could fuel snickers for years.

Lee Anne Cox of Nu-Way Laundry and Dry Cleaners in Amarillo, Texas, just hooted when asked about the trash and treasures she finds stashed in her customers' duds.

"You would not believe some of the stuff we find in pockets," she said.

She recalled being told about a finger from a funeral home fished from a pocket.

"We find drugs, nitroglycerin, ... love notes. They keep us laughing," she said. "In men's pockets, we find panties. We've found adoption papers. They forget they're in there."

Cox kept going.

"Dentures, teeth pieces, bridges. That's really gross when you stick a hand into someone's pocket and come out with teeth," she said.

Sorting laundry is occasionally risky.

"Sometimes it's really scary to stick your hands in people's pockets," Cox said.

Drugs get flushed, Cox said.

Donna Miller, a shirt presser at Valet Cleaners, also in Amarillo, said the funniest thing she ever found was a packaged condom.

Such a find doesn't happen every day, she said.

Donna Whatley, manager of Doche Cleaners in Amarillo, said pocket finds are daily occurrences. She recently returned $400 to a customer.

"We try to return any paperwork that we find because you never know what's important to a businessman," Whatley said.

Pocket Finds:

Cookies, new and used condoms, cash, keys, business cards, receipts, checkbooks, credit cards, dentures, legal and illegal drugs, ink pens, tissues, flashlights, screws, nails, bolts, undies, knives, clippers, toothpicks, paychecks, rattlesnake rattles, bugs, spiders, centipedes, sunflower seed shells, razor blades, raisins, contact lenses, eyeglasses, lipsticks, false fingernails, feathers, hair extensions, cigarettes, lighters, cell phones, firecrackers, bullets, airline and concert tickets, stamps, vampire teeth, rabbits' feet, traffic tickets, court summonses, obituaries, drug paraphernalia including rolled dollar bills with suspicious white powder, bridal ring set, lottery tickets, diamond stone, report cards and licenses of all sorts.

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