People in this Greek town are asking whether the old mangle they suddenly find standing outside Mr Amoratis’s hardware shop is for sale. Surely the Greek economy isn’t that bad?
“But wait”, they say: “the mangle may be worth a lot of money. It’s an historical artefact. You could even argue it’s a work of art.” Andy Worhol has made famous pictures of its modern equivalent, boxes of Brillo Pads, and why not Persil and Tide.
This has stimulated local talk in support for Socrates, the founding philosopher. It was he who spoke of incidents from the everyday life of ordinary people, people like those here in this little town, mostly left out from the lexicon of art and science that has built up since.
Meanwhile, the old outdoor launderettes have become shrines to the old way of life. This was where the local women washed clothes and drained them on the surrounding rock.
The gears on that Greek mangle also express forgotten laws of science, though they are no less relevant today. The basic mechanics of force, mass, velocity and friction all explain how the mangle worked, simple equations as lost as the mangle. They are hiding inside the washing machine, underneath the boxes of Tide and Persil.