Around my home, its name is The Laundry Monster, and every two to three weeks it decides to take a nap near my washing machine. About the time my male counterpart runs out of clean socks, the monster really starts to roar. Fearing for my life, I take refuge in the empty closet.

I've never really feared the monsters lurking in my closet or the boogie man in the basement — one quick flick of the light switch and those guys are history.

It's the multicolored mammoth made of cotton and polyester that makes my skin curl. Around my home, its name is The Laundry Monster, and every two to three weeks it decides to take a nap near my washing machine.

About the time my male counterpart runs out of clean socks, the monster really starts to roar. Fearing for my life, I take refuge in the empty closet.

When I was little, I never had to fear The Laundry Monster. My dad took care of that. Having what my family considers borderline OCD for doing laundry, I lucked out and never saw that on my chore list. As a college student, I helped feed my dad's obsession and made sure to bring home my dirty laundry on the weekends.

Now that I'm older and Dad is more than 100 miles away, I face The Laundry Monster with nothing more than a basket and some fabric softener, or I just run and hide until my disgruntled, sock-less roommate takes over.

I can do laundry. I know that whites require hot water and that a laundry sack is God's gift to delicates. It's The Laundry Monster's request to be folded, hung and put away that does me in.

Several weeks ago, I decided to take down The Laundry Monster in celebratory fashion. With satellite radio blaring through the house, I piled the contents of four or so clean laundry baskets onto my freshly vacuumed, living room floor.

With plenty of space to sort and "get jiggy" while I completed the tedious task, I single handedly defeated the monster. But a few weeks later, the demon once again showed its ugly head.

"Let's have a laundry party," I pronounced, making it sound way more fun than I knew it would be.

Halfway through the pile, my partner jumped ship and retreated to the closet. I gathered up the remains and shoved them back in the laundry basket for another day. Round 2 went to The Laundry Monster.

So when I arrived home from work earlier this week, I was greeted to a man with a laundry basket. Never the sight you want to come home to after a long hard day at the office.

"Let me grab a bite to eat, and I'll come help," I stated as he began to fold.

With the remains of my sandwich in hand, I peaked into the bedroom.

Excuse No. 2: "Since you've already got a handle on that, I'm going to vacuum real quick, and then I'll come help."

After vacuuming the entire house, I peaked in again.

"I'm not sure what that spot is on the floor. I'm going to get the shampooer out,” I said.

A few hours and a spotless floor later, the laundry was folded.

"Don't think you got off that easy," my laundry maid stated. "Your stuff's in the basket."

There in the corner, The Laundry Monster let out a growl from a stack of my folded clothing left to be put away.

Megan Tilk is a reporter and weekly columnist for the Mary­ville Daily Forum in Maryville, Mo. She can be reached at mtilk@maryvilledailyforum.com or follow her columns at www.megantilk.blogspot.com.