Vale: In your zine, you’ve managed to uncover and synthesize so many aspects of what might be called “Dishwasher Culture.”
Dishwasher Pete: I think it was always there, long before I stumbled upon it. I’m especially excited when I find references dating from the turn of the century. There’s an attitude and appreciation for dishwashing that has always existed, and I can’t take credit for that; I just make people aware of it.
There are thousands of dishwashers across the country who never thought they had a common bond. I get a lot of letters from people living in small towns who wash dishes and enjoy it, but they’re surrounded by people who tell them it’s “not good enough” and that they should find themselves a “career.” It’s great when they get hold of the zine and say, “Wow!” and suddenly they feel better about themselves. Their reaction justifies everything I’m doing. I’m glad Dishwasher has this effect on people
V: In work, you discovered an unsuspected dimension of freedom–
DP: I’m addicted to that feeling of quitting: walking out the door, yelling “Hurrah!” and running through the streets. Maybe I need to have jobs in order to appreciate my free leisure time or just life in general. People forget they don’t have to put up with drudgery-that it’s voluntary. I can say that because I don’t have children to support, but I purposely kept my options open so I can walk out of a job on a moment’s notice. I minimize the responsibilities on my shoulder that might be affected by such an act.