Friday, November 7, 2008

I Know Where the Missing Sock From the Dryer Goes

Sometimes it rains frogs.

It’s true. Believe it or not, there are many reliably documented cases where frogs, or fish, or newts, or a variety of other critters fall out of the sky. Until recently, these rare phenomena were seen as omens, signs from God.

More recently, our knowledge of nature and physics has become adequate to explain how something like a waterspout can uproot a large quantity of amphibian or marine life from a body of water and deposit it squarely atop the panic-stricken denizens of a nearby village. Modern physics fail, however, to explain why it only rains one species at a time. It only rains frogs, or trout, or ling cod, never a mixture. There has never been even a single occasion where it has rained cats and dogs. This homogeneity of zoological rainfall defies scientific explanation. Some people of questionable intelligence see this as a sign of divine intervention. I think it has more to do with specific gravity. Science will eventually explain everything.

This brings me to the point.

Everyone knows about the oft-lamented sock that disappears in the dryer. People often ponder, where does that sock go? Are there tiny, invisible gnomes that crawl into the dryer during the fluff cycle and eat just one sock? Is there an alternate parallel universe exactly like ours in every way except for the fact that people find extra socks in the dryer? Or is the entire human race genetically predisposed to being bad at maintaining laundry inventories? I have solved this dilemma and I’m disappointed that no great mind before mine was up to the task.

The laws of physics tell us that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. The contents of the universe are already here and will be here forever. This law of conservation of mass applies everywhere, even in clothes dryers.

If you’re not willing to trust my empirical research, you’re welcome to experiment on your own. Before putting your wet laundry into the dryer, weigh it. When you are done drying your laundry, weigh it again. The difference in these two weights is equal to the weight of the water removed plus, occasionally, one sock. You have to estimate the weight of the water and allow for an acceptable value of scientific error, but this accounts for everything. So now that we’ve proven that the sock is gone, we still have to determine the fate of said sock.

Now look in the lint trap. The weight of the fuzz in the lint trap is roughly equivalent to one sock. If you come up short, it’s safe to assume that the remainder is distributed evenly throughout the vent ducting. In light of this discovery, I’ve already written to several major manufacturers of clothes dryers and suggested that they should change the name of this device from “lint trap” to “ex-sock trap.” This strikes me as a socially responsible way of eliminating confusion for people that don’t read my writings. I offered this suggestion free of charge. So far I haven’t gotten a response, but I‘m sure they‘ll come around.

The important thing is that we now know beyond a doubt where the missing sock has gone to. So once again, modern physics has explained away one of life’s great mysteries. Modern physics fail, however, to explain why it is only socks that disintegrate in this manner. Some people of questionable intelligence see this as evidence of divine intervention.

If there is a God, I only see this as evidence of a divine toe fetish.

Whatever forces conspire to eliminate all of these socks, I have found a way to capitalize on it. The trick is to offer the dryer something more appealing than your socks. This is why I’m going to manufacture and market Sacrificial SocksTM. They will be sold in packs of three (one white, one light, and one dark) and they will all be left socks. My empirical research has revealed that the dryer prefers to reduce left socks to their component elements. Trust me.

The only thing that might dissuade people from buying my Sacrificial SocksTM is the price. In order to appeal to the entity that renders socks asunder, they will have to be nice socks. Face it, you never lose your old, worn-out socks in the dryer. So to guarantee that the Sacrificial SocksTM get eaten first, they’ll have to be fairly striking socks. The only alternative would be to try and outfox the dryer demons using faux fancy socks made from synthetic fibers by third world sweat shop laborers. Somehow this strikes me as morally questionable and I‘m willing to bet that the thing that eats the socks is at least smart enough to notice the difference.

A while ago I started brainstorming plans to market my own line of toe socks (Thorsson’s Toe Socks: they fit like a glove). In case you’re wondering, I have never lost a toe sock in the dryer. Not one. While I have not yet invested the time and resources into investigating the toe sock’s impervious nature, initial findings suggest that they are at least marginally resistant to dryer destruction. It’s possible that while contriving to annihilate socks, the dryer does not recognize toe socks as socks. It’s possible that the dryer demons are not very smart after all.

Of course, people of questionable intelligence would call this evidence of a divine toe fetish.

1 comment:

  1. This is quite fantastic, even though I'm resurrecting an ancient post. It seems that you can do slightly more than simply making badass things out of silicon and resin.