You may not have caught it in the news recently but an amazing new scientific breakthrough has been announced. Well, it hasn’t been formally announced yet, actually. The discoverer of this amazing knowledge has been too humble <cough> to submit it for publication, but now that the blog 2.0 is running there is no better forum for the announcement. Brace yourselves.
I have discovered where the socks go. You know what I’m talking about, the “missing” socks from the dryer. I know where they go.
I know, right? Totally groundbreaking? Of course it is.
For decades, ever since the invention of the electric clothes dryer, mankind has wondered where the missing socks have gone. Many theories were put forward, only to be summarily dismissed. There was the Sock Planet theory, which stated that the socks somehow teleported to a planet made specifically for them, idyllically suited to their lifestyle. (One proponent of this theory may have been Douglas Adams, whose parallel theory regarding ball point pens I have just shamelessly stolen.) There was the Dryer Switch theory that postulated that the socks actually teleported into different dryers just to drive people nuts, but this theory was based on false claims that the ugly argyle socks in the dryer were in fact owned by the people who were denying ownership and claiming that they’d just magically appeared there. The Chameleon Theory only required a few minutes of simple counting to show that the actual number of socks was changing and that they weren’t in fact just changing color.
The cause of much of this confusion is that there isn’t a single reason that socks disappear in the dryer, there are in fact two.
Reason #1: The first reason that socks seem to disappear in the dryer is that they are still in the washer and never made it to the dryer in the first place. This was discovered when adding the next load of laundry caused the drum to spin slightly, revealing a rogue sock bravely clinging to one of the baffles. Had I not seen this renegade and gone on to fold the clothes from the dryer he would have been listed as missing in action and the mystery would only have deepened.
Reason #2: Some socks that do make it into the dryer appear to go missing because they’ve managed to hide themselves inside another item of clothing. I made this discovery early on a weekend morning. I stumbled out of bed, pulled pair of shorts and a t-shirt off the shelf, crawled into them, and headed downstairs. About halfway down the stairs I realized that… something… felt…. just not right… in the shorts area. Investigating, I stuck a hand up my pant leg and pulled out… a sock that had been hitching a ride through the dryer to avoid getting paired up. The little rascal had managed to stay hidden in there through the entire drying, folding, and putting away process. As if this wasn’t enough evidence, about a week later I noticed not one but THREE of my socks hanging over the edge of the bathtub, completely soaked. Not knowing how they got here, I was forced to ask my wife, “Honey, why do I have 3 wet socks hanging on the edge of the tub?” Not an easy question to ask, I assure you. She replied that she’d just found them there. Eventually we realized that they had hitched a ride to freedom on the freshly laundered shower curtain and nearly paid with their lives, much like a stowaway clinging to the landing gear of an airliner.
So in conclusion I think we can consider this question fully answered and move on to another of life’s mysteries, like why the Fight Network bothers to put up “The following program contains scenes of violence” warnings after every. single. commercial. break.