Saturday, January 29, 2011

Laundry: what gives?

Here at Strange Horizons, I've written on various topics within the realms of fringe science and the unknown.  Bigfoot, synthesia, mysterious disappearances, and of course UFOs have all been covered.   Occasionally, I'll hear from someone that I should "talk about where socks go when they disappear in the laundry."  Normally, I chuckle off such requests and politely smile rather than openly roll my eyes at their schmuck-osity.  

But they have a point.  Exactly where does the other half of a pair of socks often disappear to?  There are times when I find them stuck inside the arm of a shirt.  Other cases involve a pants leg or a bunched up blanket or duvet.  Those aside, there are those times, those times when you can scour the dryer all you wish but you will come away with naught but the clean, fresh scent of fabric softener...and no mate for your matchless sock.  
Seriously, it's as if it just up and disappeared.  I have dumped entire basket-loads of clothes and carried out meticulous searches.  Still I have unmatched socks, woefully wondering just when it was they lost their companion.  I argue that this sock disappearance signals far more than a Bermuda Triangle of linens.  Oh if only it were that simple.  This is against the laws of physics.  This is the utter transmutation of matter, gone from our sight into Burroughs knows where.   Could there be a parallel dimension that is but a void in which halved sock pairs tumble in weightlessness?  It's weird, sure.  But I'm running out of ways to explain this.

I suppose it's much like any other peculiar transpiration.  About 90% of sock disappearances can be explained.  It's that 10% that should make us all wonder.  Now if you'll excuse, I have to do my weekend load of laundry.

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  1. I've been scientifically studying this and I have determined that those disappearing socks were never yours to begin with. You see, during the spin cycle, tiny sock-sized trans-dimensional wormholes are created, allowing the renegade sock to escape back to its original place in the universe.

  2. "not mine to begin with." Wow. That does give me pause to reflect. Like so many other things, you have to wonder, "what truly does belong to us?"

  3. On Facebook, SteveTop said: "Somewhere, there's a massive, pagan sock orgy taking place."