Lost in a closed system

First off, let me just say that this topic is worthy of a blog post only because it’s never happened to me before in my own house. Seriously.

I have lost a sock in the laundry.

Apparently there really is some sort of vortex into which lone socks get sucked from time to time because this should be, by rights, impossible in my house. This is a closed system, controlled entirely by me. I do one load of laundry at a time, two or three loads a week at the most. I am the only person who touches the clothes. The sock goes from the sock drawer to my foot to the hamper to the washing machine to the dryer and back into the drawer. The circuit it travels (apart from its time on my foot, of course) can’t be more than 40 feet from bedroom to laundry room and back again. Missing socks do not happen in my house.

Until they do. 😦

Lonely sock is lonely.

Lonely sock is lonely. It is also (not unlike its owner) clean, single and looking for a match. 😉

I have misplaced socks before, of course. Usually they turn up affixed by static cling to a towel or caught up in the bed sheets (often in the bottom of a pillowcase). Sometimes one gets loose and drops behind the washing machine. But they always turn up eventually. This one has been missing for days and not turned up on any towels or sheets, so I fear it is well and truly lost. Where could it go?

Yeah, that's probably it.

Yeah, that’s probably it.


Update, August 16, 2013: The missing sock finally reappeared today, stuck inside the sleeve of a white t-shirt. I’m so glad it didn’t end up as an alien’s hat! 😉



4 thoughts on “Lost in a closed system

  1. I happen to have a theory about this very phenomenon. It’s going to be published in the Oxford Journal of Paradosockology under the title: “The frequent disappearance of hosiery inside mechanical cleaning devices.”
    If we calculate the average frequency of sock disappearances in the wash (roughly 1 sock per 47 washes), and then account for the rate of thread degradation in mechanical washing machines, it is entirely plausible to conclude that occasionally a sock simply degrades to the point of non-existence while in the machine.

  2. In addition to pillowcases & sheets, pant legs and shirt sleeves are big sock thieves. If you hang those up or fold them without noticing, the socks are not released from captivity. And if you put those items away for the season somewhere else, you made two identical dust rags … months apart … which maybe is a Paradosockology topic.

    • I always shake out pants and shirts with a good snap before folding to extract any fugitive footwear (and wrinkles), and so far nothing. Wherever this sock is hiding, it is being quite clever.

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