“It’s 11 pm: Do you know where your remote is?”

By Jim DeBrosse

“It’s 11 pm: Do you know where your remote is?”

By Jim DeBrosse

Humor columnists have tried for decades to explain why some household items multiply and others disappear. But no one has ever taken a truly rigorous scientific approach to unraveling the mysteries of the human domestic eco-system — until now.

As a serious student of the physical and biological sciences (Yes, I’ve watched every episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy), I have turned my highly trained powers of observation and analysis to this problem. Below are a number of indisputable hypotheses I’d like to share with you, my readers.

Socks are cannibalistic. The stronger one devours the weaker one, hence the proliferation of unmatched singles. So how do they co-exist in pairs on store shelves? Clearly, repeated washing and drying unleashes their predatory instincts.

Remote controls mate at night while their human masters sleep. To prevent endless replication, fasten tape securely over all “play” buttons.

Toilet paper is a naturally shedding organism that prefers to live in its “naked” state as a cardboard cylinder, especially in children’s bathrooms.

Pens and pencils hide as a defense mechanism to prolong their lives. Electro-magnetic sensitive organs help them maintain a 50-foot clearance from any phone in your house.

Pencils break their tips as a further life-prolonging mechanism, assuring that lazy human children will not take them to the pencil sharpener but will discard them in the nearest drawer.

Ice-cube trays repel water to preserve the stability of their polymer chains against refilling and refreezing. If you doubt this, place any ice cube tray under a running kitchen faucet and watch the water splash over every inch of your countertop.

Sewage lines contract in response to stress, much like human blood vessels. Hence, toilets and drains are most likely to back up on major holidays, while in-laws are visiting and, if your house happens to be up for sale, just moments before any showing.

Dog and cat hairs are composed of potent binary chemicals that bond permanently with any textured surface. They cannot be removed from upholstery, bedspreads and clothing items except by intense rapid oxidation — in other words, with a blowtorch.

Copyright, 2006, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights reserved.