Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Gods of Laughter’s Handmaidens #1: don’t give me any static!

I can’t quite picture the gods of laughter laboring like mere mortals. There must be handmaidens. Little willing minions who flit about our lives laying landmines of innocent merriment for us to stumble over.

Photo Credit/copyright: Darrell Coomes (here)

What fun! We had a visit from the Handmaiden of Static Electricity this weekend.
Yeah, I know. She’s probably been over to your place too, but I’m not jealous. I will not hog any of the Handmaidens all to myself.

Now, I do understand there’s a scientific explanation for what causes funny little sparks to shoot off your fingertips when you shuffle across your carpet and reach for the doorknob and let the dogs out for the umpteenth time. I just happen to like my explanation better.

I also get a charge out of patting the darlings as they go. They do too. Slippers on carpet generate a pretty good zap.

Now, in an effort to save the planet and some pennies, I chanced to make a small change in my shopping routine the other day. I purchased a box of 50 lightly scented paper dryer sheets. Not my usual brand, but 100% paper made from renewable resources; and they cost about half the price of my other ones. And it says right on the box “controls static cling.”

It was my choice to make the change. They do caution you not to use them on children’s sleepwear as they may reduce flame resistance, but we don’t have little kids around anymore, so I felt safe.

Ah, silly me. The gods were watching.

When the dryer stopped, I hastened to see how my thrifty new find had worked. The clothes smelled nice. They seemed very appreciative, in fact. As soon as I reached in to retrieve them, they rushed en masse to embrace me in some sort of happy reunion with a weird Velcro wardrobe doppelganger. Ooh, looking snappy. Sparks of love everywhere!

When the hug fest got back under control, I searched for the two halves of the sheet to safely dispose of them. One cowered in the filter screen, exhausted by all that love, I guess.

The other was no where to be found. It didn’t show up while I was neatly folding between snaps and crackles. Both dogs kept their distance, and lay there alternating raised eyebrows in that bemused doggie way they have when humans do quirky things.

Nor had the missing half fallen on the laundry room floor, or found its way into the dryer exhaust . . . which is a tricky job to search thoroughly. Vanished into a parallel universe, to play with all the odd socks and missing face cloths that had gone before?

Nope. It resurfaced this afternoon. I’d grown a tad testy with more snow falling and continuing adventures with furnace issues. That, and this annoying little itchy spot inside my sweat shirt lending a discordant counterpoint to the ambiance of a wintery Sunday afternoon. I finally had to check it out or go mad.

Mmm hmm. One scratchy half sheet of used lightly scented 100% paper made from renewable resources, playfully clinging to the fuzzy side of my freshly laundered (lightly scented) sweat shirt. Oh yes indeed, the handiwork of the Handmaiden, for sure.

On the upside, this whole episode sparked some pretty funny reminiscences with the hub about unforgettable static electricity moments in our lives. I’ll spare you the details; I’m sure you’ve got your own.

The Handmaidens never rest.


  1. This is it, the big moment in my life. You don't often get such moments but here it is. I will now correct YOUR spelling. I should revel in this moment, bask in the glory...ahhhhhhhhhh!

    You spelled labouring incorrectly.
    Damn Yankee.

    P.S. Yes, to answer your question to yourself, I did proofread this little quip about 6 times before hitting post.


  2. How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have an ungrateful child!

    Picky, picky, picky.
    (I'll be sure to mention this to "Jhon.")

    Glad to see your reading skills are intact, LOL.

  3. ROFL

    Nice comeback.

    That was a long time ago hehhehe

  4. Hm, I don't think I have any of these "profiles" so I guess I'm anonymous...moowahaha! Of course, I'm bursting to jump in...I LOVE YOUR BLOG AUNT DEVON!

    1. Doug: Kudos! Not easy to catch a writer in a slip...they're like eels. But with hands. That can write. And edit everything you ever put on paper.

    2. About that static: I've been wearing slippers at work on the night shift (shh...don't tell the boss) and I totally relate...I have discovered I don't even need to reach for a doorknob (or a coworker heehee), I just need to reach over the waist-high metal partition and I arc! Those zaps hurt on the abdomen!

    3. There's no such thing as "static-reducing" dryer sheets. They're lies. All lies. Terrible, terrible lies.

    Love Laura

  5. Great to hear from you! I know you don't do face book . . . but let me give you a couple of nice links to Doug's photos on line. Boy can't spell, but he can sure spellbind with that camera eye of his.
    You'll find him here and here:


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