Home > Uncategorized > Hanging by a thread

Hanging by a thread

A while ago, I made a post called “Murphy’s Law of glassware” observing how there seemed to be a pattern with the sets of drinking glasses I bought, in which most of them tended to break fairly quickly while one straggler seemed to last forever.  I came across a similar statistically anomalous behavior with a microfiber dish-cleaning cloth I bought a few years ago.  It had a tag stitched to the side, the usual kind of tag with the brand name and laundry instructions, and before too long, the stitching began to unravel from the stresses of use.  After a while, the tag was dangling by a single thread.  Every time I put it in the laundry, I expected it to come out tagless, but that one single thread stayed intact for month after month.  Even as the center of the cloth became increasingly frayed and holed from daily use (well, near-daily), that single slender thread lasted and lasted and lasted.

I was curious to see how long it would survive (although not enough to actually keep track of the elapsed time), so I took care to avoid grabbing or pulling on the tag or doing anything to hasten that last thread’s demise beyond what normal wear and tear would inflict.  When I would wring out the cloth after use, I’d wrap it so that the tag was inside rather than dangling where I might inadvertently pull it loose.

This past few days, though, the thread holding the tag seemed flimsier than ever.  And just now, I happened to notice that the tag seemed to be clinging to the middle of the cloth rather than attached to the edge.  I lifted it gingerly and it came free.  Yes, sometime last night, no doubt while I was wringing out the cloth, the final thread came loose, and the only reason the tag stayed there was because it had been pushed hard against the cloth and was being held there by the microfibers (I guess).  Or maybe it’s just that the tag was so determined, so Terminator-like in its relentless perseverance, that it refused to let go even at the bitter end.

Anyway, now that the epic saga of that one final thread  has come to its inevitable end, maybe I don’t have much reason to keep the increasingly torn-up cloth at all anymore.  Except that I can’t find another one like it in the stores or online.  They seem to have stopped making that variety.  A shame — it works pretty well.  It holds onto the detergent a lot longer than any other dishcloth or scrubber I’ve used, so I don’t have to use as much detergent.

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