Sunday, November 13, 2011

Einstein between the sheets

Wheel of Life
S. Shawcross / Oil on hardboard /20 x 28 / $295

This weeks feature video: Growing old gracefully can be a challenge. I mean if you try and do anything other than eat chocolates while watching Coronation Street. No one was actually harmed or injured in this compilation so rest assured.

The Louis Saga Continues: Bidding on the 1,500 word essay "Tell Me about the Rabbit George." Signed, hand-bound limited edition of 1 continues: $93.17 G.R. Chelsea Monday, October 31, 2011 Bidding closes midnight Friday, December 2, 2011 To bid send an e-mail to To follow the initial story see my July post on the right ----------->

"I wish I could do this forever, I can't though." --Andy Rooney

This week's column was published in the West Quebec Post Summer 2011.

Einstein between the sheets

"George," I said to Himself who was slouching in the big chair watching a documentary on the probability of alien life forms living inside volcanoes. "Do you know why we're together?" I asked as I folded yet another sheet from the stack of laundry on the couch.

"Why would that be dear?"

"Because I needed help folding sheets. Folding sheets is an intimate social bonding activity of such high importance that indulging in it can prove in a court of law that we are indeed a couple." He was not actually listening to me because apparently one of the alien life forms was a multi-celled purple-green entity perfectly capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction and was, in fact, also capable of sustaining life in the atmosphere as we know it. "This sheet," I said, ensuring I wrangled the thing out far enough to cut off the edge of his view of the asexual amoeba like thing, "is my most favourite sheet. It's the softest cotton I've ever felt!"

For some reason this perked up Amoeba Man. "What's the thread count?" he asked. Just like that. Amoeba Man asked me what the thread count of the sheet was, as if it was the most perfectly natural thing in the world.

"What's wrong?" I asked, deeply concerned. "You just asked me what the thread count of this sheet was. That's entirely out of character!"

"Believe it or not dear, I actually do know about thread counts because you taught me somewhere along the line. Whenever we go shopping for pillowcases you rave on and on about thread count. Thread counts obviously hold some kind of deep fascination for you."

"I'm not sure what the thread count is for this particular sheet. I don't even know where this sheet came from to be honest." This realization was actually starting to bother me: How could a person end up with a sheet they didn't know the origins of? We'd been sleeping on this sheet for years. How do things like this happen? Stray sheets make no sense! They’re not socks after all.”

"Is the thread count so high it's approaching maximum density?"

I knew I was going to regret this entire conversation. "Yes. Maybe."

"You know," said George, who was now pleasantly engaged in conversation because there was a commercial on TV about toilet tissue and bear's bottoms. "There are probably little universes of black holes in that sheet. If you flip it the wrong way, you could possibly warp time and space. You could time travel even."

"For some reason I think since our ancient washing machine isn't capable of adequately washing two socks it's highly unlikely it is capable of rinsing and spinning entire universes of black holes. Although, come to think of it, it might explain what happens to lost socks.”

"Maybe the current String Theory of the universe has more to do with threads than strings.... Maybe thread count is more significant that we can imagine."

"Yes and that's precisely why thread counts on sheets have fascinated me all these years. Now, on the off chance I'm wondering if there is any room in your current Thread Theory of the universe that allows your physical body to help me fold these sheets?" I asked, hopefully if not somewhat sarcastically.

"Wrinkled sheets in a ball would provide more fertile ground for Chaos Theory."

"You know what? I think you're right. Let's just roll all our sheets into balls and stuff them into the shed out back. In fact, let's just distribute them randomly on lawns throughout the neighbourhood so we can test this new theoretical question I have."

"And that would be?"

"If, by not helping fold sheets, will people, driven out of their homes, sleep on their own lawns or someone else's?"

“That’s not Chaos Theory. That’s just silly. Chaos Theory would be just leaving the sheets where they are and allowing me to go back to my program. Whoever said a folded sheet was better than an unfolded sheet anyway? Who are these people? A folded sheet takes up as much room as an unfolded one. It’s all just a distribution of space that’s different. As Einstein said, ‘matter can neither be created nor destroyed’ which is why he always wore little tiny hankies on his head to illustrate the curvature of space.”

“I presume then I don’t need to fold these sheets as you will be wearing them on your head then.”

“Yes dear.”

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