Friday, July 24, 2009

HOMEFRONT: One-Sided Towel

I've got a one-sided towel.

Can you believe it?

Usually, when one purchases a towel—hand, bathing, beach, or otherwise—one expects both sides to work. It's not even a consideration in the purchase. Size, color, style, nap—these are the things we are concerned with when purchasing the normally reliable household item.

But this is a bum bath towel. Only one side—the grey side shown in the photo—behaves in a properly towel-like manner. The offending side, the blue with grey stripe side, behaves like Fred Biletnikoff's stick-um towel. You try to dry your arm, it's like Velcro. Stuck. It seems once that side touches human skin, it slams the brakes on.

Ah, you say, just flip the towel vertically and the Velcro-effect will disappear. Not so. (And what do you think I am, an idiot?) With the towel in that direction, it's like trying to dry yourself off with wax paper. Slick as ice. Falls to your feet if your not careful. It's absorbency negative.

How the hell did this faulty product ever reach the store shelves? Aren't towels rigorously tested? And where was the inspector with the little paper number to assure that yes, indeed, both sides of this particular towel are in good working order? "Inspected by nobody," obviously.

I guess I should be happy, of course, that one side of the towel is in proper working order. Lord knows there are plenty of people out there who have towels with both sides broken, or no towel at all. I'll somehow adapt I'm sure. But when something like this happens, where one of the fundamental assumptions we make about the world—you know, gravity, taxes, death, two-sided towels—is suddenly contradicted, right in your own shower, it forces one to do a little reassessing. Not only reassessing the whole bath towel paradigm, but reassessing the very nature of trust.

Now I'm afraid to even open the new package of kitchen sponges I bought this morning . . .

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