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December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
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Talking Small


Schmutter-080814-Socks

Dear Mordechai,

Can you explain why most online shopping websites give the option to show results in “descending” order of price, with the highest price displayed first? Are there people going online with the intention of buying the most expensive product they can find?!

T. Sulzbacher, England

 

They’re for people who are putting together wedding gift registries.

If they’re paying $75 for you to eat a piece of chicken, you’re not getting them the $5 oven mitts; you’re getting them the $200 ones that glow in the dark. Or are at least flame retardant, because that comes up a lot, especially with newlywed cooking.

But be careful, because if you start from the high end of the site, the list starts with totally irrelevant items that were stuck in for some reason. For example, if you type “oven mitts” into Amazon, the very first listing will let you know that for $300 you can get a pair that also comes with an outdoor pizza oven. Because sometimes you want to make pizza, but you’ve been locked out of the house.

(The second most expensive thing listed is a box of fly control for horses. No idea how that ended up in “oven mitts.”)

But there are a lot of ways to sort your results. For instance, you can also sort by relevance. I don’t know, I want all of them to be relevant. I’m not here to browse unrelated items. If I’m going on for oven mitts, I don’t want to see sock puppets until at least page 40. Also, for some reason, you can sort by “most relevant to least relevant,” but you can’t sort by “least relevant to most relevant.”

 

 

Schmutter-080814-PuppetsDear Mordechai,

I did a lot of laundry after Tisha B’Av, and there is not a single complete pair of socks in there. Where did they all go?

Please respond soon. I have nothing left to wear.

CS, Boston

 

A lot of comedians talk about this, because it’s funny to them, apparently. But it’s ridiculous. Not only are you missing socks, but you also have socks appear that you’ve never seen before. No one in your family thinks it’s theirs. Like you end up with an orange baby sock. You don’t even have any babies.

Why socks? And don’t say it’s because they’re small, because I keep finding doll clothes in the laundry, and those are smaller. So why socks? You don’t lose shirts in the laundry, do you?

Well, actually, I think I do. And where do all these doll shirts keep coming from?

There are a lot of theories, though. For example, your sock may have dissolved, especially if it had enough holes. Where do you think dryer lint comes from? You think you’re walking around with that much lint on your clothes?

Maybe you should get into the mind of a sock. Think about it: If you were a sock, what would you do? Probably, you’d want to escape. You spend all your time on smelly feet, trapped inside shoes, and this is your chance. You’re small, you figure no one will notice you’re missing.

Not that the sock thinks it through. Have you ever seen a lone sock in middle of the road? That’s as far as it got.

There are scientific answers too, such as static. Especially if you’ve washed a duvet cover. All the socks are probably in there. They also end up stuck to the back of your pants at important business meetings, and occasionally a Shabbos guest will dry his hands before a meal and come away from the sink with a sock that was attached to a towel. And then there’s awkward silence. Because everyone washed.

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