The Downy Ball Paradox

Years ago when I moved to Burbank before my wife (at the time my girlfriend) joined me, I had to do many things on my own for the first time. One of those things was the laundry. Lights, darks, hot water, cold water. It was an intimidating task. One wrong move could result in disaster. My clothes could return to the sizes of infancy or, worse yet, I could find myself with an entire tie dye wardrobe.

Complicating matters further was the fabric softener. You just didn’t pour it in at the beginning like the other stuff. No, it had to be put in at a certain time. But how would I know when to do this? What would the consequences be if I did it at the wrong time? Would it be like cutting the blue wire when you should have cut the red one?

That’s when I discovered the Downy Ball. You put Downy into it up to the fill line, close it, and drop it in the washer. Someway, somehow, it knew exactly when to open. Of course, I had my doubts. But yet, after that first load of laundry, I opened the lid of the washer, removed the Downy Ball and was in awe at what stood before me. It was empty. The ball had opened all on its own.

How did it do this? Was it some miracle like the loaves and the fishes? Did a magic little gnome make his way into the laundry room, and open the ball at exactly the precise moment? Had Downy found an ingenious way to install a GPS satellite in the Downy Ball, keeping all of them under constant surveillance thus knowing exactly when to release its contents? If that was the case, would they still monitor my ball if it used another brand of fabric softener?

Perhaps the Downy Ball was just another unsolvable mystery like Stonehenge, crop circles, and what the hell Warner Bros. was thinking when they let Joel Schumacher put nipples on the Batsuit. Then one day it occurred to me that maybe, like so many other things in life, we just have to take the Downy Ball on faith. Just believe and trust when we drop it in the washer it will do its job. That no harm will come to our KISS t-shirt from the 1996 Reunion Tour on its watch.

But in case it turns out Downy does install their balls with GPS satellites, I just want them to know that my wife bought that bottle of Snuggle last week because it was on sale.

I swear I had nothing to do with it.



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5 thoughts on “The Downy Ball Paradox”

  1. its an enigma – like the Shout Color Catchers.
    so many unexplained phenomenon in laundry. who knew?

  2. The Downey ball works only with the precise viscosity of Downey, any substitute like Snuggle is prematurely ejected at the start of the wash cycle thereby reducing the effectiveness of the substitute. When you get your finished laundry you say, “Gee this Snuggle isn’t as good as Downey, I need to switch back even if it costs a few more cents.”. 🙂

    Now that would be the best marketing device ever. 🙂

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