We hope to bring back the short stories, news and comment from the writing team David Coles and Jack Everett, aka Everett Coles, from Adele Abbot and from our friends... we write fantasy and science fiction, historical and thriller fiction and may poke our noses into places where they're not wanted!
Studies in Shadow...from the team at Archimedes Presse breaking news: book of the month for July at the Book Awards ~ 'The Diamond Seekers'
Sunday, September 15, 2013
SPACE, TIME AND WASHING MACHINES by David Coles
or... THE GREAT WASHING MACHINE CONSPIRACY
It seems obvious that most people have an
unconscious realization that something odd happens at the heart of a
functioning washing machine. A realization which most are too diffident to
discuss with others.
How many people have bitten their tongue
rather than given vent to their feelings when an article of clothing has
emerged so tangled and unrecognisable that it is beyond wearability?
Well, these changes are the result of
messing with the basic stuff of the universe, the causality which underpins our
very existence. I have invested considerable time (and space)in understanding
the nature of the phenomena.
THE INTERCHANGEABILITY CONJECTURE.
At the heart of the washing machine is a
drum, sometimes carefully non-cylindrical, sometimes merely studded with three
or four ribs protruding into the interior. These departures from symmetry or
smoothness not only stir up the washing load but interact with, at least, the
three familiar dimensions of space and one of time.
This results in garments being turned –
partially or fully – inside out: knickers with the label firmly attached to the
outside, shirts with one or both arms inside out – even with a breast pocket
inside out and everything else apparently
The reason behind this is that the three
dimensions of observable space become muddled, width may become height, length
become width, and so on. Rather less common is the incident of a fourth spatial
dimension being involved – where half a pair of socks will disappear completely
and turn up in some other washing machine entirely. Finally is the equally
confusing occurrence when a lone sock or any other small garment disappears
only to reappear in a later wash – and usually right side out.
Large washing machines – like those in
launderettes – are less prone to the problems of the smaller domestic
varieties. Their larger drum size is not able to disturb the spacial dimensions
to the same extent but, when there are such occasions, the results can be very
much more serious and widespread. A street full of shops suddenly collapsing, a
carefully constructed pile of boxes suddenly falling apart, even individuals
vanishing and coming to in a totally unknown location or never being found
again; this last phenomenon is more likely to happen to elderly males using
laundry facilities after work or late in the evening.
THE FOLLOW-THROUGH COROLLARY
Now that we have seen how common these
phenomena are, it is possible to follow-up on slightly more complicated
It becomes obvious with a little thought
that the entanglement of the contents of a washing machine is almost universal.
Indeed, the odd garment which emerges right side outside and in a more less
recognisable shape is not an article which has escaped entanglement, it is an
article which has undergone entanglement twice, four or any even number of
times. A garment with, say one leg inside out and the other right side out, is
a garment which has experienced partial entanglement. There may also be
occasions when the lone sock has been moved to a future or past machine cycle
and returned along the same time-like curve.
I have derived equations to describe the
dimensional interactions involved but they are currently the subject of patent
applications and so cannot be divulged here, even if there were the space (and
time) to do so.
I am willing to accept invitations to speak
on the subject in return for only slightly exorbitant fees. Please write to the
Institute for Research into Temporary Space-Time like Curves at Droppeny Marsh,