White Paper: A New Level of Hell

Memo to the Prince of Darkness:

Dear Mr. Pod,

I would like to propose the immediate implementation of a new level of Hell, if you can find the space. I believe that this proposal will provide a uniquely awful form of punishment to the deserving offender, and I know that you will be astonished at its simplicity. I suspect this will set a new standard for low overhead agony, a standard that is not likely to be bested in your lifetime. (I trust that that’s not a sensitive issue with you.)

My proposal requires only one item for full and complete implementation: a fitted sheet for a kingsize bed, fresh from the dryer. Well, actually, I suppose you don’t really need a clothesdryer in Hell, now do you? 😉 So it’s even more simple than I thought.

The agony part comes here — are you ready for this? — you make the unfortunate souls assigned to this new level FOLD SHEETS FOR ETERNITY! And the beauty of this idea is this: IT CAN’T BE DONE! No human being can successfully fold a fitted sheet; it’s impossible.

I know this, sir, because I’ve tried. Believe me, I’ve tried. But the new sheets are like big baggy showercaps, and they have elastic all the way around them. And here’s the worst part: they have no corners! How can that be? I don’t know, but it’s true. Someone (you?) figured out a way to make a sheet with no corners.

When you combine the cornerless construction with the omnipresent elastic, and throw into the mix a piece of fabric the size of Rhode Island, you’re left with an amorphous mass that cannot be tamed.

Frankly, I’ve given up trying. I just stuff ’em into the linen closet, and tuck in the edges of the blob so that it appears to a casual observer, say, my wife, that folding has occurred, and then I hope for the best.

The only hitch in my plan is that I haven’t yet figured out what sin(s) will warrant such extreme measures. I’ll leave that in your capable talons, although you might want to take a look at how those guys who drive for miles down the freeway with their turn signals blinking are currently being treated.

Feel free to take this ball and run with it. I probably wouldn’t let Sisyphus know about this proposal, however; he still thinks he’s got it bad and I wouldn’t want him to feel slighted.

Yours truly,

A Consultant (yeah…that’s right; no soul here for you to pounce on!)

15 comments

  1. Air beds are a lot worse than fitted sheets. My wife recently purchased a queen sized one for me to try. I charged the pump for twelve hours, inflated it the next evening and spent one night on it. I slept very well.
    I removed both plugs and allowed it to deflate on its own, which it did in a few minutes, but nothing I’ve tried so far has succeeded at getting ALL of the air out of the chambers. There’s no way I will be able to get it folded up small enough to put it back in the box so my wife can return it and get a twin size one to replace it. They know this, and that’s why it comes with a large bag with a drawstring for storage.
    Two people can fold a fitted sheet easily with only a small amount of instruction.

  2. Mr. Freen, thanks for reaffirming my lack of hand-eye coordination. However, if you look closely at the photos in the third link you provide, you’ll note that the subject sheet has edges and, ipso facto, corners. This is not the Unfoldable Sheet From Hell I’m referring to.
    Clarence, have you tried attaching a vacuum cleaner nozzle to the mattress and sucking the remaining air out?
    And, using two people to fold a sheet is cheating, and I’m sure Satan, while generally approving of cheating, will not permit it in hell (he’s a bit of a hypocrite in that area, I think).

  3. Perhaps I have been blessed: all my fitted sheets have a section around the edge where there is no elastic at all, thereby making it possible to simulate actual corners and creating conditions suitable (if not truly favorable) for folding.
    Then again, it’s been a couple years since I bought any.

  4. Charles, like high-flow toilets and tight-fisted Republican administrations, your fitted sheets are throwbacks to a better time and should be maintained as heirlooms.
    Those pockets to which you refer are the keys to folding nirvana. You just tuck them into each other, thereby creating an eminently malleable pile of fabric.

  5. Clarence
    Have you tried vacuming it??? (pressing the PREVIEW, I SEE THAT ERIC POSTED AHEAD OF ME. BUT THAT’S A POSITIVE AND NOT A NEGATIVE!!! ) ADDITIONALLY, you can always make a cheap air inlet to vacuum hose ADAPTOR by making a cone out of sheet metal, then wrapping tube ends and cone AIR TIGHT with rubber tape (available at Westlake, electrical section and Lowe’s, plumbing section). Don’t ruin the bed’s air inlet or the store may not accept your exchange.
    For your problem, though, it looks like WHAT YOU NEED IS A HOMEMADE CONE SHAPED ADAPTOR WITH LARGE END CONNECTED TO THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR VACUUM HOSE. (It should be outside so that the metal cone will be larger than the vacuum hose diameter and will not be sucked in by the vacuum cleaner and CREATE AN ELECTRICAL ACCIDENT /OR RUIN THE FAN IN YOUR VAC, IF YOUR VAC IS NOT THE WET AND DRY TYPE.) WRAP CONE SHAPE AND VACUUM HOSE TIP WITH RUBBER TAPE TO MAKE IT AIR-TIGHT. THE SMALLER END OF THE CONE WITH ITS OUTER PART WRAPPED WITH RUBBER TAPE will make a fairly good RUBBER SEAL, AND CAN BE PUSHED/INSERTED INTO ONE OF THOSE PLUG HOLES WHILE YOUR VACUUM CLEANER IS “ON.” (RUBBER TAPE IS THE KIND OF TAPE YOU SEE ON PIPES AT ENERGAS METERS.)
    Anyway, why don’t you just bring the entire large thing back to the store???

  6. To fold, you need four pieces of copper tubing bended into the shape of an “L”. Tuck one tube on each corner to keep the elastic expanded. Now that the sheet is 2 dimensional instead of 3, you should have no problem folding it!!!!
    %%% EXPERIMENTAL %%%
    If your next problem is how to prevent the copper tubes or equivalent from slipping, you and the “FITTED BEDSHEET INDUSTRY ” need one of my experimentals. IT IS A FITTED BED SHEET COVER WITH TWO POCKETS ON EACH CORNER WHERE THE LEGS OF THE “L”‘ SHAPED COPPER TUBE OR EQUIVALENT CAN BE INSERTED SO AS TO KEEP THE ELASTIC ON SAID CORNER EXPANDED “AND TO MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE,” THE EASY FOLDING OF SAID FITTED BEDSHEETS. Triangles, rectangles, squares are also “L” equivalents since they have at least one corner that is “L” shaped.
    the-eurasian@earthlink.net

  7. %% EXPERIMENTAL %% 3 DIMENSIONAL STRETCHABLE CLOTH %%%
    Eric
    I don’t think any of your readers know what you are talking about. But I’m sure I do. And if this isn’t what you are talking about, then maybe, this is a new and even better bedsheet than the one you have.
    Cloth is actually hundreds of horizontal parallel threads interwoven with hundreds of parallel vertical threads. (I think you can include diagonal parallel threads too, but the tini winneee holes will no longer be squares but hexagons or octagons)
    Your idea of cloth is that it is always 2 dimensional — MEANING FLAT LIKE PAPER, FLAT LIKE A FLAT SHEET OF SHOWER CURTAIN.
    When you get a flat sheet of shower curtain, cut it into a circle about 18 inches in diameter, fold the perimeter into tens of little triangles that overlap each successive triangle, and sew each triangle onto a garter with length about the perimeter of your head, what you will have is a shower cap. But this style of turning a 2 dimensional sheet into a 3 dimensional shower cap, is similiar to the style of manufacturing used in caps made of cloth that people use in public — the kind with a garter or adjustable plastic belt at the back, where if your hair is long, your hair will protrude like a tail through the hole above the garter or adjustable plastic belt.
    I saw a cap on TV which had no such adjustable plastic belt, and even if your hair is long, it won’t protrude like a tail because there is no hole!!!!
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    At airline counters are address tags for your baggages. THE AIRLINE BAGGAGE TAGS HAVE STRINGS THAT ARE EXPANDABLE LIKE RUBBER BAND.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    If you use hundreds and and hundreds of these rubber band like strings to WEAVE A CLOTH, WHAT YOU WILL HAVE IS CLOTH THAT IS STRETCHEABLE, BUT TWO DIMENSIONAL.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    BUT IF YOU USE THESE STRETCHABLE STRINGS TO WEAVE, NOT LIKE THEY WEAVE CLOTHS BUT LIKE THEY WEAVE WICKER BASKETS OR TEXAS COWBOY HATS, ESPECIALLY THE HEAD PORTION, WHAT YOU WILL HAVE IS A COWBOY HAT OR A BASKET THAT IS STRETCHABLE. AND IF THE BASKET IS AS BIG AS YOUR BED, WHAT YOU HAVE JUST WOVEN IS THE CORNERLESS, IMPOSSIBLE TO FOLD 3 DIMENSIONAL MATRESS COVER!!! AND IT WILL HAVE NO SEAMS!!!
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    IF THE BEDSHEET THAT YOU HAVE HAS SEWING MARKS LIKE YOU SEE INSIDE AN ORDINARY CAP, THAT WOULD MEAN THAT THE STRETCHBLE CLOTH USED IN THAT BEDSHEET IS TWO DIMENSIONAL. (It is possible that the cap I saw on TV was simply like ordinary caps except that one of the triangular cloths was STRETCHABLE TWO DIMENSIONAL CLOTH.
    BUT IF THE BEDSHEET YOU HAVE HAS NO SEWING MARKS, THEN THE STRETCHABLE CLOTH WAS WOVEN LIKE A BASKET OR COWBOY HAT AND IS THREE DIMENSIONAL!!!
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

  8. Your sin? Didn’t you leave the toilet seat up one afternoon in the summer after the eighth grade while in the middle of a whiffle ball game, and it was your turn to bat, so you were in a hurry, and thought it wouldn’t matter, then an adult went to sit down on it later that evening and had an unfortunate immersion of their posterior, and then not knowing (but suspecting) who was to blame, decided to wreck havoc on the entire male gender, by becoming a bedsheet designer, or suggesting such a nefarious design to an actual designer, and making it look deceptively easy to fold the sheet, because, after all, they come packaged in a flattened rectangular shrunk-wrapt bag, and whom, when shopping for bed linen some two or three decades later, remembered your transgression in the form of a vague embarassment, and bought the sheet in order to make your torment complete, and gave it to you as a present? Or did YOU buy the sheet?
    Fold the sheets together, no, not the non-existent corners, rather, together with your wife. My prediction is she’ll love to see your consternation grow about a simple task that she is able to accomplish intuitively on her end of the fabric, while you turn the sheet around and around. Abbye will enjoy the spectacle, too. Save your talent for matching socks, another maddening task.
    Don’t forget to iron the fitted sheet first, which is, in Hell, a prerequisite to folding. Hang in there, man.

  9. Or did YOU buy the sheet?
    Do I strike you as the type of guy who would go bedsheet shopping? Don’t answer that.
    Actually, it was a gift, lending some credence to your conspiracy theory. But, the particular sin you describe happens to be one of the few that I’ve never indulged in, even in the eighth grade. No, it has to be something else…
    Um, what’s does “iron” mean? I have some stacked in my garage, awaiting some critical but as yet unidentified welding project, but I’m not sure how I should use it as a verb.

  10. After reading the great sheet debate, I have concluded that some people have far too much time on their hands. For one, Sell the king size bed to the people down the street and buy a queen.
    And if this is to be a level of hell. Please send the people who see a Yeild Sign and a Merge Lane as a good place to test their brakes for sixty to zero.

  11. I have concluded that some people have far too much time on their hands.
    Either that, or they have far too much political diatribe on their media outlets.
    This seems to be a far healthier “debate” than some other recent ones I can think of. 😉
    Please send the people who see a Yield Sign and a Merge Lane as a good place to test their brakes for sixty to zero.
    Just couldn’t resist, could you?
    That may be a good topic for another post. I contend that the Yield sign is the least understood and most disobeyed sign in America. A close second is the “Entrance only” sign at the HEB parking lot.

  12. Eric,
    I have no problem with folding as we only have one set of Queen sized sheets.
    From the Bed
    to the washer
    to the dryer
    to the bed
    See – no folding necessary…….

  13. Shannon
    Your way of “GETTING IT FROM THE DRYER AND PUTTING IT ON THE BED” —–IS EXACTLY HOW IT WAS INTENDED TO BE FOLDED BECAUSE THAT IS EXACTLY HOW IT WAS WOVEN — AS AN ELASTIC 3 DIMENSIONAL SKIN WOVEN AND FORMED ON AN ACTUAL BED REPLICA/EQUIVALENT OF THE SAME SIZE AND SHAPE.
    See Eurasian experimental Oct. 17/04 above!!!
    There is a kind of HIGHER MATH, where unlike the common math where parallel lines do not meet, IN THIS HIGHER MATH, THE ASSUMPTION IS THAT ALL PARALLEL LINES MEET. I know they use the longtitudes of the earth as an example. At the equator, all the parallel lines are parallel. Then these parallel lines all meet not only in the North Pole but also on the South Pole.
    You might think this is crazy, BUT EINSTEIN USED THE EQUATIONS OF THIS PARTICULAR HIGHER MATH AND MIXED IT WITH THE KIND OF MATH THAT WE ARE USING, AND CAME OUT WITH HIS REVOLUTIONARY FORMULA E= MCC.
    I wonder, if by mixing apple and oranges, if Einstein made a mistake. E= MCC is so similiar to the formula (Kinetic Energy KE)= (1/2) mvv.
    Yet Einstein’s Formula is DOUBLE the kinetic energy in the other formula. BUT WHEN YOU HAVE A HUGE ATOMIC EXPLOSION, WHAT IMPRESSES PEOPLE IS THE EXPLOSION, AND WHO KNOWS, MAYBE ACCURACY WENT DOWN THE DRAIN!!! What do you think???? What do physics, math students/professors, graduates, engineers in UTPB, Miland College, Odessa College, Texas A & M, University of Texas think???

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