Saturday, February 18, 2012

The curious case of the wet towel on the bed during the morning hours

My cousin had put a post on her facebook status on Valentine's day :
Another morning, hot coffee, morning squabbles, breakfast, another wet towel on the bed, a hug, a goodbye at the is beautiful, Valentine's Day or not."

Undoubtedly a nice FB status. This, however, triggered a completely different stream of thought in me about something else - namely - Wet towel on the bed. 

It seems that guys all over the world, after having their bath, tend to leave their wet towels on the bed instead of putting it in the bathroom or in the balcony. There is no exact statistics available to determine the exact percentage of men who do this as well as the frequency of occurrence. 

Why do guys (me included) keep wet towels on the bed? I am convinced that some wannabe psychoanalyst will soon come up with a theory which links this to the freudian slip or a complicated interplay of id, ego and super-ego which causes this subconscious-driven dumping of wet towel on the bed. The psycho-analyst would probably also claim that the wet bed remind men of their bed-wetting days and thereby signifies their eternal craving for childhood days. May be the really creative ones might extend the logic to say that the wives of these men (for ease of reference, we shall henceforth refer them as  "Men with a Wet Towel" or MWT) scold them so much that this also reminds them of their boyhood days. The possibilities are infinite.

Sadly, I lack such grandiose of vision to come up with such elaborate working of subconscious. I only try to analyse the problem with an engineer's perspective. 

I believe that houses are primarily build for the purpose of staying and by extension, keeping stuffs, home decor etc etc (those two etceteras, if uncontrolled, has the potential to burn a very substantial hole in your pocket). People have not really done a thorough "time-and-motion" study to evaluate how people will move within the house and in what sequence would he or she need the equipment required to perform the task in hand. Also there has not been any tolerance built into the system to account for the difference between the brain functioning of men and women (men use one hemisphere while women use both; men think in sequence and are activity oriented while women are better at multi-tasking and overall picture et al). This case of the omnipresent wet towel is an example of this.

Let's try to plot the whole sequence of how the wet towel gets dumped on the bed :

1) The guy (standard urban male specimen)comes out of the bathroom. He is scantily attired and scrubbing his hair vigorously. (Girls - stop drooling please. This is a normal bloke with an "A-cut figure", drooping shoulders and an enormous pot-belly - not an holographic image of George Clooney).

2) After he has thoroughly dried his hair by vigorously rubbing it with his towel, he looks for a place to dump the towel. The immediate options are 
2.1 : Go back into the bathroom wearing slippers and make the bathroom floor dirty 
2.2 :  Go back into the bathroom without wearing slippers and then leave wet foot-prints all over the bedroom

Options 2.1 or 2.2 are both likely to cause some more-than-usual commotion in the house with several "why can't you"s and "How can you"s hurled at him like Kalashnikov bullets. One also has to keep in mind that since the aforementioned male specimen has rubbed his head vigorously and thereby somewhat dis-oriented. Under this dishevelled and dis-oriented situation, this otherwise diplomatic urban man may utter a few words which are not the most judicious ones to utter to his counterpart. Needless to mention, this would increase the chaos and the general decibel level in the atmosphere. And when the aforementioned gentleman has, somehow, managed to get ready for office and is leaving home, he might meet his friendly neighbour who decides to give him a benign smile and sympathetic "tschk, tschk". The neighbour would then be vastly surprised when this usually peaceful guy decides to hit him on the head with his laptop bag. 

2.3 : Go to the balcony and put it on the wire-rope-frame thingy one uses to hang the clothes. This also is not as simple as it looks as these thingy's are usually full of clothes with different degrees of dampness arranged to form a complex collage which Jackson Pollock would have appreciated. 

One can't think too long also over here due to 
2.3.1 : Possible complain from the neighbour about indecent exposure and generally polluting the landscape by being an eye-sore (refer point 1 above; the guy is not a George Clooney / Brad Pitt / Bruce Willis lookalike). 
2.3.2 : The early morning winds in Delhi are like the in-swingers Imran Khan used to deliver in the eighties - smooth like the movement of a knife through butter and designed to cause maximum damage. 
[Note : 2.3.2 is applicable only in some selected areas of Northern India and in some selective months]

2.4 : Lump it into the laundry bag. This which will cause the bag and its contents to develop a strangely powerful smell like the corsican cheese - guaranteed to knock the living daylights out of anyone who opens this bag

2.5 : Hang it on the back of a chair. This is a good alternative excepting that all chair backs are usually occupied by a jacket / trouser / jeans / pyjama / some other piece of men's clothing which could not find its way to the wardrobe. 

Hence the wet towel finding its way to the bed is an act of a guy who has run out of alternatives. One would expect that the entire household would be sympathetic to the situation and not blame the MWT. Statistics shows that this is seldom the case and the MWTs are usually met with a cold stare rather than a friendly smile. 

All this can be avoided by designing the house properly. The possibilities are mind boggling like 
a) Having a monorail from the bedroom to the bathroom where one can hang the towel. And then shift it to the bathroom by the same contraption. One can make it techno-tacky by putting a humidity sensor which senses when the towel is dry and then shifts it to the bathroom. 
b) Provide a two way duct with a motorized damper to selectively push back some hot air into the room. The inlet duct can be designed in such a way that the frame acts like a towel rack. 
c) A withdraw-able bar behind the fridge which slides out to take the towel and then slides in to rest it on the heat exchanger coils. 

"If you plan not to go to the office, I recommend that you get dressed and sit somewhere instead of dreaming of god-knows-what-or-whom wearing the towel !!" My reverie / deep thought process was broken by this rude rubbing from reality. The possibility of a Smart home which will forever rescue the MWT from perpetual gloom disappeared into the horizon like the morning fog. 

Life goes on....and that is life!!


  1. Hah Nice ! was planning on writing this stuff ;)

  2. explains all..of course..The Man explains it all :-)

    1. Unfair!! Unfair!! Severe gender bias against a proper analysis of the situation.

  3. You could also install a black hole (just outside the bathroom door) into which not just wet towels but all manner of inconvenient things can be shoved!


    1. That would solve the towel problem but might reduce the duration of my existence on this planet drastically!! One might say it would be "throwing in the towel" rather prematurely.

  4. After carefully considering the dilemna faced by the MWTs all over the world I am seriously considering the immediate patent and manufacture of disposable towels that can be flushed down the loo ... so that use and throw can be extended to the bathroom thereby eliminating this terrible stigma that MWTs are subjected to.

    1. Kurush - that's the spirit!! Way to go, man!!

  5. Deepa Mehta said :
    Absolutely funny read. :) if this is how they think, i might forgive them sometimes.........rubbing their head makes them disoriented!!! and the psycho analysis is hilarious. :)

  6. Enjoyed the serious musings about a trivia,Atanu. I liked the psycho analysis. hahaah.

  7. Interesting, deep!

    Btw, I read "the curious incident of the dog in the night time" too.... was a good read.


  8. Atanu'da, could not agree more with the basic line of thought.
    2exceptions though - firstly, the note to point 2.3.2 does not apply to Bongs given their mortal fear of catching a cold attributable to "season change"
    Secondly, as for the possibilities, any investment which benefits only the males, with "seemingly" zero benefit to the women, would be treated as wastage of money and then you are back to square one ("home decor etc etc" is exempt from this category though)

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