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  • Kirby Lee Davis

An environmental letdown

This just in on the recycling front: Used dryer sheets make lousy Kleenexes.


It's true, according to the latest report from our sustainable research department: used dryer sheets prove absolutely terrible at absorbing loose moisture of pretty much any kind, but especially the greasy, clingy, clustered type that so often explodes from one's honker. Worse than terrible even. These spin-roasted dryer sheets seep liquid like all those crocheted doilies your near-sighted uncle grabbed that one night when he tried to sop up a rancid hairball that cannonball of a cat left on the recliner after taking that third drink from the kerosene lamp you left sitting open on the bedtable when you couldn't light the wick you'd crimped far too tight in your hurry to brighten the dark room.

And you remember how horrible that was. I'll never forget it. Never.


And that's not all. It still amazes me how the littlest thing, like finding a moose head hanging upside-down on a dark, cobweb-braced wall, or hearing its bulbous schnoz break the blackest of nights with a lint-labored sneeze, or feeling its dusty eyes following you as you stalk that dark hall in the wee hours, like I do… it amazes me how such things can send one into such a tither, but it can and they did and do and so it was and is.


Now as our past recycling reports found, there's all sorts of things you can do with lint, from stuffing pillows and cat toys and mustard plasters and planters and tacos for that pesky neighbor who drops in for lunch when you're all ready to… well, enough on that. You never know which neighbor's snooping to read these things. So, anyway, you can do what I do and wad that lint into a tight ball, compounding and compressing it many a time until your thumbs cry out and your elbows shake and your arms vow to strangle you, and then you throw said ball at the cat when she tries to scamper up the walls after that moth that really is just a flickering candle shadow, but the cat's poor eyesight is dwindling day by day, it seems, and thus the poor beastie can't tell the difference from a shadow and… well, that's another subject entirely.


But as for our used dryer sheets, I can firmly say without pausing to straighten my back from that grumbling ache that spikes my nerves when I sit down too hard in…. Well, I can firmly say that used dryer sheets make lousy Kleenexes. And my research proves it. True, these scratchy sheets are better at relieving your nose than unused dryer sheets, but that's not saying much. Although that wrinkle-free feeling you get from fresh-from-the-box sheets is kind of interesting. I must admit, I worry about facial wrinkles, or I expect to, especially sometime down the future, when I start having one. And getting rid of that nasal hair static cling might have some side benefits, though I can't remember the last time I ever shocked anyone by touch instead of a comment or a silly look.


But still, as Kleenex go, used dryer sheets simply fail the test. Trust me. You need not verify this with the next magazine product survey. I don't think they're making the Kleenex comparison this year anyway. Used dryer sheets as blood thinner… I think that's what's up in the next issue. At least, that's what my neighbor told me. One of them, anyway. The other heard about some sort of brownie recipe. Another talked of a potential shingle replacement application.


Now to be truly and completely fair, used Kleenex proved about as bad as used dryer sheets, and sometimes worse, at just about everything. Which is not saying much, I admit, but there it is.


Also, as to ethical expectations, as you might expect, no one paid me for this exhausting study. Boy, I wish they had, but no, not a soul came forth. Now some of you may counter that the payola people have no souls, but none of them came forward either. Which is just as well. I have enough of these used dryer sheets laying around as it is.


As required under the Fairness of Stupid Consumer Product Comparisons Act, we're testing whether used Kleenex make good dryer sheets. We have low expectations in this – really low – so low we had to look under the foundation to find them – but one never knows how these tests will turn out. To take the high road (15 feet higher, to be precise), we're also considering if new Kleenex suffice in this application. But that's down the road – a road here, I should point out, and not one close to you. Unless you're here; then perhaps I'm wrong.


But whatever the case, no matter where you are, next up from our recycling research department: do used dryer sheets make good baby wipes. Or hemorrhoid wipes. We're just hoping they prove useful for something. Stay tuned.

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by Kirby Lee Davis

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