Monday, 20 October 2008

Releasing scissors into the wild

Douglas Adams referred, I think, to all the lost biros that went missing, suggesting they all migrated to some biro planet where they lived a fulfilled life. My office has a similar problem with scissors. I start off with two pairs on my desk and within forty-eight hours I have none.

I've tried searching the house - I do sometimes find them, but more often than not I'm lucky if I can unearth a pair of kitchen scissors or nail clippers.

So a while ago I bought a whole batch of scissors from my supplier and now I keep replacing them as they disappear. I have the theory that if I inject enough into the system, eventually we'll hit saturation and they won't disappear any more.

I haven't made it yet. They still keep disappearing. But the act of opening a fresh packet has started to take on a new significance. I feel like a naturalist, releasing an animal bred in captivity back into the wild. It's strangely satisfying.


  1. biros, scissors, yes, but also socks and teaspoons. do you suppose they are living happily on a planet together or do they each have their own?

  2. We can but hope they live together in perfect harmony (no Ebony and Ivory sing-alongs, please). Of course there was speculation that we get sent something in return - wire coat hangers.

  3. Ssh - keep you voice down! Everyone knows that the coathangers are simply waiting for the time when they achieve critical mass and take over the world - they've devastated the banking system already you know...

  4. I think somewhere there is a scissorless dimension which is draining off our scissors. And in that dimension, the people don't have heart attacks, they die of sudden unexplained stabbings. They're in quite a panic, too, but Big Pharma is spending all their research dollars or treatment rather than a cure.

  5. I'm getting much more worried about coat hangers and scissors than I used to be.

    One of the alternative theories to the Big Bang suggests there are two 'branes' floating in multidimensional space that occasionally collide (our universe being one of them). Maybe the scissors go to the other brane.

    I feel, though, this theory needs a bit of expansion, as it doesn't as yet explain why they occasionally turn up around the house, usually in children's rooms.

  6. In order to make your experiment complete, you'd need to attach a ring to each pair as you release them, with the date, and contact details of some sort. Then one day you might get a phone call from, I don't know, maybe Venezuela, saying your scissors had arrived just produced their first brood of tiny coathangers.

    Actually, now I come to think of it, wasn't the theory that the single sock was the larval form of the wire coathanger?

  7. I'm sure you are right about the sock in the Adams theory. I love the idea of ringing the scissors, though I think I ought to use the modern approach and not just put information on a ring but a tracking device, so I can plot their migration...