Corn is one of the most indestructible elements on the face of the earth. At one time it was on Mohs Scale of Hardness, but was later replaced by Conundrum. Or something like that. Which is a good thing because had it stayed on the list, your birthstone might be corn. It’s true. I would not make up something as serious as that just to amuse myself.
Anyway, you don’t need Moh to tell you about the properties of corn. You’ve eaten corn. You know that it can pass through the length and breadth of your digestive tract unblemished, unscathed and in tact. I became acutely aware of this fact soon after feeding the little boy corn for the first time. From the changing table, I called to Antique Daddy, “Dude! Get in here! You gotta see this!” He never falls for that.
Since then, I have learned that corn can even hold up to the most stringent of wash cycles – the setting that I call The Last Chance Cycle — hot and harsh. But this is not the time to bring up Antonio Banderas, this is about laundry. Anyway, that which emerges from The Last Chance Cycle unrepentant and uncleansed is cast into the rag bag of damnation and destined to wash cars and mop up the unspeakable for all eternity. Be warned. It only takes one indiscreet fling with chili sauce.
I bring up the fascinating topic of corn for a reason. As I’m pulling some clothes from the washer yesterday, I notice there is corn on everything. And I wondered from whence does this corn come? I did not remember opening a can of corn and dumping it in the washer. But I’m a 46-year-old woman with a toddler, so I don’t remember a lot of stuff. Nonetheless, being the logical and scientific CSI person I am, I began to seek clues. So I yelled out, “Hey Dude! Did you put corn in the washer?” And oddly enough, he did not even bother to dignify my question with a response.
I continued my investigation by checking pockets, which based on previous laundry experience, was probably a dumb thing to do. I hear of women who pull out ten dollar bills and even lottery tickets from pockets while doing laundry. I pull out things that breathe. And now? Corn. Someone, and I won’t name names here, had apparently filled his pockets with corn at the dinner table last night. On the bright side, it’s unlikely that I will be seeing corn on the changing table again, as it appears that none of it made it into his mouth.
In our next episode of Great Laundry Mysteries, I ask this question: How is it that a kleenex will disintegrate in your hand while dabbing a runny nose, yet survive a Last Chance cycle no worse for the wear?
My theory is that kleenex is made of corn.
This post was originally published in April 2006.