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Three score and ten or more

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dryer Lint

Has anyone ever thought seriously about dryer lint?  If you have a clothes dryer in your home,  you have to remove dryer lint carefully and completely or you are running the risk of having a fire in your home... That is one reason for thinking about it.

I have spent a fair percentage of my time for the last fifteen years sculpting.  I have sculpted puppets, angels, fairies (dolls or doll like things to put on the mantle) Santas and a variety of other things.  Some of the things have been made of clay, others of plastic wood, wood itself, as well as paper mache and still others of "dryer lint", mixed with glue in a sort of paper mache looking thing that is very strong and works for some sculpts.  When I was sculpting from the stuff, I got in the habit of saving it when I took it from the dryer, and still have that habit. 

I took some lint out of the dryer yesterday and looked at it in the pail.  I had gathered, in a fairly limited time, two thirds of a five gallen pail full of dryer lint.  Where does that lint come from?  From your clothing, of course, but when you look at freshly dried clothing, does it look weaker or thinner from loss of the fabric that became dryer ling?  Not perceptibly, but, logically it has to be so.  Everything seems okay until one day your shirt tears for no apparent reason, or your wife's sexy white blouse suddenly seems a lot more sexy than it used to be because it is getting transparent.

I sometimes think of current government programs and feel like the shirt is tearing from being ripped off forcefully, but I think that some elements of government and society have, for years, affected us the way our dryers affect our clothing.  It takes our infinitely small pieces as we gradually weaken and accommodate, but the small pieces, the lint sized elements that have been blown out of us eventually weaken us until we become almost transparent, or we rip and tear with very little pressure.   Where are we, each of us, after we have given up this month's or this year's personal "dryer lint?"  It is something to think about.


At 4:39 PM, Blogger Norma said...

I'll never see lint the same. I'll think of the education system, or health care, or the pot holes.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Gayle said...

It's a very unique analogy, Richard!

I sculpt quite a bit with paper mache made out of tissue and glue. Mainly miniature people and animals that fit inside beaded eggs for Christmas tree decorations. There's a hole in the eggshell where a tree light bulb is inserted and it lights up the inside of the egg. I never thought of using dryer lint. Thanks for the tip! :)

At 10:09 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I hate wasting anything. Now you've got me thinking about what I can use dryer lint for. Insulation?

At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Kathleen said...

What a wonderful analogy. It reminds me of the salami analogy my father would tell us. He would say, "someone comes up and takes a slice of your salami. Not enough to fight about. Over and over and each time not enough to fight about. Eventually, you are left with the string."


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