P&V’s LOL #11: Clean, matching socks repel

EINSTEINADVERTISEMENTCalling all quantum physicists.  (I know you’re not a physicist, Paul, but perhaps you can help me out.)  There must be some sort of mysterious force at work here.  Try this experiment to see what I mean:

STEP 1: Hold your nose and take off the pair of socks you’ve been wearing all day, being careful to put them in the laundry basket right next to each other.

STEP 2: Now wash and dry all the laundry in that basket.  (In order for this experiment to work, there must be at least 3 other pairs of socks in the laundry that you wash and dry together.)

STEP 3: Take all the laundry out of the dryer and start pulling out socks looking for a match.

Here’s what I bet you’ll find (assuming there are 4 pairs of socks in the laundry):  You’ll pick out one sock from each of the four pairs before you find a single match.  Now the probability of that happening is very low.  (It’s been a while since I solved probability problems by I’m pretty sure I’m right about this.)

So what causes these clean matching socks to repel?  My guess is that it is related somehow to quantum entanglement, which Einstein derided as spooky action at a distance, but was nevertheless proven experimentally several times (see this article for a good timeline of quantum entanglement).

Now, this doesn’t seem to bother Vickie at all, and normally I just let these little life mysteries go and don’t worry about them.  But sparks are flying out of my socks because of this awful dry weather, lately.  These socks are taunting me, as if to say, “Bet I can shock you four times before you’ll find a match!”

Any help you geniuses can offer would be greatly appreciated.

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