Jiggs first went to the appliance store to purchase washers, dryers, and other lab equipment.  He was first going to select washing machines.  They wouldn't be just any washing machines.  He had fond childhood memories of summers spent with his MeeMaw on her Iowa hog farm.  There were always plenty of dirty clothes that he could watch being shaken in her washer.  But the highlight was when MeeMaw pulled each article of clothing from the tub and inserted one end of it into the wringer.  The motor would hum, and the twin cylinders of the wringer would pull the cloth between them and squeeze most of the water out and back into the washer.

Jiggs ordered five of the highest quality wringer washers that the store carried.  They only had two in stock, so they back-ordered the other three.  He also ordered five dryers, with two being back-ordered.  The store happily loaded the appliances onto a delivery wagon that headed toward the university.  Jiggs rode his bicycle back to the Biomathematics building, and went straight to his lab where the appliances would be delivered.

His student assistants were already in the lab, and told him that delivery was underway.  Within minutes, washers and dryers were being wheeled into the lab by a small crew of store deliverymen.  Jiggs left the installation to his student helpers and the deliverymen, and went back to his office to order socks. 

In order for his experimental data to be meaningful, the socks had to be of a number of different colors.  Biomathematician that he was, Jiggs was certain that the number of different colors used must be a prime number.  An even number, or any number that could be divided by another integer would make his data totally invalid.  Too small a number would make the data difficult to validate, while too large a number would be very expensive and tax the capabilities of the sock industry.  Jiggs thought for a few minutes.  One of his colleagues had recently proposed to the Outer Farbania Bureau of Standards that a 'moment' should be defined as seventeen seconds.  Jiggs couldn't stand the idea of being second.  Nonetheless, he decided that nineteen was his number.  His investigation would use nineteen carefully selected colors of socks.

He immediately got on the phone to a large national distributor of socks to discuss the availability and price of an initial order of ten thousand pairs of socks in nineteen different colors.

The End

3 comments about this story Feed