The third week of experimentation began with lots of hope and enthusiasm. They had adjusted the gap on one third of the wringers to five millimeters, one third of the wringers to seven millimeters, and one third to nine millimeters, barely tight enough to squeeze any water at all out of the socks. By the end of the fourth week, there was no statistical difference in the results.
Jiggs, Professor Kavalioŭ, Bartik Kazloŭsk, and his other student workers met on Friday to discuss their progress, or lack thereof. No one really had a concrete recommendation, and Jiggs sensed that Professor Kavalioŭ was growing impatient for some results. The program director from the DHCG had called him for an update, and he had had to paint as rosy a picture as he knew how with no real data. Ḱ5M was a lot of money, and the shortage of ballpoint pens was growing. the people were becoming restive!
Jiggs went home to Beelzebeth on Friday evening and she could tell that he was down.
"What's wrong Babe?"
"So far, the study isn't producing any publishable results, nothing that will further the understanding of the reproductive cycle of socks, nothing that can be applied to increasing the supply of ballpoint pens. I'm disappointed."
"You'll work it out sweetie... I'm sure. You're the smartest guy I know."
"Thanks Beelzie... You're probably right."
Jiggs slept better that night than he had in a week.
Saturday morning, after his coffee and peanut butter and strawberry preserve sandwich, he was puttering around the apartment before riding in to the university. It jumped out at him like a banshee.
Their washer didn't have a wringer!