When in guy mode, I usually keep my keys safely stashed in my pants pockets. Most pants have really nice, deep pockets these days. I can fit a bunch of small things in there quite comfortably. For the most part, life with my pockets-o-stuff is pretty mundane. There is one odd mystery that I can’t seem to figure out though.
Sometimes just walking around with keys in my pocket, causes them to magically twist and tangle to the point where it seems impossible to untangle them manually. It’s like a Rubick’s Keychain Puzzle or something. At least with Rubick’s Cube, it was possible to cheat by taking it apart and putting it back together with all the colors aligned. There’s really not much that can be done with a twisted metallic concoction of keys and rings… except for maybe attacking the problem with wire cutters.
I just put them back in my pocket and walk around for a while. Somehow, that seems to untangle them just as mysteriously as they got tangled in the first place. It may take a short walk, or sometimes even days worth of walking, but they always seem to untangle on their own. It has to be relatively loose fitting pants – tight pants won’t do the trick. There needs to be enough room for the keys to move around in the pocket for it to work.
I often wonder if they sometimes tangle and untangle without ever being noticed. For all I know, my keys tangle, untangle, tangle again, and then untangle again before I ever reach for them. I think they should do a study on this phenomenon. There might even be some kind of mathematical equation they can work out to explain it all. If there was, would they teach it in school? They could call it “Keychain Tangle Theory”. Maybe Steven Hawking can come up with a formula to explain how it all works and write a nice, thick book about it.
I’ve talked to a few people about this strange occurrence. It usually gets a laugh because everyone seems to experience something similar and come up with the same solution – you have to just walk around with they keys in your pocket and let the magic take place naturally. One guy told me he tried to fool the keys into correcting themselves. Instead of walking, he stood and shook his leg vigorously for a while. It didn’t work though. I think the keys are smarter than that. They seem to know the difference between synthetically simulated walking and the real thing.
Do you ever win when it comes to untangling them manually or do you just put ’em back in there and take a walk until they’ve untangled themselves? Anyone ever get frustrated enough to take wire cutters to the rings?