They are, unquestionably, at the pinnacle of “The List of Things I Will Not Miss When My Girls Move Out”.
If you aren’t familiar with them, they are the “green” alternative to Fabric Softener sheets. My daughter loves them. I, not so much.
Wool tennis-like balls used in place of dryer sheets to fluff, minimize static, and speed up drying the laundry. And while they are somewhat less creepy than the Snuggle Bear, they are the epitome of All Things Annoying.
Admittedly, outside of Alec Baldwin’s recipe for the Schweddy ones, I’m not really a big fan of balls in general, be it bowling balls, footballs, matzo balls, melon balls, Lucille Ball, ball bearings, ball bags, or Magic 8 balls.
But I especially despise The Dryer Balls. Bouncing around in your dryer, they create the noise equivalent of a team of construction workers reroofing your house.
Plus, they don’t REALLY do anything about static. Not an issue in the summertime when the house is essentially a sauna, but in the crisp winter air, when I cross my ankles, my leg hair is in danger of spontaneously combusting, so static control is kind of a deal.
However, the real pain-in-the-you-know-what about
The Dryer Balls is that they are never where they are supposed to be. Oh SURE, six of them are residing in the dryer when I start the load, but when I go to remove the clothes, I’m lucky to find even one still in the drum.
Dryer Ball 2 makes itself known as it rolls from the pile of clothes in my arms, causing me to trip and do a Chevy Chase pratfall over the coffee table.
I discover Dryer Ball 3 in-between the double layers of a canvas bag. The bag has to be unzipped, inverted and given a good Heimlich maneuver to unlodge the ball. I quickly, but unsuccessfully, drop to all fours in an effort to catch said ball, then speed-crawl across the floor like a puppy playing fetch.
Wedged in the sleeve of a dress shirt is Dryer Ball 4. I fish it out by squeezing from the cuff upward, but it pops out and rolls under the bed. And not just under the edge, but all the way to the top middle so I have to lie on the floor with a yardstick to retrieve it, only the toddler broke the yardstick trying to pole vault the ottoman, so now it’s not long enough to reach, causing me go on a scavenger hunt through the house for something – anything – long enough, and I know the broom would work only the cowboy absconded with it to sweep out the horse trailer and never returned it, and so there I am on my belly, clamping a shish-kabob skewer with the salad tongs, trying to rescue the fourth stupid wool ball like a First Responder trying to save Baby Jessica trapped in the well.
I finally give up looking for the last two, though the following morning as I make the bed, I find Number Five in the pocket corner of the fitted sheet that wasn’t even in the same load of laundry.
The Last Dryer Ball comes and goes mysteriously. Nobody really knows where it’s been or how it finds its way back into the dryer. Sometimes though, after a load of underwear has finished, the lint filter is dislodged. I think it’s possible that Number 6 just might be smuggling freedom-seeking socks through an Underground Railroad.