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  • Writer's pictureJim Pfiffer

I’m two sheets to the wind

Weekly humor column by Jim Pfiffer, Elmira, NY

Don’t you hate it when you have something simple to do and you think “No sweat. It’ll take but a few minutes,” but it doesn’t because, like everything else, it’s become more complicated?

(That wasn’t a rhetorical question. So, if you really don’t “hate it,” you might as well stop reading).

My latest “thought it would be easy” task is buying new bedsheets.

I discovered that sheets have greatly evolved from the standard white, sorta-scratchy, non-fitted twin bed sheets of my younger years. I think they had a thread count of 14 or 15.

Sheets have become high-tech. Bed, Bath & Beyond sells sheets with “Tru-Grip technology for a non-slip fit.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to sleep in sheets that grip. Who knows what they might grip hold of during the night? Yikes!

Thread counts are paramount, with numbers in the thousands.

Sheets that “breathe” are popular now. I don’t need them. I have enough snoring, sighing and open mouth breathing in my bed, as it is. I don’t need sheets adding to these respirations and breathing down my neck.

Sheets are no longer made of simple Dixie cotton. Nope. Today’s high-end sheets are made of Egyptian cotton. I wonder if you sleep in those sheets when you wake up and get out of bed, do you walk like an Egyptian?

(Do they make sheets from Egyptian papyrus? Hope not. You could suffer serious paper cuts while tucking in the corners).

They make sheets out of bamboo. Don’t know how or why. They would make me feel like I was in an Asian jungle. I’d never get to sleep worrying about what poisonous vipers and hand-sized hairy spiders were hiding between the sheets at the bottom of the bed.

Not putting my bare feet down there. No way José!

Some sheets are “thermal regulating,” to “regulate your body temperatures, so it will warm you up if you’re cold and cool you off if you’re warm.” Really! How do my sheets know if I’m warm or cold? Do they use a hidden thermometer? If so, I sure hope it’s an oral.

My research showed that silk and satin sheets still exist. Don’t like ‘em. They remind me of shiny Hugh-Hefner-porn-pajamas. Worse, I would slide off the bed and injure myself in my sleep.

My sheet-buying research showed me that the textile industry is still trying to convince us that there are such things as “wrinkle-free,” “no ironing,” and “permanent-press.”

Bullshit. You know it. I know it, even the manufacturers know it, but the lie persists. Same goes for self-cleaning ovens.

I was amused to read some of the syrupy and silly copy that is written to describe sheets and to play on your subconscious.

Here are a few examples of actual descriptions. The words in parentheses explain the copy’s subliminal images and messages:

  • “Crisp, Cool Percale” sheets that “feel like a lightly-starched dress shirt.” (Gives you that itch to dream of doing office work while you sleep. Great for buttoned-up Type A personalities, go-getters and butt-kissers.)

  • “Egyptian Cotton Butter-Soft Sateen Collection” with “sheets so soft you can’t help but melt into them.” (Like enjoying a warm midnight snack while you sleep or making you dream about adding warm butter to your love-making repertoire, or maybe a pyramid).

  • “Soft Jersey Knit. Like sleeping in your favorite t-shirt every night.” (For people who don’t wear PJs to bed, but don’t want to be completely nude.)

While sheet material and manufacturing have improved, one bedding problem still exists -- the dreaded fitted sheets. The elastic corners make it difficult to determine the sheet’s top and bottom from its sides. So, you must do the trial-and-error spin and tuck method, until you get it right.

As for folding them, forget it. You need square corners to fold squarely.

Yes, I know there are online videos demonstrating the super-secret-magic method of folding a fitted sheet, but who has the time or the desire to watch them? I have laundry to do and beds to make. How ‘bout you watch the video and then come fold my sheets, you obsessive-compulsive duvet-loving loser. You probably iron your sheets, don’t you? Get a life.

Recently, I lost one of my favorite t-shirts. Couldn’t find it anywhere, until I did the laundry and took a folded sheet from the dryer. The shirt was tucked into one of its corners. Friggin’ fitted sheets.

Fitted sheets do have one advantage. They’re easy to spot amid the piles of neatly folded bedding in the linen closet. The fitted sheets are balled into a wrinkled, crinkled and ruffled smushed-down pile.

Why must our linen closet shelves be neat and look like a Bed, Bath and Beyond Me?

We’re only going to unfold the sheets and put them on the bed where they will get wrinkled.

A closet is a handy storage space where you hide unsightly things that you don’t want guests to see. I’ve never visited a friend’s home and had him say “Welcome to our home. Let me show you around. I’m especially proud of our linen closet. I think you will be too.”

So, after looking at hundreds of sheets online, I selected a set and saved it to my laptop.

But I can’t remember where I put it.

There’s only one thing to do.

Order some memory foam pillows.

Jim Pfiffer’s humor column is posted every Sunday on theJim Pfiffer Facebook page, Hidden Landmarks TV Facebook page Jim lives in Elmira with his wife, Shelley, and many pets. He is a retired humor columnist with the Elmira Star-Gazette newspaper and a regular swell guy. Contact him at


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