Copyright The Quipping Queen 2005. 10 THINGS NOT TO LEAVE IN POCKETS Or why these facts are important to good mental & physical health Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D., Professor of Pith n' Vinegar, (and an avid reader of paltry poetry by a little-known and quite inept weaver-of-wool from a small Welsh village that few can pronounce, Llanfairpwllgyngyllgogerychwryndrobllllantysiliogogogoch). Academic research can be a tad boring, (especially to those whose cerebellums do not resemble the shape of an egg or a pear). Every now and then however, investigation into the obvious or even obscure things in life often yields some rather fascinating data. These findings may delight even those with few opportunities to exercise their intelligent genes by demanding they use "smart" appliances, consume "smarties", drive "smart" cars, or become a card-carrying member of the "Smarty-Pants" Club). For those who've been dubbed "factoid freaks" by family members and friends, they'll be delighted to know that there are 23,500,000 web pages devoted to "pockets", and only 1,090 web pages devoted to "things in pockets". (Note: For those who couldn't give a hoot, they should probably stop right here, find a nearby loo, and plunge into the next page of "Uncle John's Bathroom Reader".) Careful study of all manner of things left behind in pockets, reveals some interesting results and some clear recommendations as to what stuff should be removed from pockets prior to the peering eyes of strangers or perhaps the more common process known as the weekly wash cycle. Exhaustive research into the contents of pockets suggests that the following items should be left elsewhere, given to another for care, or at least removed so as to avoid senseless embarrassment when discovered by eyes belonging to someone other than the owner of said pocket. Ten things that should not be left in pockets: 1. Animals (dead or alive), as they tend to remind strangers that nature is wild but not always a sight to behold! 2. Food (half-consumed or otherwise), is likely to invite uninvited guests such as ants, fruit flies or maggots, (you know the wild critters that have never been domesticated, let alone placed in a zoo to be admired by masses of inquisitive children and indifferent parents who are bored out of their gourds and yearning for the opportunity to watch another soap opera episode or hunker down as an armchair coach on a boob-tube game night). 3. Seductive scraps of paper such as billet doux, love-sonnets, or torrid email memos, (all of these things usually lead to sticky-wicket stuff akin to explaining why you enjoy playing hockey in the buff, why you strap on web-feet, and why you have a penchant for sweet meats when you're a dedicated vegetarian). 4. Chocolate bars, jellybeans, and licorice, (all are designed to leave a colorful mess behind not to mention attract crumbs, fluff and unidentified hairs that alter the flavor of what was once a pleasant distraction or diversion for tawdry taste buds). 5. Photographs of flames, (for those who should know better...the combustible compromising type); Warning: they will undoubtedly burn a hole in one's garment if left unattended for any length of time). 6. Wise words of wisdom, (after all if they have to be committed to paper, you haven't grasped them to the bosom of your heart and clearly they should remain in the Book of the Dun Cow from whence you found them ...until you can improve your memory). 7. Band-Aids (while they offer "quick-fixes", try focusing on problems that have no solutions, then you won't feel obliged to resort to them unless of course you like playing "doctor" or "nurse", in which case you should probably find a more lucrative thing to push such as prescription medications or miracle makeovers for only $9,999 plus a short stay in an exotic spa and resort -- that also has elephants for your companion to ride or invite into the living room whichever comes first). 8. Loose pills, (this is a recipe for disaster because with your short-term memory loss, you'll forget what "the little blue one" is for and may, in a fit of compassion, offer it to your mood-disordered pet Pomeranian named "Fifi", (who may not appreciate the consequence of your altruistic gesture). 9. Tissues (whether soiled or unused), inevitably break down into itty-bitty bothersome pieces of picayune piffle that slosh about with a variety of unmentionables during the wash cycle and then cling with all their might to unmentionables again during the dry cycle in spite of the fragrant non-static solutions said to solve this problem...which they don't!) 10. Miniature voodoo dolls, weekly horoscopes, or "Get out of Jail Free" cards, (frankly they won't save you from a fate worse than death, nor offer you salvation if you've been a naughty nemesis; so, why not try befriending a troll or a dragon...they do a better job than carrying around these silly SOS souvenirs).