Insane Ideas

To widen our horizons

The Towel Problem

Do you, too, live in a household with other people? Are there multiple towels in the bathroom and you keep forgetting which one is yours so you take a fresh one from the stack (again!) after showering?

The most obvious solution is to permanently label them with names, or assign colors, patterns or motifs to people. This of course means that if you forget to replenish your towels, you are out of luck even if perfectly usable towels are staring at you.

Well, you could grab one that isn’t assigned to you and discard it after drying yourself. But then you are back to square one of The Towel Problem.

The real solution, of course, is that everyone can grab any fresh towel and then, with the first touch, it magically becomes theirs, for everyone to see.

But how? The answer is velcro tags! … No, actually not, I tried, velcro doesn’t work well. The answer is clips! Like paper clips but for towels and with a name field. Put your clip on the new towel and it’s tagged as yours. And the best part? Nothing to remember.


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After writing this article, the author learned towel tags have already been invented.