Pantyhose, Planned Obsolescence and a Pampered Puss July 22, 2010Posted by contrapuntalplatypus in Environment, How Many Earths? (Adventures in Ecological Living), Nature, Saving the World.
Tags: cats, crafts, ecology, environment, pantyhose, planned obsolescence
This tale began with a job interview yesterday, for a position as choir accompanist and pianist for a local church. Not knowing anything about the church in question or how conservative its directors were, I reluctantly decided that, yes, a skirt and pantyhose were probably the safest bet. Reluctantly I dug into the recesses of my sock drawer for the little-used and dreaded nylons, searching for any pair that (1) fit comfortably and (2) didn’t have a run yet. (For any men reading this post, this is a far greater challenge than it sounds.)
Though I took two pairs of intact nylons with me, regrettably neither pair survived the experience (the humidity was a complicating, and very aggravating, factor). While fortunately for my interview I was able to rescue one with a well-placed dab of nail polish, the other was quite clearly doomed. I stuffed it into the bottom of my bag, hoping I could find some use for it later.
It was earlier this afternoon that I pulled them out again and stared at the run. I hate planned obsolescence. The whole idea of intentionally designing something to be flimsy and breakable (and spending time and money to engineer this into the design!) to me is an utterly perverse one. It embodies everything I hate about our buy-more, don’t-fix-it, toss-it-when-it-bores-you-and-get-a-new-one societal mindset. There’s been a meme floating around for decades that pantyhose manufacturers know how to make pantyhose that won’t run, they just won’t for fear of cutting into their sales. Whether that’s actually the case I don’t know, but I must say I don’t have much trouble believing it.
For years before I’d dumped worn-out pantyhose straight into the garbage can in resigned disgust. But given my new goal of trying to live as ecologically as possible I didn’t want these ending up in a landfill. There had to be something constructive I could do with them…
Enter one spoiled cat.
Rumi had been looking rather bored ever since his laser toy burned out two weeks ago (speaking of planned obsolescence! No way to replace the battery, of course) and when I hopefully waved around his fluffy pink lure, his little feline face more often than not took on an expression of ennui. “Been there, done that, can’t you find anything new for me to chase?” I could hear him saying.
I grabbed my scissors and got to work with the pantyhose.
Half an hour later I had created three toys:
– a little round pantyhose ball stuffed with catnip:
– a slightly larger toy (two pantyhose-stuffed lumps separated by a knot):
– and a long lure, made just by tying consecutive knots in the leg of pantyhose and stuffing the end with, you guessed it, more pantyhose, then tying the whole thing to a string.
…He LOVED them. I have never seen Rumi go after any toy with such enthusiasm, except for the laser. When I handed him the first two toys his eyes lit up and (especially the second one) he did not stop batting around and pouncing on until I came along with the knotted lure. Then he really went wild.
There was something about the pantyhose fabric that really appealed to him. He could sink his teeth into it as much as he wanted and it would invariably pop back into shape the moment he dropped it. (I still can’t figure out how my pantyhose developed runs in five minutes and yet withstood half an hour of determined kitty attacks, but whatever…) I still have half the pair left so I’m going to try stuffing the next toy with pennies to make a rattling noise, and then one with tissue paper. But I’ll wait on those until the next time he gives me one of those bored yawns. 😀
Take that, planned obsolescence.
(Oh, and the job interview went quite well, by the way.) 🙂
– The Contrapuntal Platypus