Violating the laws of physics in daily life

Over many years, I’ve heard a lot of jokes about women’s purses and refrigerators. Most involve the size or color, or capacity or whatever. But my wife’s purse and our fridge have certain curious physical properties that simply defy the laws of physics and logic on an almost daily basis.

To begin with, her current purse is a large blue bag that’s open at the top and features one small zippered pouch on the upper inside on one side. The rest is just a big (massive) open space with seemingly no obstacles to make finding things hard. The trouble usually begins with a simple request from her. “Honey, can you grab my phone?”

“Sure, where is it?”

“In my purse.”

Cue eerie, fear-inducing background music from a movie where the killer is about to jump out of said purse holding a bloody machete.

I slowly advance on the purse, leaning innocently against the cabinet on the floor. I reach carefully for the top and pull it open very carefully. OK, no killer popping out. Good first step.

I gaze into the impossibly dark interior and think of those magic bags Harry Potter and friends carry where they can tug a Cadillac Escalade out of a coin purse. Heck, even Mary Poppins managed to pull a coat rack out of her purse as I was reminded.

I pull the opening wider, to allow more light to enter, but, like a black hole, no light seems to penetrate past the first inch. I reach into the interior, feeling my way past the cosmetics bag, the iPad, the wallet, frying pan, rechargeable drill, chainsaw, potting soil — and try to find that smooth, bright red case.

No dice.

I reach for a flashlight and shine it into the inky blackness and still, the light can’t seem to make it past the low-hanging plants and palm trees. Finally, I call her phone from mine and follow the faint ring until I find it beneath a missing World War II B-25 at the lower right corner.

Why does whatever object you seek always migrate to a corner beneath an aircraft wing?

The other, even scarier request is for her keys. When it comes time to search for the keys, I don a miner’s helmet with a halogen lamp on top, slip into climbing gear, and slowly lower myself in.

It’s like a vast cross between a subterranean big-box store and a badly lit cave. I move things, listening for the distinctive key jingle, and finally find them just to the left of the lost Ark of the Covenant and to the right of Jimmy Hoffa.

The fridge is kind of the reverse issue. No matter how big a fridge you buy and how carefully you move things around, arrange them and fit them, the thing always appears full to bursting. And yet, no matter how much you empty out, eat, cook, consume, or dispose of, it never looks any emptier.

But, getting back to the purse, I have no idea how the purse or the fridge really do these odd things. The true irony is, when we’re out and about and you need something simple like a water bottle, tissue, lip balm or Band-Aid, they’re in the inventory and easily grabbed.

If she needs a lipstick or hairbrush she can find them without even looking. Seriously. How does that work? Radioactive tagging? GPS? Magnetism?

It’s like I said, a violation of the laws of physics as we know them. But then that works both ways.

Remember dinner from last night with that large pan of lasagna that you had to fit into the fridge in the space normally occupied by two small yogurt containers? And somehow you manage. Every time.

I realize these are truly First World problems and I respect that. But you’d think if we can deal with this stuff successfully, on a daily basis, we could come up with a way to travel faster than light, beam things from place to place, and elect an honest politician.

Well, maybe not the politician part; that really would be true science fiction.

Editor’s note: Michael Seinberg was last seen trying to fit two racks of leftover ribs into the nook normally reserved for butter in the fridge door. It worked.