If it can tangle, it will. It's one of Murphy’s strongest laws. Try pulling a garden hose around the corner of your house - it will find something to tangle with and stop progress. Wrap your 50 foot extension cord as neatly as you can - when you go to unwrap it, it will tangle. Just thinking about Christmas lights causes them to tangle! I could give you a hundred examples and you would look at me and say, “uh huh, been there.” The law is that prevalent!
Happily, ideas abound to combat the problem, the most noticeable and effective (for the most part) is "going wireless." A lot of unnecessary suffering is being avoided as telephones are being removed from desks and walls. And, without thick, heavy, power tool wires going hither and thither (being replaced by batteries) construction sites are far safer today than ever before. Shampoos-plus-conditioners seem to take care of most people's tangled hair... But, the root cause of tangling really hasn’t been addressed, probably because no one knows exactly what it is! Of course, tangling can be a good thing. We use nets to entangle fish and butterflies. The spider's web is all about tangling up its prey. And where would we be without Velcro? It works on the very principle of tangling: the plastic barbs of one strip get tangled up in the neat, hairy mess of the other strip, creating a fairly tight, easy-to-undo "knot"(don't get me started on knots!) But, IMHO, the cons outweigh the pros. Over the years, I’ve given it some thought. I've come to believe that tangling involves four forces, acting individually or in any combination with variable intensities:
the gravitational pull between bodies;
and wind resistance.
All occasioned by pure chance.
I’m going to study this idea the next time my coat catches a door knob, or when I have to tear my reading glasses from my hair. I’ll let you know how my research goes.
PS. Another of Murphy's many laws that really irritates me is: if it can squirt you in the eye, it will. But that's for a future post.