ASK ELI TO INVESTIGATE: Unidentified Pink Object

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Friday, October 17, 2014, 5:56 am
ELi Staff

On Fridays, ELi runs a feature called Ask ELi to Investigate in which we answer a question from a reader. Last week we answered a question about BWL finances. Several readers have submitted other important political and economic questions, and we are working on those and will bring you answers in the coming weeks. As we work on those, this week we offer you a lighter Ask ELi. Remember, if you’d like to submit a question, just use our contact form.

Question: There is a bright pink object hanging from a light pole at the corner of Evergreen Avenue and Fern Street. What is it? How did it get there? How long will it be there? Might it bring the light pole down?

Whoa there, reader, slow down. Let’s take these one at a time.

What is it?

A select subset of Eli staff went out to conduct live investigative reporting in order to identify this “UPO” (unidentified pink object). A close evaluation of the delicate object using a telephoto lens demonstrates that the north end of the object is characterized by delicate, lace-like filaments with apparently decorative coloring ranging from white to red. (See detail photo.)

This decorative motif stretches up the object to the arm of the light pole.  Opposite the decorative filigree are two pendulous and capacious receptacles that are similar in shape to mammatus clouds. (See the ELi article on these all natural structures here.)

After considerable consideration, the staff of ELi believes the UPO is a back-closure brassiere which has been hooked around the arm of the light pole. If we had to take a further guess, that guess would be “38-D.”

How did it get there?

We have various theories—many of them involving young men and copious amounts of alcohol, as well as, perhaps, a game female donor—but as ELi restricts itself to purely factual reporting, and we don’t have a telephoto lens strong enough to determine whether the garment has one of those name tags your parents sewed into your underwear for sleep-away camp, we cannot say for sure whose it is or how it got there. We risk being accused of editorializing in offering the following statement, although we would argue it is factual: While the object itself is a hideous example of a brassiere, the engineering of its suspension is delicate, subtle, and inspiring to the ELi staff. The item is somehow looped fully around the light pole, not merely slung over it as is typical with shoes thus suspended. Somebody put some serious effort into this.

How long will it be there?

We have lately had some interesting weather, including significant winds, hail (see our special hail report), and rain, and yet the object persists. This, plus the fact that it does not seem to be interfering with any BWL lines, plus its deeply inorganic construction, suggests it will be there for a good, long time. How long it will remain bright pink is quite unclear. Since East Lansing’s crow population has lately recovered from the West Nile fever devastation of a few years back, we think it might get some white polka-dotting soon.

Might it bring the light pole down?

After computer modeling seasonal weather patterns, climate change, and the physics of brassieres, we would probably realize that such modeling was a total waste of time, so we didn’t bother to do it. We feel pretty confident in saying that the only way this UPO will bring down the light pole is indirectly, i.e., if it attracts a horde of admirers large enough and foolish enough to try to retrieve it. We considered calling the Department of Public Works to ask if they ever retrieve such objects, perhaps out of concern for aesthetics or to save on gifts, but we thought they might never take us seriously again.

Remember, if you’d like to submit a question, just use our contact form. And check back next week for some even better reporting.


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