I’ve always wondered about the tiny, futile pockets that clothing manufacturers put in women’s clothing, and all the more so this year, as girl pockets have gotten even smaller and more useless. But after years of asking “What’s up with that?” I have a new theory about why they exist.

It came to me in a flash a couple of weeks ago, as I was manning the Esperanto table at Quad Day.

There on campus on a warm, late summer day, lots of girls were wearing tiny shorts with even tinier pockets.

Lots of those girls were carrying smartphones in those tiny pockets.

The phones were so large and the pockets were so small, that often 2 or even 3 inches of phone stuck up out of the pocket. The pockets were very snug, but surely something that stuck halfway out of a pocket would constantly go missing . . . . And then it came to me! Clothing manufacturers are conspiring with smartphone manufacturers! They are making teeny tiny girl pockets in order to facilitate the loss of smartphones!

The extra demand of replacing all those lost smartphone must be a tidy boost to the bottom line of phone manufacturers.

I don’t know how the smartphone makers are doing it—I don’t have any evidence of payments to clothing manufacturers—but I have no doubt that there’s a quid pro quo of some sort. Why else would they make clothing with such useless pockets?

The Esperanto@UIUC table, originally uploaded by bradipo.

I was really pleased with this picture of Darcy, Dan, and Omar telling a couple of undergrads how much fun it is to learn Esperanto as a member of our group.

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The Esperanto@UIUC table by Philip Brewer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.