Valuing mystery

We have a mystery. For years forks have gone missing from our communal kitchen. Not one or two occasionally being taken home then reappearing a few weeks later. Nope. I bought 50 really cheap forks a couple of years ago and as of this week they have all gone.

Putting our best minds on the case, we came up with a robust hypothesis related to Professor Pillowtree and presented it in this forum in a series of posts [pilowtree saga]. However, this was quite controversial, especially as Pillowtree had left the institute several months before the most recent batch was purchased.

Intriguingly, the disappearance of tined tableware appears to be specific to our institute as at least one previous study has reported similar issues but with spoons (BMJ 2005;331:1498–500). Whether they had a fork problem too was not reported, but that paper was back in the days of data not shown.

So, what to do? It’s a conundrum. Where do they go? Why do they go? Will we ever know? Can I find packs of forks for 12 for under two pound? Will it be a project for my next MRes students once all the lab funding has dried up? Only time will tell.

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