Balanced brooms sweep through Bainbridge

Published 8:50 am Friday, March 9, 2012

Chief of Elections and Voter Registration Doris White shows off her broom-balancing skills at the Board of Elections office.

Is it an annual event tied to the spring equinox? Is it related to the alignment of the plants? Or is it simply a mundane event that will work any time of year?

Whatever the case, “balancing broom fever” was a popular Facebook and Internet topic last week, and it found its way into Decatur County as well.

Doris White, chief of the Decatur County Board of Elections, said a poll worker had told her to try out the trick.

“I tried it once and it didn’t work so I just gave up on it,” she said. “Then she suggested to try it once more and I was shocked to see that it worked. I don’t know what’s causing it, but it’s pretty weird.”

Some experts, including Dave Emery of About.com, say that there’s no trick to balancing a broom, and that it will work any day of the year. Emery is a freelance writer and an avid chronicler of urban legends, according to his online bio.

The only requirement is to find the proper balancing point. He also pointed out that the vernal equinox explanation doesn’t fly, because that date isn’t until March 20.

Emery suggested that the reason a broom will stand on its own is because there is enough pressure on the bristles to force them apart and create a stable base.

Whatever the case, it certainly made for an interesting bit of water-cooler chatter, and thousands of Facebook pages were filled last week with photos of the self-supporting brooms.