Last week, August McLaughlin mentioned that blogging about socks was one way to avoid controversy. Well, I’m all for avoiding controversy, and I’ve even been known to take advice, so here’s a quick, hopefully non-controversal, glimpse into the secret life of socks.
Socks. We all need them, two of them usually, but it’s a hard life being a sock. As the great philosopher Sockrates once said, if a sock opens it mouth, someone’s going to put their foot in it. Occasionally things get so bad, a sock will take its own life. You may think that your toe has worn a hole in a sock, but check the nine millimeter in the back of the drawer before casting it out (especially if you live in Texas).
Life isn’t all bad for socks. Vexed romances are not for them. They pick a mate and stick with it through thick and thin (usually in that order). Right out of the packaging they know they a matched pair, it’s as plain as the toes on their, well toes. They’re a pair for life, a separation just doesn’t cross their mind. In fact, there’s no more feared a thing in the sock world than the enforced social mix-up of an elementary school’s odd-sock day.
And socks aren’t just the simple wool and cotton things you imagine; all that time bunched up in your bottom drawer gives a sock time to think. Over the years, sock science has done wonders, and miracles abound. Take wash day, for example. Every sock likes a wash, every sock wants to be clean, but not every sock likes to be tumbled round and round and round in the baking heat. Imagine it, forty-five minutes rolling toes over ankle, your insides being turned out. Uggghhhh.
But socks are a resourceful kind. Inside that whirling maelstrom socks bind together, knotting, twisting and rolling, eventually hitting critical mass and opening, not a wormhole, but a wornhole. Wornhole technology by far exceeds mankind’s primitive quantum theory. Naturally, it has its basis in string theory, but with a much better thread count.
The swirling socks travel through the wornhole to the mythical city of Atlantis. Mentioned by Plato, the city was rich and powerful, gleaming spires vied with majestic statues and sweeping gardens. Once granted a visit to the city, he reported it blew his socks off. Impressive, since I think the guy usually only wore sandals.
Atlantis’s disappearance isn’t a mystery in the sock world. The city’s power was something that couldn’t be trusted in mankind’s hands. This wasn’t just a case of blatant appendage-ism, the potential for ill outweighed the potential good, and the socks didn’t want to caught on the back foot, or accused of being a bunch of loafers.
So socks piled in, swamping the island, masking the statues and covering the gardens with a protective shield (odor eating, of course). Their efforts were very socksessful, and with their secret safe, socks frolic in a vacation paradise, where drawers are sorted daily, and washing is hung on lines to bask in the sunshine and wave in the sea breeze.
Plato documented this disappearance, and although his original text is lost in the mists of time, his immortal phase that summed up the disappearance has been passed down through the ages; who isn’t aware of the phrase “to sock something away?” But the socks, of course, refer to the disappearance of Atlantis as the great sockrifice.
Back in the real world, socks are a serious sort, never putting a foot wrong. They have a job to do, and take it seriously. Talk to a sock for very long and he’s bound to give you the old “behind every successful man or woman, a sock is carrying their load” quote.
They do get to kick off their shoes and watch TV from time to time. They’re always cheering for their colors at football matches and Dr Sock has made Star Trek is a favorite throughout the sock world.
Despite their numerous successes, no sock has ever made it big in the music industry.
Few know it was the soft toes and cool-wearing technology of a new pair of black Marks and Spencers cotton single knits that inspired Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to write Stairway to Heaven. Michael Jackson’s moonwalk? Yep, frustrated with his two left feet, his socks took control. And it was only a last minute wording change by Elvis’s producer that stole eternal musical glory from a pair of blue suede knee highs.
So there you have it. Socks: clever, resourceful, full of secrets and, darn it, not a bit musical – they don’t even like sole.
OMG, Nigel. LOVE this!
You MUST do a follow up column. You missed the hit TV comedy from the 60’s dedicated to “SOCK it to me.”
Did I miss the science of Sockology? The trend started by SOCKophics wherein one wears loafers without socks? The equally pervasive SOCKaholic who can’t part with their socks while wearing sandals? (Socks, the perfect match for a 12 step program). Forced sockilectomies performed during a procedure many call pedicures?
On a side note: I’m doing a “gone fishing” post next Tuesday. Going silent for the balance of April b/c of heavy commitments. Does your post want to play in a reblog during one of the weeks I’m gone? Let me know!
Hummm, a follow up? Sounds like you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Sockology was on the curriculum when I was at school, but it wasn’t for everyone. You had to get an invite before you could dip a toe into the subject.
Good luck with the fishing!
Nigel, this was hysterical. Reading this just made my day! AWESOMESOCKS!
Hi Laird, I’m very glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for your Gold Toe seal of approval!
Hope your day turned out well 🙂
Cute and playful and warm. I’d love to go toe to toe with you and offer a witty reply that would measure up to your post. Alas, your with is knee-high, Nigel, and I am wearing anklets.
Separation anxiety in the hellish heat of the dryer is about the only thing that can separate one sock mate from another, aside from the aforementioned bullet blast to the toe. Or heel.
Love that even socks agreed they should not be worn with sandals. That is one ugly look. Plato benefited from the socks’ wisdom, no doubt.
Cute … yes.
Playful … yes.
Warm … yes.
Oh, wait, you’re talking about the sock post. Rats.
Socks-and-sandals is a look that I think only the Greeks successfully mastered. Must have something to do with the long robes and strolling around on beaches. Thanks for the comment 🙂
Ha! Nigel, just wait until Proctor and Gamble gets their hands on this. Or Hollywood. Or both. Seriously one of the most delightful posts I’ve read—all biases aside. 😉 Thanks for brightening our days in a way only you could.
(And dude. If anyone ever needed proof that any topic could be written about well in a blog post, this is it!)
Off to donate funds to the suicidal sock fund. *sigh* Can’t believe how ignorant I’ve been…
Hi August. Glad you liked it, it was your fault, I mean, was inspired by your comment. And contributing to the suicidal sock fund? how thoughtful of you. You could just tidy up their drawer, but there again, I’m sure YOU have the tidiest sock drawer out there already, don’t you!
Seriously, thanks for the idea 😀
Sock muse. Now that is a title worth adding to my resume. 😉 And “liked” is an understatement.
I wish I could say that my sock’s home could win the tidiest drawer award. Soon to change!
Nigel, you and I are BLOG SIBLINGS!! I blog on Undies and you blog on socks. If we can just find someone to blog on bras, we’ll have a trifecta!!
BLOG SIBLINGS! Wow, Jenny, I’m honored. I’ll keep a look out for a bra correspondent.
Since we’re going to be siblings, how about we make a deal. You keep out of my socks and I’ll keep out of … well, you get the idea 🙂
Thanks for the comment Jenny 🙂
Who said Socks were boring? Not you! That was hilarious Nigel! Thanks, I’ll never look at socks the same ever again! 🙂
Glad you liked it, Karen. Be nice to those socks 🙂
OMG. too funny.
Nigel, I had no idea you were such a sockologist. And of course in Atlantis, I bet the sock market is always up!
Hi Kathleen. I’ve been known to dip my toe into sockology, much safer than the sock market!
Too funny, Nigel.
I especially liked Sockrates. But I wonder about the vexed romances when one gets lost in the dryer. What do you call it when a widowed sock hooks up with another sock’s mate?
Presumably they pair up? Thanks for the comment!
So funny!! Baring your sole . . . 🙂
Thanks Coleen. I was so worried I would put a foot wrong.
I seem to be terrible at picking socks. Mine always seem to go down instead of up. Will Rogers said if a sock goes down, don’t have bought it, but I haven’t figured out how to follow that advice.
Hi David. That sounds like the quote “we’re lost, but making good time.” I can always manage the first part.
Brilliant! I laughed my socks off.
Too many wonderful passages: “socksessful”, “Plato documented…”. The list is endless.
Thanks for an inspired piece, Nigel!
Hi Fabio. Glad you enjoyed it!
My cats like to play with my sock orphans. I just roll the sock up and tuck the top back around the rolled up part to make a ball.. (does that make sense?)
Someone started a non-matching trend in socks (at Disney Town), and I bought some. But guess what. Even those non-matched sock sets lose their mates. Alas…what to do.
Hi Janice. I used to have a cat that played with anything that came out of the dryer, which usually meant it had to go back in the dryer to get all the fur off.
Disney can sell anything, can’t they. Selling odd socks – I have a drawer full of them, what I want is matching ones. And yes, you’ve guessed right, I’m not at all trendy – at least according to my daughter 🙂
What fun! By the way, I saw this ad posted in the local walmart sock department.
Socks rejoice that they finally have a voice in a full thread count Sockumentary. A sock-hop featuring the famous socksaphone player, Sock-it-to-me, will be held to honor the great sockologist Nigel Blackwell. Watch sock departments near you for more information.
Great job, Nigel! Although I fear the socks are now influencing my word choice like they never have before!
“full thread count” LOL. Great one, Lynette. Glad you cottoned on and jumped in with both feet. I, too, have the feeling I won’t be sockccessful in breaking the habit. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Ok my brain needed something not serious tonight. Thank you.
Normal service will be resumed just as soon as we’ve sorted out what’s normal.
Nigel, you’re a gem! I’m not even going to attempt to write anything witty involving socks – anything I could say would pale in comparision.
But the line that had me convulsing in my chair was “it has its basis in string theory, but with a much better thread count”. I’m still wiping the tears from my eyes.
Hubby and I are both geeks, and I’m ashamed to admit our dinner-table conversation often veers into string theory and other topics that would make normal human beings flee screaming. Your brain and mine are definitely in synch this week.
You should probably seek help for that…
LOL, Diane. Thanks for the warning, but are you sure it’s me that needs to seek help? I mean, you’re the first person who has publicly mentioned they’ve fallen to my level. Most people get hurt because the drop’s so big. Best of luck with the string theory!
You are brilliant my friend. Brilliant!!
Thanks Ingrid. 😀
Your check is in the post (and please don’t tell anyone).
OMG, this is hilarious and so darn clever! I’m so glad August shared your link in her post. I had to share this on FaceBook and Twitter. And, aha, now I understand that WANA FB thread from the other day a little better. Thanks for all the giggles!
Thanks Lynn. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who doesn’t understand all the threads on facebook!
ROFL, Nigel! Love it.
I’ve noticed that some socks can’t take it anymore, and try to make a break for it – somewhere between the washer and dryer cycles. But they go singly (probably so as not to draw too much attention to themselves). The poor significant other is left behind, kicking around lonesome in the sock drawer. Yes, it’s very sad. Perhaps one of our politicians will start a “No Sock Left Behind” bill in Congress.
Hi Kathy. LOL. Presumably, the “No Sock Left Behind” bill would require bi-pedial support? Or at least a majority of them to toe the line.
Sorry to hear about your orphans. If you put them in the dryer often enough they’ll disappear too 🙂
Found you from August McLaughlin’s blog (found from Marcy Kennedy–Author’s Facebook page). Love this sockumentary. And thanks for solving the mystery of Atlantis.
Hi Janet, thanks for visiting. I’m very impressed you can remember your sequence of clicks (Marcy-August-Me). Usually I can’t remember the page before the one I’m reading!
Hey Dad that was rlly funny !! Hope u write more stuff like that soon! Love u!
🙂 glad you liked it! Keep calm and wear socks!