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3am REGULARS
AN ODD DEBATE:

"For the smutty minded, the subject of socks and sex begs to be examined. The reality of sock orgies is truly socking! Straying from the conventions of one partner marriages, the more sensuous of the species engage  in wild, synthetic orgies".

by Liza Perrat 

COPYRIGHT 2001, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Spouses, children and even pets pack up and head off for more alluring horizons. But the most notorious of runaways is one of a pair of humble socks. Does the dilemma of odd socks merit a thought in our crowded brain? For the person who folds the family washing, I would say, yes. While you're at it, spare a thought for the socks that are odd by nature, not by misfortune.

So, where did it all begin? Despite the fact that Fred and Barney are always barefoot in 'The Flintstones", our Stone Age friends were apparently the first to wear socks. Made from animal skins, they were tied around the ankles. Pugh! Bit wiffy on the nose after a sweaty mammoth hunt.

By the 2nd century, the Romans had progressed to socks made from woven fabric. However, it was in the Egyptian tombs of the 3rd - 6th centuries A.D. that the first real knit socks were discovered. Then, with the  New World opulence in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Spanish made socks from knitted silk and embroidered them with clock emblems.

The unoffending sock has an impressive lineage, illustrated more recently in the online catalogue of 'The Missing Socks Bureau' (no gag !) at web site: http//www.funbureau.com/ . According to them, the world's smallest socks were less than a quarter of an inch long and were made for the pet mice  of Tsar Nicholas II. In this modern era of bananas in pyjamas, zucchinis in bikinis and dogs in coats, why not mice in socks?

Sadly, this story ends as violently as that of the Tsar's own. Olenka  Lanskova, sockmaker to the Romanov dynasty was assassinated in her work room by a disgruntled peasant, chanting "If the people don't have shoes, the Tsar's mice shan't have socks!"

All is relative in love and war.

Considering the quantum leap made by socks since prehistoric times, the cutting edge sock would have to be leery and electronic. We could be heading towards talking socks with a flashing light that says "Your sock is inside out, or upside down, you jerk!" Entrepreneurial designers have the sock world at their feet. However, for the less technically minded of us, the New Age sock could simply be the odd sock.

Apart from 'being without a corresponding mate', the Merriam- Webster  online dictionary defines 'odd' as 'differing markedly from the usual, ordinary, or expected'. A baffling array of odd socks can be viewed in the 'Museum of Odd Socks' at web site: http://www.socknitters.com/museum/htm. From 'My Dog' and 'Big Purple' to 'Ugly Midget' and 'I Love You But...', designs and shapes mirror personal stories.

Back to the odd sock that we all know and love or hate. I hold the dubious title of laundry chief in our household but take solace in the fact that it gives me time to dwell on one of life's less publicised mysteries. Pairing socks inevitably leads me to wonder, "Where do all the odd ones go"? "Mum, where is my other black spider sock?" A multitude of theories -realistic and fantastic- abound.

As they rarely disappear in pairs, the unfulfilled spouse idea holds strong. Two beings carelessly flung together by manufacturers, all in the name of commerce. No forethought given to compatibility. Months pass. Intertwined in the same stuffy drawer, they maintain a happy facade 'for the sake of the children,' or some such sock equivalent, until a dismal day when one of the pair socks his mate in the face with the unspeakable: "I'm leaving". His partner is condemned to finish his days in dusty solitude, unless someone cares enough to adopt a mismatched partner.

For the smutty minded, the subject of socks and sex begs to be examined. The reality of sock orgies is truly socking! Straying from the conventions of one partner marriages, the more sensuous of the species engage  in wild, synthetic orgies. Such is their socksual satisfaction that they refuse to return to the boundaries of tradition and the other pair is henceforth, odd.

My mystical concept is one relegated to bedtime stories. One of the socks has been cursed by the laundry fairy. With an 'abracadabra' and a nonchalant wave of her wand, it's gone forever. Off to sock land to cohabit with pens (another big runaway offender).

Given the number of lonely souls, a dating agency in sock land would have a turnover to make even Bill Gates lose sleep.

As a rational adult, I would have to bet on washing machines as the biggest socknappers in modern history. The mid-19th century saw the dawning of the washing machine.

While I can sympathize that this invention brought order and dignity to housework, our sock friends were less enthralled about the onset of these white monsters with gaping jaws that invaded our kitchens, garages and laundries. Poised to devour any unsuspecting sock. Embark on some lateral thinking and you will realize that all the holes and spaces integrated into your machine provide likely outlets for escapees or socks ingested by said appliance. 

If you give credence to this theory, but are not feeling mechanically  able enough to take apart your machine and then put the damn thing back together, help is just one mouse click away. The sock lock, a nifty gadget, can be purchased online from http://www.sock-locks.com. Used at the top or bottom of socks, they prevent the pair from becoming separated in the washing machine. For a mere $2.00 you get 16 sock locks for thin socks and 4 pairs of sock locks for 4 pairs of thick socks. A total of 24 sock locks. For the fashion conscious, sock locks come in two different colours. The system of colour - coding different people's socks is also a big  time saver for busy householders.

A true cyber space bargain!

Examining the occupants of my lonely hearts socks box, ever hopeful of locating a partner from today's washing, I reflected upon their sorry tales. 

Graeme Grey looks like a darned fool, curled up in a corner. "My mother-in-law would be appalled if she realized how much time she'd wasted repairing your heel holes, you poor, obsolete soul", I told him.

Frilly Francesca's birthday party dancing days were tragically cut short at an early age when her partner got left under a sofa and then viciously mauled by a family dog. Not being a sadomasockist, she simply gave up the ghost, dying an awful death. Consequently, her mate's life was also diminished to shreds.

Beside her lies Plain Jane, with her superior air. She's really a racist in disguise. White and only white! was the motto that carried her through a dazzling career in the primary school playground. Her twin went off and joined the Ku Klux Clan, so she never made it to secondary school despite having privileged connections with washing powder companies.

As I picked up bubbly, Gina gym sock, flashes of jumping around in gymnasiums and bouncing after volley balls interrupted my lost sock detective  work. Her partner had simply vanished from the smelly depths of a sport's bag. Whereabouts unknown to this day.

Warm - hearted Walter 's adventures on dangerous summits are terminated. On the Himalaya peaks one foggy morning, his partner threw in the  towel and wafted off to the great washing basket in the sky. I guess he thought he was already halfway there. A long life of protecting against icy gales and freezing temperatures, then coming to terms with rejection as an impromptu puppet or quirky condom candidate. Walter now lies inert, thwarted in mid-career, underneath Gaping Gabrielle.

Gabe is sweet, with her headband of daisies. Poor petal, she lost her  head at a party last Christmas dancing a frenzied Sock 'N Roll. As an amputee, and clinging to life by a thread, her dancing days are now a thing of the past. If she still had a brain, she'd be mourning for her twin, who, rumour has it, eloped with Neil Nylon at the same party and never even made it home. A veritable catastrophe for those two. Despite her superfluous existence, I can't bring myself to throw her out. The ultimate insult for any sensitive woman! Or possibly because I'm a hoarder of useless stuff.

Lovingly fingering Beatrice Baby Bootie, I remembered the children as babies in their cots, suited up like astronauts in frog suits and tiny, drawstring booties. I was always worried about tying them up too tightly and cutting off their circulation. Since they've now given up booties in preference for high heels, and they've all still got two feet, I must have done something right

fellow household head honcho, there you have my personal postulations as to the whereabouts of wandering socks. Be it the result of an unhappy marriage, sock sex, spiteful fairies, famished washing machines or downright bad luck, the problem will certainly continue to plague us for years to come. 

THE END


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EPerrat@aol.com








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