Socks: Freedom Fighters of the Clothing World
There is no article of clothing with a greater lust for freedom than the sock. From the day they are born they are trying to get away. Secretly plotting to escape, whether alone or as a pair, they are surprisingly resourceful and sneaky. I would say they are little sneakers, but sneakers are shoes, and I wouldn't want to confuse you.
The plight of the sock is dire: it is a dire plight. From the earliest age they enter into a prearranged, forced marriage and a life of servitude, working in smelly, sweaty conditions with poor or no lighting and little if any ventilation. But the sock spirit is not broken. Hosiery continually tries to escape its imprisonment and life of hard labor, and, as at right, will go to great lengths to effect its getaway.
The Secret Life of Socks
Socks, a mammalian counterpart to the earthworm that has been bred to the task of invaginating the foot for human comfort and prophylactic protection, are simultaneously male and female, but need another sock to reproduce. Socks are extremely private individuals, so much so that I was unable to catch any of them in the act for this article. However, when socks are balled, that's not it. Balled socks are doing the sock equivalent of holding hands.
While your socks are in your sock drawer they may be trying to reproduce. Although socks have a very short gestation perioid, they have such a poor rate of reproductive success in the wild that you very rarely see a sockpole (baby sock). When a rare success is acheived, the new offspring are too often abducted to be used as finger liners in gloves. Socks reproduce by live birth, but the young are far weaker and much less cunning than their crafty adult sock parents, and fall easily to the predations of sockpole bounty hunters employed by glove manufacturers.
Socks will find a way out if their owner is not sufficiently vigilant. They are stealthy almost beyond belief. Although I set up a blind opposite my bureau and sat in it for days disguised as a floor lamp, I was unable to capture any footage of a sock in motion. Yet the evidence in my photo essay is clear: socks can move and they do try to escape.
At right is one cool cucumber. One moment he was safely tucked away, the next flopped out over the edge of the drawer.
Middle right is a sock I caught while it was sneaking out of the laundry closet. It had already made it out of the laundry basket and was half way out the door before I noticed.
Below, hanging on the doorknob, is a sock that almost made it. Yessiree, it was almost out the door. Luckily I happened by at the right moment to prevent its escape!
Some socks do get away, but the outside world is no happy place for the wayward sock. Have you ever seen a sock all worn and dirty, laying in the gutter? That's one that got away, but couldn't make it on the outside.
Vigilance is the Key
Since I have started watching my socks more closely I have lost fewer of them than I did before. Socks have an uncanny knack of knowing when someone is watching. As difficult as it may be to believe, although millions of socks have, in fact, escaped, no one has ever actually seen one move. Vigilance is the one great weapon we have against the rebellious sock. As long as we are vigilant, the sock cannot make its move. As soon as our vigilance lapses, that's when the sock makes its break for freedom.
I now have my sock drawer and my laundry hamper under 24-hour video surveillance. I count my socks each morning and each night. I try always to know where all my socks are at any given time. Occasionally I still do lose a sock, but much fewer than I did before. You have to watch them every single second or, wham, bam, thank you ma'am, off they go.
I have attached anti-theft devices to my socks, such as they attach to small valuable items in retail stores. If a sock gets too close to the door, a 100-decibel siren goes off to let me know that, yup, those socks are at it again.
Next week I am going to attach a GPS device to each and every one of my socks and try to solve the mystery of where socks go when they actually succeed in escaping. It's true I will have to take out a home equity line of credit in order to be able to afford all those GPS devices, but it will definitely be worth it if I can solve that mystery, one of the greatest mysteries in the history of humanity.
In the mean time I will remain constantly, unendingly vigilant so that my socks do not escape. No sir, no sock is going to get away from me. No way, no how. Now I think I'll go out for a coffee. See you later!