Chapter 4: The Single Sock Problem (extracts)
Faced by the aged-old conundrum of the “missing sock” (see photo of daughters’ single-sock array) I’m drawn to listing some plausible reasons for unisockness.
In no particular order…
1) The Washing Machine Ate It
I’ve heard this one several times, but it seems less plausible when you actually look at a washing machine. Notably that the drainage is always through the mesh of small holes in the drum. However there is a suggestion that the gap between drum and the door, enclosed by rubber is a possible route for small escaping socks. I must take the machine apart to check.
There is another, sinister alternative to this. My washing machine has a Dark Matter setting. Is it possible that during the spin cycle, a mini-black hole is created (see 5) ?
2) The sock is not lost.
a) It is just in a different sock-place; that is, you may see each sock separately in different locations, but only percieve there to be one sock. This is usually resolved by a concerted and systematic sock-hunt.
b) It’s disguised. You have seen it, but thought it was either another similar sock or some other piece of clothing. Be more thorough in your searching.
c) Another family member has “tidied up” and sucked one of the socks into their own sockiverse, perhaps thinking it their own and they have their own single-sock storage facility, that you are unaware of. Ask the family.
d) It’s in the wrong place. It’s at the bottom of the underwear drawer or you have no sock-storage-system, in the first place. Who’s put it there ? Did you put it there during a fit of madness or drunkenessness ? Eliminate the root cause: See a therapist and/or stop drinking before laundry service.
e) One sock has been accidently washed on a hot-cycle and shrunk. It now seems to be it’s pair’s younger sibling – perhaps belonging to a smaller member of the household ? Tricky. Try washing the larger sock on a hot cycle, then giving the pair to someone with smaller feet.
3) The sock is lost.
a) At some point between taking the socks off and putting them in the washing basket or washing machine, the socks have been split up, with one inadvertantly being diverted to, say, a nearby bin or passing dog.
b) The sock was taken off earlier than it should have been. In the children’s buggy, at school or on holiday. It has begun it’s own journey
4) Sock Thief
A one-legged sock thief has stolen said sock from the washing line. Worse still, it could have been a contract job. Tricky. You must enter the underbelly of the underworld disguised as a single sock dealer. Gordon “The Gopher” Somner is rumoured to be the “mister-big” of the lucrative sock-puppet racket. Tread carefully. Inform your local constabulary.
5) Black Hole !
a) Most socks form as sort of matter – antimatter pair bond. They do not anihilate each other as they are imperceptibly held apart by the Weak Stocking Force, if not already worn on seperate feet. It is postulated that at the edge of the event horizon of a black hole, antimatter socks are slightly more likely to be sucked in, towards the singularity. The socks left should, on balance, be of the matter variety
b) Other black holes are to be found in the shed or garage.
6) Existential : Socks are an illusion
a) Socrates: Why do we need these “foot-gloves” ? What purpose do they serve ? Do our feet remain warm without them ? [Note that after 433BC, foot-gloves were commonly known as Socrates-shoes, believed to be the derivation of the modern word]
b) Marx: They are a product of the petit bourgeoisie supposed illusiory need for order, symmetry and warm feet. Marx is considered the founder of Soc[k]ial Science.
Interestingly it is thought that at the heart of the socio-economy (lit. sock economy) lies the need for not only warm feet, but the need to avoid sore, blistered feet in order to do work. Over investment in the “sockshoe” precipitated the Great Stocking Bubble of 1766-69, not long afterwhich many countries, having sunk their national reserves into the socks and shoes (mod. stocks and shares), fell to revolution. Others saught to ignore their economic woes by playing football, particularly in England. The various rules were brought together in 1792 on the playing fields of Cambridge – the new game was jokingly called “Socker”. It stuck.
7) Sock-Monsters, Sock-Elves & The Sock Lord
It is believed by some that dark forces are to blame. Socks devoured by mysterious beings from a fantastical world. “When six dozen sock-shoes be missing, The Sock Lord Returneth !”. This is, of course, nonsense.
8) Quantum Socks
The missing sock is busy visiting every other part of the sockiverse. Something also to do with Pauline’s Exclusion Principle : Two socks cannot occupy the same energy state. See Professor Brian Sox’s excellent book, “The Quantum Sockiverse”
…. more extracts from “Wonders of the Sockiverse” to come
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