WHAT? Ah, okay. Sorry, I’m tired, I thought that said sex. Wouldn’t know, personally. It certainly looks like a hoot. Anywho, let’s start our sock voyage with a person, the person you naturally think of when it comes to socks. Albert Einstein. He once – what? Well, he’s whom I think of when I think of socks. Anyway, Mr. Einstein did not wear socks. “When I was young, I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock. So I stopped wearing socks.” They may not be his most profound words, admittedly, but they are certainly the words he uttered that most resonate with the common man. And woman. Socks are just ‘there’. Like lightbulbs or Terrence the hobo who one day showed up at your door and, like a good Christian, you simply couldn’t refuse lodgings for him. Next thing you know, he’s been living with you for five years and he’s now just ‘there’, like lightbulbs or socks. But socks are not nothing. They are an important part of our lives, and we obsess about them but don’t know we’re doing it. Oh yes, indeed…
Sex, anyone? No, no – I’m not asking for – no, anyway, it’s not – oh, forget it. All men love a girl to wear a handsome pair of cotton socks during, erm, ‘intimate occasions’. It’s a well-known fact. But not a single woman on the planet likes a man to wear them in bed. And it’s not just lovemaking where socks play the pantomime villain. In 1589, William Lee invented the first machine that wove socks because he felt his wife spent too much time weaving socks. Imagine that household. Seriously, try to imagine it. “Darling, it’s William, I’m in bed, it’s late – please, just put away the weaving and come to bed.” Her reply? “SOCKS! SOCKS! GOTTA MAKE SOCKS! MWA, HA, HA, HA! I’M QUEEN OF THE SOCK WORLD!”
But it wasn’t just capital sock witch Mrs. Lee that was loopy for the cotton wonder. The district of Datang in the city of Zhuji, in China, has become known as Sock City because they produce eight billion pairs of socks each year, a third of the world’s consumption of socks. In 2011, they created two pairs of socks for every human on Earth. I got a feeling Mrs. Lee would’ve loved it there…
We also have ‘sock etiquette’ to consider. White socks only for sports. Dress shoes require dress socks. Match sock colour with trouser colour. Don’t roll or fold socks down. Replenish sock stock often. Funky socks are not okay outside of the home. I agree, readers, it’s all nonsense. I hate white socks and I have no idea what ‘dress shoes’ are. Shoes are shoes, right? They’re things that go around your feet. It’s a utility, if anything. And I’m sorry, but a ‘funky sock’ is admirable. ‘No, no – don’t go to work in your Simpsons socks.’ Well, excuse me, but if I want to go to work in my Simpsons socks, not hell or high water can stop me. We are the colourful characters in society; you are the grey clouds above society.
What about some facts and observations? The design on the side of a sock is called a clock. We have a strange world of sock puppets, something we’d have a hard time explaining to an alien. Strange expressions are common, too. ‘Knock your socks off’, for example. The controversial world of socks in sandals, a debate I’ll leave for another day. And what about the very feet your socks protect? Just one foot produces four fluid ounces of sweat per day. Think of all that waste, readers. Imagine if you had a way to collect it from both feet. Eight fluid ounces a day. If you boil it, it’s clearly enough to make a good cup of tea…
Do I like socks? Absolutely. I love socks! We all should admire their proud existence.
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