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A Socks Life


Spencer McDonald  

Socks lead mysterious lives. When new they come to us as two. They leave our feet as two. Then they return from the laundry as one. What happens between our feet and the return to our sock drawer is a big mystery.

            If you are like most of us this mystery goes on for all sock owners. Curiosity had gotten the best of me and I just had to know what happens to socks. I had to know why they go into the wash as two and come out as one.

One sleepless night I lay awake chanting this rhyme over and over, “Hickory dickory dock I want to be a sock?” The next thing I remember is waking up on top of a huge pile of dirty laundry. I am lying there as a gold toed brown sock with my sock match in tow.

            A black sport sock screams in muffled voice, “Get off of me!” Whoa, socks talk! Not only is my mental health gone as I realize I am a sock on the top of a dirty pile of laundry but I understand their language and can speak sock. I reply, “I can’t move buddy.”

It was an interesting community of dirty laundry conversations. I listen to chatter about missing mates, hot sweaty feet, and the terror of being stabbed by dagger toenails. One conversation between a tube sock and a five-toed sock intrigued me enough to bend my gold toe in the direction of their conversation. These two are talking about the last party in the dangerous devil machine.

            My mind raced and I visualized a live foot slipping inside of my darned together shell. I imagined how that foot could actually bring me as a sock to life. I imagined how it might feel to be jammed inside a sweaty shoe that smelled like a dead three-day-old anchovy. I imagined the force of a two hundred pounds of force smashing my mate and I between the soul of a shoe and the bottoms of those sweaty vinegar-smelling feet.

While waiting to go to the dangerous devil machine I struck up a conversation with a silver-toed sock. Nervously I asked, “Where’s your mate?”

Silver toe’s eyes became really big as he remembered the day he and his mate lost each other inside the dreaded devil machine. He spoke in a fast paced tone, “During our last party in the devil machine we were separated by Mr. Agitator. He’s the bouncer. Stay away from him because he’s one very hungry dude. My mate must have gotten too close.” A tear of sweat rolled off of his toe as he spoke of his missing mate’s disappearance.

I wondered if I could get out of this wish to live the life of a sock than replied to silver toe, “But I hear other socks talking about how much fun the washer is. They’re saying it’s like a bubble filled nightclub where they can twist and spin for forty minutes.”

Silver toe let out a nervous laugh and replied,  “A ride in the devil machine can be fun if you stay away from Mr. Agitator. Stay clear and you’ll survive all of the twisting and spinning.”

I looked at silver toe and said, “I’m scared and I don’t think I want to know what you guys experienced.” I closed my eyes and started to chant my magic verse to return to reality, “Hickory dickory dock…” I heard a crunchy sock scream, “Stop!” My magic rhyme was cut short. I looked around and saw a skid marked pair of underwear starring right at me. My desire to return to my bed as man was thwarted by crunchy.

Old crunchy was a big bully and he got right in my face. One wiff of his stench revealed a close encounter with a cow pasture. “Hey you! The best part is yet to come. You want to know why we go in as two and come out as one then you have to experience the big party in the devil machine and Satin’s furnace.”

Soon enough we were all thrown into one of those plastic laundry bins and bounced down the stairs to our ride in the devil machine. Then came the big dump. Over the edge we went and into the giant metal party bin. After we were all dumped in the lid came down and locked out all of our light. I heard a lone pair of bikini underwear scream out in her party tone, “All right!” Then the hip huggers screamed out, “Preach it sister!”

Before we knew it the devil machine started filling with water. Just as I began to warm up in the water one of my worst moments as a sock happened. Laundry soap lodged inside my eyes and I was nearly blinded. I screamed out in pain and wanted out of the devil machine. Soon the pain dissolved as the water washed the soap out of my eyes.

Other socks were swimming over to me and introducing themselves. One black argyle sock clung to me and asked if I was enjoying the bubble nightclub. She thought she was a comedian when she said, “This is the place where sock go in but don’t come out.” After the water stopped falling we all started twisting, as the big round swisher thing started moving right then left.

Passing by a giant polo shirt I asked the little horse on the shirt who the heck this swisher was, he said, “That’s Mr. Agitator and it’s open season on socks when he starts bouncing up and down. If I were you I would stay away from Mr. Agitator.”

I tried to swim away. Instead of making an escape I was sucked right into his grasp. His long arm held me tight to his plastic body. We twisted right then left for a long time. I figured this was the day I would find out why socks go into the wash and never come out. Eventually I broke free from his grip and floated toward the back of the devil machine.

My mate and I tried to stay together inside that devil machine. All the agitation caused us to lose track of each other. I moved left around Mr. Agitator and my mate floated right around the other side of him. Before we could get used to all the twisting back and forth Mr. Agitator began bouncing. He bounced up and down. We stopped twisting and started sinking to the bottom of that party bin.

I hit the bottom of the devil machine and witnessed terror. As Mr. Agitator was going up and down I noticed he had sharp teeth that were snagging socks one by one and banishing them to the land of the missing. I watched in horror as my mate screamed wildly to let her go. It was too late. She was caught in a downward bouncing motion of Mr. Agitator and soon disappeared completely. I witnessed first hand why all of my socks only had one match. At that moment a new website idea was born. I would start a website where every man, women, or child could go and find a missing sock mate or post a lost socks picture.

            You’d think losing a mate to the teeth of Mr. Agitator was torture enough. It wasn’t. A large click could be heard and then all the water rushed out of the devil machine. We were left soaking wet and stacked on top of each other. Another clunk was heard and we all started traveling in circles. We spun around like Neil Armstrong in a centrifugal centrifuge as he trained for his famous moon shot. When all the spinning finally stopped I was so dizzy I vomited a small-lent ball. The spin cycle was as horrific as watching Mr. Agitator chomping on socks.

The lid popped open and we were all dragged up and out of the devil machine and thrown into a new machine. I saw silver toe as we all piled into the next ride. He said, “Remember Satin’s furnace? This is it. Good luck.” There was no escape from Satin’s furnace.

The door of Satin’s furnace slammed shut. Suddenly, we all began tumbling over and over. Soon I was feeling like a scorched piece of bacon. I felt like my gold toe was melting away. A socks life is torture. It’s no wonder two socks go in and only one comes out. Can you blame the socks? We kept tumbling toes over heals. I heard silver toe yelled out, “This ain’t nothin’ just wait until we are pulled out and folded.”

We all tumbled together for nearly an hour. Just as abruptly as the devil machine stopped so did Satin’s furnace. When Satin’s furnace stopped I was in mid tumble and as gravity will have it I fell right to the bottom of the red-hot furnace floor.

The door of the dryer flung open and we were all scrunched together and tossed onto a cloth couch. Can you see where I am going with this? I’m talking about static electricity. Static electricity to socks is like the electric chair to an inmate on death row. Lying amongst all of those positively charged socks, shirts, and underwear was about to be the end of me. My wish to be sock had taken a painful twist.

I was pulled out of the pile attached to a gleaming pair of pink hip hugger underwear. As we were pulled apart I felt an arcing electric shock of pain shooting between those pink hip huggers and my gold toe. We both screamed in agony. We were in shock. After our separation, I quickly checked for a heartbeat. My heartbeat was faint but existent. I felt like the luckiest sock alive.

A socks life is a terrible thing. I will never complain about losing a sock mate again. I’ll simply search at for them or I’ll pay the small price it costs for a new pair if their not found. Lying in the pile on the couch it is time to return to my life as a human. “Hickory, dickory, dock, I no longer wish to be a sock!” Wham!

My wife who had been folding socks drops them and grabs her heart as she stands in front of a naked six-foot man. As she jumped away in shock I noticed my friend silver toe making an escape with a smile on his toe as he rode away attached to my wife’s angora sweater.

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