As I’ve mentioned previously, I own a sock or two. I’ve been collecting them for a while now and some are positively vintage. Believe it or not, I’ve got socks lurking in the darkness of my bedside cabinet that go back to about 3BSWM*. True.
Like a good vintage automobile, there’s no point in just keeping antique socks in a garage and admiring them now and then, washing them lovingly and polishing them with a chunk of chamois leather – no, you’ve got to take them out for a spin. Let them see the inside of your shoes once in a while.
You can tell a good vintage sock in my house by its colour. Nearly all my socks are black. Darker than a politician’s soul, only less likely to commit expenses fraud and piss away all our money. You can rarely accuse socks of rampant cock-weaselry. But as they mature, the socks go from that rich lustrous darkness to a sort of deep dove grey. Then the fabric starts to thin, usually around the heel, it’s male-pattern-baldness for hosiery.
Then they take that penultimate step and become holey.
It’s strange to think that one’s intimate footwear products undergo a religious conversion, but clearly it happens. When I buy them they’re black and secular, but sooner or later they all seem to have that Road to Damascus moment. One minute they’re fine, the next the muted sounds of tambourines and ‘Kum ba yah…‘ comes from the bedside cabinet, muffled by the layer of pants in the drawer above.
I can only assume that they’re trying to convert the socky brethren to join them in the service of whatever God socks worship**.
Of course, once they’ve completed their spiritual awakening, they’re ready to move on to the next world, to take that last and final step. When I pull on a sock and I see that it’s made that transition from atheist to religious loony, we both know that this is the last outing for Mr Sock (and they’re all called Mr Sock). Once more around the block, my old friend; next stop a lavish state funeral with full honours***.
But for some reason, thinking about my old faithful sock minions makes me want to do another episode of Skeleton Bob.
Skeleton Bob, and his friend Stinky Ted
(a little boy who had come back from the dead)…
Now I just need to find lots of things that rhyme with ‘BRAAAAAINNNNNNSSSSS!’
* Before She Who Must, which makes some of them nearly 20 years old. That’s kinda scary, isn’t it?
** Which, given that I’m the one who buys the bloody things, should be me. Surely? Am I not a beneficent deity? Do I not wash and hang them out to dry upon the line in mine bountiful sunshine? Do I not pare them up with whichever sock sort of looks a bit like they do and join them in holy matrimony?
*** Which involves a solemn procession through the house to the kitchen, out the back door, and chucking them in the bin. Saying a few words – usually “Bye, bye, Mr Sock.” – and clunking the lid shut. Well, they’re only socks.