The Prairie Spy

Alan “Lindy” Linda

I suppose it’s because I’ve just finished a grueling couple of months finding proper replacement socks, my old ones finally showing signs of thinness, what with my big toes poking out the ends. Finding proper socks turned out to be very difficult.

How difficult, you ask? Well, I’m allergic—or at least my tender feet are—to man-made stuff like nylon, orlon, rayon, and other assorted icky-on material. Who wears this slimy stuff? It gobs up when your feet sweat—and FYI, each of your little footies produces half a pint of liquid a day! Therefore it was a shock when Nike quit making their black cotton socks, which I have been buying for twenty years. No sweat, I thought. (Sock puns are very rare.)

I thought wrong. Sure, you can buy white cotton socks. I don’t want white ones. I want my old ones, my black ones. It was, I thought, bad enough that my favorite boot maker had quit making the boots that I’ve been buying for years and years; now my sock manufacturer fails me, too? I suppose some pointy-headed accountant-slash-numerologist had found a way to save three cents a sock by removing the cotton. 

Well, after finding black cotton socks that were too thick, and some that were too thin, and after finding black cotton socks that had a misrepresented percentage of nylon in them, and after searching the Internet hour after hour, I did finally find a reasonable substitute for my old cotton socks. They’re black. They’re cotton.

When I went to hang my wash out on the line the other day, much to my dismay, I found that not only was I short one of my old black cotton socks (with the Nike slash on them), I was also short one of my new black cotton socks (plain). This last pair of socks I hung on the line weren’t a pair; they were two different socks. Well. The missing ones must be in the clothes basket.

I dug around in the clothes basket. Uh, uh. Nothing there. No socks hiding. I looked in my pant legs. Nope. Not hiding in there, either. Went back and checked the washing machine. No clothes left in there.

I looked everywhere, but the missing matching socks were gone. Just, gone.?!. (There really isn’t the suitable punctuation to convey my combination dismay-slash-confusion. They couldn’t be gone, but they were.)

For the next couple of days, I searched everywhere. Good grief. These were new socks. They’d only been washed once, and already they had decided they didn’t like me. It isn’t bad enough to find socks that I like. Now for some exotic reason, they have to like me and my stinky feet or they leave home. Even worse, they take my old favorite, abandoning  their own families to start another.

And that is my final conclusion. These two are now together, like two ill-matched lovers, like two different animals, such as a lion and a bear, like eat-no-fat and eat-no-lean husband and wife, like a pig and a sheep—do you get the picture? These two have found some extra-terrestrial manner of changing time and space and escaping.

And they Steve McQueened it from the washing machine!

You know, you just get to some point in life where you begin to believe that you’ve got everything under control. You’ve got all the really complicated stuff in your life figured out, like how to program your VCR—(Yeah, and then they go obsolete!)– and the exact number of raisins to put in your morning oatmeal.  None of your kids is in jail. (Well, they never were, but you get my point.)

And then your socks form an incestuous liaison with one another, and run off. Invent some kind of sock-incest. (Well, they are socks. So they’re related. ) Probably to Vegas.

And what socks do in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Oh, it’s a confusing world.