The Lost Sock Dimension.

Sock Prayer Flags.

Hanging out in the Lost Sock Dimension (Photo credit: knitting iris)

PF’s underwear drawer is the sock equivalent of Fagin’s den: it’s full of orphans. They are all black – this is not an indicator of racist sock management, it simply means that PF mainly wears black socks. Yet according to PF, all these socks are different. He is picky – he grouches as he pulls them on in the morning, saying, “This isn’t a pair, you know”. I look bleary-eyed at them from under the quilt and say, “Yes they are, they’re both black”. He insists that they don’t go together. “The elastic is different. Look!” or, “This one’s pure cotton, this one’s got lycra in it”. I’ve pulled my socks up since, but refuse to start obsessing about getting pairs to match. I have no desire to become an NCIS sock expert, spending hours inspecting the elastic inside the socks with a microscope in a bid to match their genetic blueprints.

Why do we have this unhealthy obsession with socks having to match, anyway? After all, nobody sees them half the time. Wouldn’t the world be a nicer place with happy, colourful feet? I dream of a new world where my bank manager would cross his legs to reveal bright red hearts on one ankle and blue and green stripes on the other without hot-footing it out of the room in embarrassment. Where I could have fun checking out the colours and patterns on businessmen’s socks on boring train journeys. Where people would say, “Hey, your left sock rocks!” rather than “Excuse me, your socks don’t go together.” But my sock utopia is not to be…. French sock society is sectarian, and a white sock and a black sock cannot pair up and go out together. A size five with a size nine will not foot the bill, either. People would talk. We need a below-the-knees revolution. Maybe we could sock it to the nation by staging a new West End theatre success called West Sock Story, telling the racy, stockings and suspenders tale of unrequited sock love in a heart-stopping underwear drawer debacle?

Anyway. Back to PF’s socks. I put the orphans together so that they don’t feel lonely, and leave them in the odd sock bag until their other half turns up. The odd sock bag is a sad home for Socktown singletons who lost their grip on their other half somewhere in the centrifugal vortex of the laundry cycle. Widowed socks are resigned to life as outcasts. The other sock never turns up, of course, and after a while I either throw the laundry basket orphans away or use them for cleaning. This is, of course, where Murphy’s Law swings into action. As the binmen disappear with the repudiated single socks, their bereaved other halves are promptly found weeping inconsolably in Little My’s knicker drawer, behind the tumble drier or under a bed, and are entrusted to the shoe-cleaning kit with all the appropriate rites, relegated from shoe-lining to shoe-shining.

Where do lost socks go, anyway? Do waylaid socks form a hallowed mystery club along with the remaining teaspoon at the bottom of the washing-up bowl and that missing woollen glove that suddenly and inexplicably turns up in the middle of summer? Where can they possibly get lost on their journey from Rugby-boy’s sweaty feet to the underwear drawer? Do they hide in the washing machine? Do cold-footed magpies pinch them from the washing line? The only logical explanation I can find is the existence of a sock equivalent of the Bermuda triangle. I have named this The Lost Sock Dimension, or LSD for short. Lost socks wail in this no-mans land as they yearn to be reunited with their other halves and rub heels in the reassuring, sweet-smelling haven of the odd socks bag.

So spare a thought for orphaned socks. Take two out of the bag today, put them on and take them out for a walk. In future, maybe socks should be sold in threes, instead of pairs. That way I could keep the spare one… in the odd sock bag.

I’ll leave you with this lovely animated film about lost socks by Austin Hillebrecht. Hope you enjoy it!

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The best thing since sliced bread: “Candy”, the queen of my humble abode.

Daily post really must stop tempting me. Today, they gave us our daily bread with the following question:

Most of us have heard the saying, “That’s the best thing since sliced bread!” What do you think is actually the best thing since sliced bread?

This got me thinking, and here’s the result….

“Candy”, the queen of my humble abode.  

All the Fashion

(Photo credit: Amarand Agasi)

I can hear you all sighing and saying “Here we go…. TV, computer and mobile phones”. Well, no. Although I am sure they have revolutionised our lives, they has also landed us with kids who are connected to their mobile phones by invisible umbilical cords, use books as door-stops and think that the most famous navigator in history is Internet Explorer. So no, communication technology is not the best thing since sliced bread.

“That’s all very well and good”, you say, “… so stop hedging, and answer the question”. My reply is probably going to have some laughing, whilst others will be beating their feminist breasts and seeking out my IP address in the firm intention to send me my Women’s Lib subscription pack. Nevertheless, I’m going to slap on my under-50’s housewife hat and give you my answer:  The fully-automatic washing machine. Oh, yeah. Mine is called Candy, and she positively rocks this joint.

So why is Candy my heroine? How can a simple washing machine make humanity’s day?

Simple. Whilst some American families were already enjoying the luxury of the very first electric washing machines in 1928, here in Europe we had hand-powered dinosaurs or simply washed by hand, with the added thrill of putting our fingers through the wrangler along with little Johnny’s long johns. Washing the laundry was the household equivalent of a triathlon until the first excruciatingly expensive but fully-automated washing machines were ripped off the shelves by hysterical homemakers in 1947.

The lack of reliable contraception most probably leading to a large family, I’m therefore guessing that the average mother spent three-quarters of her day washing the laundry, giving her biceps that would make Rambo go pale with envy. Her fingertips looked like a bag of prunes, she sweated like a horse and had back pains that must have made childbirth feel like a holiday in the tropics in comparison. I suspect that many a child thought twice about dropping his dinner down his front faced with the strength and nervous exhaustion of a mother who had spent most of her day hoisting sodden sheets in and out of cold water.

Now let’s have a look at this situation today, boys and girls. (Yep, in this modern day and age, the boys are concerned too.) Hands up those of you who just have to press the button on a miracle machine and still manage to have Mount Etna in dirty laundry towering in the corner of the bathroom? Does clean laundry spill out of a basket that is progressively pillaged by kids wearing nothing but their underwear and a pair of headphones? And last but definitely not least, who hasn’t experienced that bottomless vortex when the washing machine splutters and dies and the repair man can’t get the spare part for the next three weeks?

A modern-day Playmobil laundry drama.

A modern-day laundry drama, played out in true MM style. Little My does not like playing Playmobil with me. (My own photo:  Not to be pinched, ta muchly.)

I have a vivid memory of such an incident as the mother of three small children. I defiantly blocked the exit to our home with my 6-week old baby in my arms as her two-year old brother hung on to my legs, beamed and said “Pipi, Mamma!” before peeing copiously into his last change of clothing and leaving me stranded in a pool of urine.

The repair man clocked the regulation “recent mother” shoulder badge of newborn’s milk spew on my shoulder and looked anxiously at my haggard face as I hung baby Little My over my arm, face pitched dangerously towards his sports shoes.

“I do realise how difficult it must be for you with three young children,” he mumbled. I eyeballed him, and fiddled quietly with the door keys in my hand. He quickly realised that I was inches from swallowing the key and forcing him to strip off and trample my laundry in the family tub until a solution was found.  If he wanted to leave the flat in one piece, he’d have to think fast.

“I’ll just call my boss and see if we can lend you a machine, Madame”. Whilst he called, I watched my six-year-old happily playing in the colourful multitude of damp washing draped artistically over the furniture. He chased his imaginary enemy from one makeshift sheet-tent to the other, using the elasticated corners of the sheets as a hiding place for his get-away jeep and chocolate spread sandwich.

“It’s all organised, Madame, we’ll bring you a replacement machine tomorrow at ten”, our Messiah announced with a relieved grin.  Mini-Bigfoot pointed his imaginary gun at him, and said “Bang. You’re dead”.

“Thank you so much”, I replied sweetly. I opened the door then watched him gingerly avoid the puddle of pee and flee down the stairs as my soaking wet two-year-old waved a cheerful goodbye from the landing. I was saved from disaster. Yep, the fully-automated washing machine is most definitely the best thing since sliced bread.