Saturday, January 4, 2014

From the Annamaniacs Files: Things That Make You Go Hmmm

I called out for help today for ideas to write about. One friend listed a whole bunch of things but the one that leaped out was "socks".

And then I remembered that I had written about socks back when I made oodles of money writing a humor column. And oodles means "enough for noodles".  So for my post today we are going into the deep recesses of the Annamaniacs Files, written who knows when,  and pulling out...

The Things that Make You Go Hmmm...

A friend asked me to write about socks.  So here it is.

I have two boxes of socks.  None of them match.  They’ve gone everywhere with me.  They’ve been in three different homes in Edmonton, another one in Calgary, another in Gleichen and still another in Lacombe.  They never go away.  They grow.  

It started off innocently enough.  Just a few socks that were waiting for their mates to show up.  Then the mix matched socks joined up together and multiplied.  Some of these offspring resemble their parents, but don’t quite match up. Sometimes I’ll make them match by stretching a dark blue sock to match a taller dark blue sock.  Sometimes I’ll tell the kids “it’s in fashion now to wear two different socks.

Of course I wonder what happens to the other socks.  Did they run away?  Did the sock monster eat them?  If socks have a sex, was it the male ones that left and the female ones that stayed?

Part of me tells me to just get it over with and throw these socks out.  But I know that when I do the matching ones will show up.  All those socks I lost years ago in Edmonton, will find their way to Lacombe, searching for their mates.

My friend told me how one day all the moms in her neighborhood got their sock baskets together and matched up socks.  They were amazed at how many matches they made.

Now I feel like singing the Matchmaker song from Fiddler on the Roof.

And no matter how hard I try, I can never wear socks more than once.  I’ve bought socks that look completely different from everyone else’s. I’ve even made announcements about it.  “You see these socks that have 10 different colors and my name written all over them?  They are mine!  You can’t wear them.  You can’t have them. Anybody caught wearing them will be forced to have their toenails pulled out by tweezers and their Smashing Pumpkin CD’s confiscated.”

Of course everyone ignores me.

I think we should all dispense with the theory that socks must match each other. 

Parents, start sending your children to school in mismatched socks.  It’s so much easier, less expensive and my kids won’t look so weird.

Socks started me wondering about the other things that make me go “Hmmm”.

Like “if two snakes start swallowing each other, will they both disappear?”

Or “if sea sponges multiply enough, could they eventually soak up the ocean?”

I asked my kids “What makes you go Hmmm?

“You do, Mom,” they answered.

I explained better what I was aiming for.

My thirteen-year-old son said “Why is it at school, fifteen girls go into the bathroom and another fifteen girls come out?  That door never closes.  What do they all do in there together?  Help each other aim?”

I looked him in the eye and said “Yes, my dear son, they all help each other aim.”

So the question is “What makes you go Hmmm?”  

And please, nothing about chickens and eggs or trees falling in a forest. 

Turns out, I also found an addition I wrote about socks. And I am psychic. I knew it was going to happen. Here's the addition written a while later... This is an excerpt from 

"Simplifying is Difficult for a Gypsy Pack Rat"

There is that knowledge that if I throw it out, I will need it the very next day. Even though I haven’t needed it in the past ten years the need will arise when the object is gone.

That is why I have held on to the same single socks for twenty years. Okay, although sometimes when I’m writing I am prone to exaggeration, this is not one of those times.  I guess I thought that when I moved to a new house the missing socks would magically appear there.

Now with this last move, I was good. I realized that belief was silly and I would never find those missing socks.  I actually threw out every sock that I couldn’t match up.

After I threw them out I found their matches.

But I did start off life in my new house with only matched socks.

It’s been two months now, and I have single socks all over the place.

So there you have it. The Sock post.