One of life’s still unsolved mysteries, yet to turn up on cable TV’s Cold Case Files is: “Why do socks come up un-matched?”

            Ever since I can remember, I have always had one or more singles of socks. That’s one sock when I should have had two. Or two socks – of different colours – when they should have been of the same colour. And texture. And design.

            I believe that I’m not alone in this. I believe that one or two, and maybe more, men share this problem.

            I go into a retail establishment and thoughtfully buy a carefully and properly paired pair of socks – two socks – of the same colour, texture, design. I pay for this pair of socks. Bring them home. Put them in my sock drawer. I take them out of my sock drawers. Put them on my two feet – one sock on each foot – and wear them. I later take them off and at this point I still have two – matching – socks.

            Then this carefully matched pair gets into a wash process.

            And what comes out? One sock! Or two unmatched socks!

            How does that happen? So regularly?

            The wash process itself has modernized from the old days when we washed clothes in big galvanized tubs with glass washboards and bars of yellow Sunlight soap. Now we use machinery. Now socks get put into a washer. The washer lid gets closed. And in the darkness, spooks and detergent microbes do their stuff.

            Because modern washing takes place in this primeval darkness, I have the feeling that primitive and ancient forces are at work. Perhaps all the whirling and whirring of modern washers comes from the frenzied actions of sock-eating spooks. Spooks with tastes both peculiar and particular.

            Peculiar and particular because they only consume socks. Not shirts, or pants, or boxer shorts.

            It probably isn’t socially acceptable to go around speaking of spooks and stuff. It may upset some people. But the continued disappearing of my socks tells me that spooks are real, alive, and kicking. And stealing!

            So if anyone wants to join me in a spook hunt, come along. However, if it makes you happy, we’ll call the spooks something else. But before you come, make sure your socks match.

            On the other foot – hand? – I think there may be some merit in us men wearing tights. At least that’ll get rid of the eternal problem of finding and matching two socks.

            Of course in our strongly conservative Bermuda society, eyebrows and hackles will have risen already just because I’ve suggested it.

            But consider this. In the good old days – when people who looked like me worked for free – even the Kings of England and Republican Americans used to mess around in white tights. Now you can’t get more conservative than those guys.

            However, now that I remember, George lll and George Washington, both of whom wore tights, went to war. So did that Louis the some-teenth guy and Napoleon Courvoisier – oops! – Bonaparte.

            Do Dubya and Rumsfeld wear tights?


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