8 July 2013

The Sock Fairy

There are now four unmatched pair of socks in my sock drawer and the whereabouts of their counterparts are a mystery to me. I do all my own washing and hang my clothes on a drying rack on my small verandah so there is no chance that my missing socks have been left at a Laundromat. My verandah is enclosed and so there is also no way that any could have blown away. I have searched every square inch of my tiny apartment for the missing socks but they are not to be found.

I can only assume that the sock fairy has struck again.

This has happened nearly all my life. The sock fairy is mischievous and irksome. I imagine the fairy to be female. She is impish and pernicious and has gossamer wings. 

She is driving me mad.

My grandpa once told me never to run in the rain with my socks on. My grandpa often gave me strange but profound tidbits of wisdom. He was full of pithy sayings and I have heeded them all. I have never nor will ever run in the rain with my socks on. Grandpa died when I was twenty five years old. He died on my birthday. His was the first funeral I ever attended and I recall as if it were yesterday being told of his death. My Dad rang to tell me of his passing. Hearing the news felt like my heart had been ripped from my body. My weeping was unrestrained and I could not be consoled.

Until that time I had never realized that the pain of loss and sorrow could be so deep and dark and that it felt so much like fear.

Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest men in the world. He buys and sells countries and is known in Financial markets as the "Oracle of Omaha". It is quite possible that he now owns Greece. He would have got it for a bargain price. Buffett is much quoted and once said:

Whether we're talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down"

The sock has been around for a very long time. The word is derived from the Latin 'soccus'. A soccus was actually a type of shoe. At some point in time the Romans began to slip their sandals over the top of their soccus for outdoor wear and soccus were worn only indoors.

The Romans didn't invent the sock though – the Egyptians did. Archeologists have found remnants of socks in tombs that date back to the fourth century. The most famous of all Mongolians - Attila the Hun was also a big wearer of socks. He apparently wore very colorful socks as he rode into battle and slaughtered his way across central Europe.

The father of the modern sock is an Englishman named William Lee. He was a Reverend from the county of Nottinghamshire in England. The Reverend Lee invented a machine that could knit socks out of wool and cotton. This was in the late sixteenth century. History records that when the good Reverend first endeavored to patent his machine, Queen Elizabeth the First - who was the Monarch of the time - initially refused to grant it. Her refusal was based on the fear that such a machine would jeopardize the employment of the many thousands of women of England who made their living knitting socks by hand.

Nottinghamshire is where Robin the Hood lived. I am not too sure of the time lines of Robin the Hood and William Lee but it is quite possible that the Reverend may well have socked the Hood. 

I like to think so.

Reverend Lee's sock knitting machine was eventually patented and the mass production of socks began in earnest. The machine he invented was a type of loom. Loom is a most excellent word and is one which I will endeavor to use verbally in a sentence tomorrow. I like saying it and I am saying it out loud as I am writing this now. It sounds a bit minacious.

A loom is a machine that is used to weave cloth. Including socks. It is also something that is ominous and impending. When I think of loom I also think of doom. I am saying both words out loud now as I write this. I think that perhaps I am losing my mind. Irrespective, I have now decided that I will try and utter both 'loom' and 'doom' in the same sentence to someone tomorrow. I shall choose my victim carefully and they will likely be one of the English with whom I work.

I hope the sock fairy is listening to me say 'loom' and 'doom' out loud as I sit alone here in my apartment, tapping away at my keyboard. I hope that I am striking some degree of fear into the nefarious creature.

I hope that she will stop taking my socks.

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