Thursday, 29 October 2015
Hooptedoodle #197 - The Joy of Socks
Left to myself, I am a creature of habit and of comfort. I like old sweaters - they are familiar and they are comfortable, reassuring - and I also tend to wear old socks.
Socks, sadly, do not last forever - even I, the Prince of Stinge, must fork out for replacements from time to time. As a sop to some faded concept of smartness, maybe just from a sense of shame, I do try to throw them out when they lose all elasticity, slithering (infuriatingly) down into my boots when I'm walking. I also kill off any that develop holes. The Contesse does an excellent job of replacing the casualties with pairs of new socks, and I have to say that any slight vestige of presentability which I retain is mostly down to her.
Recently we have made a special effort to get rid of some old horrors, and buy in quantities of new ones. I like simple socks - inexpensive, sports-style socks are my traditional choice. Well, I do not wish to spread alarm, but something odd has happened. I have started to find that my legs and ankles are swelling a bit as the day goes on, and I am caused some discomfort by my socks gripping too tightly.
Before you rush (as, I confess, I did myself) to point accusing fingers at the brandy, or my decadent lifestyle, I have to announce a shocking discovery.
Evidence. Here are two of my new socks. They are identical, apart from the fact that the one on the left is fresh from the pack, unworn, and the one on the right has been worn and washed a few times. The socks are badged Slazenger, as you will see, but I am confident they come from the same Far-Eastern factory with a variety of brand logos. What is going on? - some fiendish foreign plot? Little wonder I have been having problems - I am astonished that I haven't spotted this before.
The problem is that the shrinkage is not immediate - it takes a few washes to progress this far. I now see that another wholesale clear-out of socks is required, and soon.
I can't fathom this out at all. Is it possible that, like light bulbs and bananas, the physical properties of the common sock have suddenly changed, for the worse? Surely this can't be down to global warming?