Prose Header

The Socks

by Julie Wornan

“Do you know what this is?” he demanded, dangling one sock in front of her nose.

“It’s a sock,” she said, reasonably.

“Yes. It is one sock. When I put my socks in the laundry they were a pair — two socks. Now, how shall I wear this one sock — on the left foot or the right? Or should I cut it in down the middle and put half on each foot?”

“I don’t know what happened to your other sock,” she sighed. They’d had this conversation before, more than once. “Socks do disappear. It happens to everybody. It’s a fact of life.”

“It may be what you call a ‘fact’, but facts have to do with cause and effect. If you don’t believe that, you should go back to fourth grade. Now, I want to see my pair of socks when I return home.” He banged his coffee cup down hard, and was gone.

Elisabeth sighed again. Perhaps if she bought him fifty pairs of socks all of the same color say, gray? He wouldn’t notice if a few went missing.

Well, fifty pairs must rate a wholesale discount. But how do you buy socks wholesale? Tentatively, she suggested SOCKS to her computer’s search engine.

There were many responses but nothing helpful. She learned that socks can be organic, eco-friendly and sexy, and that SOCKS is an internet protocol for the routing of network packets. Then she happened to notice an amusing entry:

SDS — Socks Dating Service

She clicked on it idly. The Home Page featured many images of socks. Socks hanging on a line, socks relaxing in drawers, socks curled up together on a grassy lawn. Always in pairs. But each pair was a composite. A woolly striped knee sock with a tennis sock. A big blue sock with a dainty pink one. The home page announced:

Do you feel you’re living with the wrong partner? We can help. Click here to see what our satisfied clients say.

She clicked there. There were a great many satisfied clients, it would seem. They said:

“Spending all my days and nights with the same partner was a bore. Now, at last, I am living with one who delights and stimulates me, thanks to your service.”

“My mate had a ragged hole in the heel. I dreaded becoming a widow — or worse, becoming a dust rag. Now, at last, I am safe in Sock Cyberspace with a partner of my dreams.”

“We quarrelled perpetually. My mate always managed to get the right foot, leaving the left foot, the smelly one, to me. But my new friend, although entirely different outwardly, is my perfect soul mate. And we are so happy here in our new world. Thank you SDS!”

And on and on in the same vein. Well that would explain what happened to the socks!

But there was more. There was, “Click here for our free trial offer. We will help you find a suitable mate and transport you both to your own cyber domain.” She clicked. There was simple a form to fill out.

Dreamily, she typed her name and email address. “Entity type sought” was a drop-down list: sock, knee-sock, slipper, shoe, other. She chose “other.” And, under “further specifications / attributes desired,” wrote “considerate human being.” Then Elisabeth clicked Enter.

And waited breathlessly to see what would happen next.

Copyright © 2009 by Julie Wornan

to Challenge 371...

Home Page