Thursday, February 03, 2005

On the Brilliance of Socks

Growing up in the woods I generally walked around barefoot. The ground was filled with obstacles, such as sharp stones, droppings, broken twigs, and crunchy insects. None of them were comfy to walk on, except the fresh droppings -- they were soft, but left a bad odor and a layer of crust between my toes. On occasion I managed to fashion a temporary shoe from the bark of a tree. Nothing fancy, but they did have a pump.

Out here, the people all wear shoes. But what I especially like are the socks. They’re like a soft, flexible shoe. Soft, cozy, and no laces to learn how to tie. There appear to be all kinds of styles – stripes, dots, triangles, and lots of colors -- yet, they’re hidden by shoes and pant legs. One exception I’ve noticed is the adult male on the weekend working in the yard to make the grass shorter. I’ve seen many such men with black socks prominently displayed on white legs showcased by short pants. This is a man who appreciates his socks.

I’ve also noticed that people have determined that socks are only for the feet. However, after an afternoon of experimentation and a few light snacks, I realized that socks could also be worn on the arms and hands. I made a few calls and consulted several local elders who all agreed that there no was law against this. The sock is like a light mitten, but goes beyond the duty of a mitten by warming the forearm as well (if the sock is a long one). In this sense, the sock is also much more versatile than the shoe.


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