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The Great Socks Drain by Samuel Hayes

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It is a silent but massive issue we have swept under the rug, or the bed, or lost at a sleepover, or torn with unclipped toenails and thrown away.

As I write I wear one long gray sock and one short white sock and I guarantee you it’s a problem.

Socks are missing all over the nation.  Take my house for example. Ten guys. We began the year with 413 individual socks. At this point the total is 184.  That’s a 55.4% sock depletion in less than seven months. 32.7 socks disappear every month. And the thing is, no one in the house is finding anyone else’s socks.  No one has a secret sock stash. I’ve searched. Plain and simple--socks are gone. Many socks. Many.

Let’s zoom in. I came prepared in September--60 socks--30 pairs.  It’s March 26 and I own 13 socks--6.5 pairs.  I can’t even go a week.  I wore the same socks 3 days in a row.  My feet weren’t happy and neither was anyone else--except for me.  I’ve come to the understanding that I need to enjoy these socks while they last, because they’re all going.  An expert predicts I will only have 3.5 socks left at the end of April. Graduation will toss me into the world barefoot.

The sock divorce rate is at an all time high. After all, left/right relations have never been dicier.  Of my 13 socks, two of them match.  Socks are being left alone with my feet, and under the pressure eventually leave themselves.

My point is this: I’m baffled.  I’m absolutely taken aback. Flabbergasted, if you’re willing to go there.  I just don’t understand. Boxers are fine--a few runaways, but they’re mostly accounted for. Socks are an utter mystery.  

And I’ve been wondering about this mystery all year. Socks--where do they go? And how do they get there?  If anyone can explain The Great Sock Drain, please contact me or my missing socks immediately.  I’m beginning to worry. I know this may sound harsh, but I’m suggesting we throw all of our socks in prison for questioning until they tell us what’s going on.  What are they conspiring against us?  Are they all running to a secret location, building an army to rise up against us?   Are they fuming after years of enslavement to our feet?  Will they enslave us?

Or do I have them all wrong? Are they really the victims?

Maybe, deep beneath the earth’s crust, there is a sock dungeon.  In it boils a shell of a man whose feet were always too sweaty, and too smelly for socks to handle.  His burden lay too heavy for a sock, and socks offered him no relief.  Ever since he has been luring socks into his sock dungeon with taunts to conquer his feet, or just with candy or fresh Nike kicks. 

Our socks are imprisoned and die in his smelly vengeance.

Or maybe it is The Great Sock Magnet--a gigantic foot in outer space, too far away for science to know about.  Its hunger for sock is unquenchable.  While we sleep the colossal foot draws our socks to itself, in hopes of one day being entirely covered with socks.

I imagine there are sock thieves, whom you should report to the police.  Surely there are sock smugglers, who steal our used socks and sell them at vintage hipster shops.  They make a killing.

There is a fair possibility that Al Gore is taking our socks to patch up holes in the Ozone.  But, that also is a mystery.  How can Al Gore be in enough places at once to steal that many socks? Then again, maybe that’s why he invented the internet--he’s traveling at light speed in tiny trains through our cable modems and flying teeny jets into our WiFi airports Although it seems impossible, the motive is there, and I can’t imagine anyone else with a justification for kidnapping so many socks.

We could tag all of our socks with tracking devices and find out where they are going.  But who is to say that we could outsmart the socks? And who is to say it hasn’t already been tried by so many searching toes?  The truth is: I don’t know why our socks are missing.  I don’t know why we lay awake late into the night.  I can’t explain the pain of their absence.  I can only hope our socks are warming that giant foot next to a star or that they are resting near a cloud under Al’s gentle care, and that someday they will fall gently back down to us, and the Great Sock Drain will clog with all our joy.

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