Socks are invaluable pieces of attire. Without question their functionality cannot be overstated. They provide a barrier between the foot and the shoe that offers comfort and warmth to the skin and visually fills the fashion gap between the pants and the shoes that would otherwise appear awkward. Socks are offered in a wide array of colors, materials and patterns to fit the tastes of the wearer.
Over the years socks have amused small children when used as hand puppets. Youngsters have been known to store their most valuable and cherished marbles in old socks. When no longer suitable to wear, socks have been converted to dust rags. Even golfers have found an alternative use for socks, and stretched them over the heads of golf clubs for both protection and decoration.
Many years ago my wife and I coordinated an evening of dining out with my two sons and their wives. The dining party would consist of my older son David and his wife Kim, my younger son Rob and his wife Chris and my wife Robin and me. It was decided I would drive everyone to Pedro’s Restaurant where Mexican themed cuisine would be enjoyed. The entire family looked forward to an evening of good food and entertaining conversation.
The restaurant was not crowded and we were immediately seated at a large table already topped with chips and salsa. The table had some of the expected condiments which included two small bottles of peppers. One bottle was marked “hot” while the other was marked “very hot.”
After some discussion and an appropriate amount of daring, David and Rob challenged each other to try the peppers from the bottle marked “very hot”.
When one ate a pepper the other ate two and that scenario continued until the bottle was empty. Both acted as though the peppers were not hot at all and had little, or no, effect on them. They did; however, seem to drink a large amount of water as the evening progressed.
The food was excellent as was the conversation. Everyone talked about the latest events in their lives and the lives of their families. The grandchildren were discussed at length and as grandparents Robin and I were careful not to express too many opinions. The conversations and laughter went on long after the food had been consumed.
When it came time to leave for home, everyone grudgingly pushed themselves away from the table and walked to the car while uncomfortably full. The drive home would take about twenty minutes and pass through a very rural and wooded area, but I knew the conversation would make the drive seem too short.
After driving only about five minutes David said he didn’t feel well and asked that I pull to the side of the road. I assumed the “very hot” peppers had finally caught up to him. I pulled over and almost before the car came to a complete stop he leaped out of the car and ran into the woods. Everyone remaining inside continued to talk about a variety of topics including the peppers and David. After five, or so, minutes David returned, and got into the car.
I asked how he felt and he responded with an almost audible sigh of relief, “much better.” I pulled the car back onto the road and had driven no more than a mile when I heard Rob ask: “Where’s your socks”. Prior to entering the woods David had been wearing a button down shirt, shorts, socks and tennis shoes. There was a brief moment of silence in the car as everyone awaited the answer to Rob’s question but how could the sock’s disappearance be explained.
David said, “I found myself in a bit of a quandary which forced me to be creative and think outside the box.” “The situation necessitated that I make use of the socks in a manner they were never designed for.” “As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.” David was widely recognized for his prolific use of clichés. “As far as I’m concerned, those socks sacrificed themselves for me and I offer the pair my thanks.” Another moment of silence quieted the car’s interior as David’s comments were digested by everyone then, simultaneously; an eruption of loud laughter filled the car. I recall most of us continued to laugh all the way home, and some were compelled to wipe the tears of laughter from their cheeks and eyes.
Socks can be most useful in desperate situations.