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The Great Sock Experiment

By drsammyb in Science
Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 06:51:48 PM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)

At one point in your lives, it happened to you, too. You open the sock drawer and slip into a sudden state of anguish as the chaos that are cotton feet mittens overcome you. You hopelessly scuttle through the mess, trying to find two identical socks. More than likely, you fail. Perhaps you settle on different shades, but you know that the sewing doesn't match up. Admit it.

I took a stand against these white monstrosities a year ago and threw them all out. Every sock I owned went into the trash. This began the Great Sock Experiment.

The simplicity of the premise promised success-- eliminate the sock population and replenish it with twenty identical pairs from the local discount mart. The mental pain and anger that once consumed me when I opened the drawer disappeared. Now when I opened it, a sense of great pride filled my soul, made me whole. I accomplished what no other living man could accomplish. I conquered the sock drawer.

For six months.

The stability of the system started to flounder one fine summer day.  My fiance, Christine, stayed over at my apartment for a weekend and took me clothes shopping. A new pair of nice tan shorts found themselves in my shopping cart-- I needed socks to match. Overconfident from my victories so far, I piled in a six-pack of tan socks. The drawer became a heterogeneous mishmash of colors.

A month or two later, I counted my socks and found an odd number.  Fear struck me silent. I sat down on the bed and cried. I found some of Christine's socks on the floor. I called her at work and complained, but she, like my family and friends thought I was joking. ``Surely, you can't care that much about socks,'' she would ask. But I did. My life fell into ruins. My sock system crashed.

Somehow, I eventually stabilized the sock mess again. I removed Christine's rogue socks from the premises and evened the remaining numbers. The sock drawer sung in harmony again. Learned from my mistakes, I started to win victory after victory over them. They fell silent, humbled by my absolute power. Months later, I trusted them enough to take a road trip; I moved in with Christine.

By now, she understood that I meant business and respected the plan I set into motion so long ago. We kept separate sock drawers to prevent cross-matching, an especially difficult task as we only owned one dresser with four drawers total. Our life was good and my feet were warm. Victory seemed assured..

Until three months later. Christine works full-time and I work from home-- I had become very lonely with only my socks to keep me company.  I visited the local animal shelter and adopted an adorable Cocker mix named Hansel. Since they neutered him, I renamed him to Unix and took him home. He first weeks were like any other puppy's, I suppose; he ran through our two bedroom apartment like it was a five acre field, wagged his tail and chased the cats. He seemed care free. However, this was all merely an act to cover up his diabolical scheme: the complete and utter destruction of my feet warmers.

He loves socks more than hamburgers, cake and cat combined. Like a feral wolf, he tears the socks from their very fabric in violent fits of head shaking. No amount of scolding and other forms of doggy obedience could erase his desire for the (supposedly?) tasty snack. Somewhere in the back of his doggy mind exists the instinct or intelligence to realize that socks are a threat to doggies everywhere. Lacking the canine's genes, I can not begin to understand the logic behind this survival mechanism.

Today, I opened the sock drawer. Three socks. One white, one tan and one black. I don't even remember where the black sock came from. Christine had just done laundry this week, surely I must have more. I didn't and I don't. The hamper was full of her socks and contained none of mine.  I own three socks.

I lost.

The sock experiment failed. And, as I sit at my desk writing this, Unix is keeping my bare feet warm, chewing on a sock. He's a more than adequate replacement.


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The Great Sock Experiment | 87 comments (79 topical, 8 editorial, 1 hidden)
A crusade against socklessness (4.81 / 11) (#2)
by paxtech on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 06:11:02 AM EST

You need to look at this as more of a long term commitment. This fight cannot be won in a single battle, it is a war, a War On Socklessness. You may have to monitor your socks movements closely, and search their drawer without a warrant, but sometimes individual sock rights have to make way for increased sock homeland security. Keep an eye on those dark socks especially, they look mighty shady to me.

And if the dog won't cooperate, we've got some nice beachfront property we can send him to.
"Eggs or pot, either one." -- Ignignot

Questioning the war on socklessness (4.37 / 8) (#19)
by wji on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 02:33:39 PM EST

The so-called "war on socklessness" does not exist. From Nicaragua to Sudan, American foreign policy has deprived millions of basic socks. Yet this is "war on socklessness" because it supposedly protects Americans from socklessness. "Socklessness" is defined as "us not having socks", because if it was taken rationally the biggest sock-stealers would be found in Washington DC, London, Jakarta, and Tel Aviv. The atrocious sock-stealing of 9/11 does not justify committing similar atrocities against innocents.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
If you aren't with us... (5.00 / 3) (#37)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 10:55:02 PM EST

... well, you know.

[ Parent ]

no! don't despair! (4.71 / 7) (#4)
by martingale on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 07:08:17 AM EST

If you're thinking of blaming Unix, please don't. Other vendors may wish to use this little contre-temps to entice you to switch to a GUI breed, but remember, without Unix's waggy tail -f, logs are not worth keeping.

The solution, of course, lies in man socks. I'll let you read it yourself, but point you to the section recommending that matching pairs be sewn together at the tip to prevent separation during init.

Another important tip (5.00 / 5) (#11)
by Pac on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 11:40:06 AM EST

You should always configure your socks drawers and servers so as to disallow access from external processes.

Those students who have become one with the universe will be allowed to go on and become two with the universe

[ Parent ]
my own sock experiement (4.33 / 6) (#6)
by VoxLobster on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 08:26:23 AM EST

is an experiment in not caring what kind of socks I have on. I simply reach into the drawer, grab two socks and wear them. Sometimes they match my clothes, sometimes they're different colors and styles...it doesn't matter. It turns out to be a good ice breaker.

I was raised by a cup of coffee! -- Homsar

Colours but not styles (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by Weezul on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 12:06:28 PM EST

I intentionally buy a large number of brightly coloured sock, about one pair per colour, and missmath them.  I don't really tollerate significantly missmatched thinknesses (i.e. styles) until the socks are old enough that style is indeterminite.  The main obstical to missmathing is the accumulation of large numbers of boring white, brown, or black socks.
"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
[ Parent ]
it works (none / 0) (#66)
by sean23007 on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 04:55:27 PM EST

I, too, do this, and it works quite well. On the rare occasions when I am required to actually wear socks, I just grab the closest two socks and put them on my feet. I think my washing machine has an asshole's sense of humor, however, because exactly half of my socks come out inside out. Of course, I always end up getting one of each, and wear them as such. You think mis-matched socks are an icebreaker, try wearing one inside out for a while.

Lack of eloquence does not denote lack of intelligence, though they often coincide.
[ Parent ]
Problem solved (4.40 / 5) (#7)
by cockroach on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 10:42:23 AM EST

I've got a blacksocks.com subscription, thus my drawer keeps getting refilled with the same kind of socks. The only bad thing that can happen is that one of the socks I wear has changed from black to grey - I think I can live with that :)
Webisoder - never miss another TV episode
bizarre (3.66 / 3) (#22)
by glog on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 03:45:47 PM EST

this has got to be the most bizarre subscription i have seen. nifty idea but who actually buys into that other than you?

[ Parent ]
Some seem to (3.50 / 2) (#40)
by cockroach on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 11:24:28 PM EST

According to this link they've already sold more than 120,000 pairs of socks (this German only link claims they have 12,000 customers in 25 different countries)
Webisoder - never miss another TV episode
[ Parent ]
well (none / 0) (#48)
by glog on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 03:58:51 AM EST

that just proves there are so many weird people around the world. and lazy too. oh well. my socks seemed to be fine last time i checked.

[ Parent ]
Socks (3.00 / 1) (#50)
by djotto on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 07:00:46 AM EST

I did some work for a site with the same business model - but selling women's tights.

Apparently, it's not as stupid as it sounds - after all, they're still in business. I think the "secret ingredient" is that small things, like socks and tights, fit through a letterbox - after all, the biggest problem with ecommerce is that someone has to be there to receive the goods.

[ Parent ]

interesting (none / 0) (#85)
by glog on Sat Aug 17, 2002 at 09:56:42 PM EST

I never really thought of the delivery problem in that light. In that case socks and tights do have an advantage.

[ Parent ]
USA (none / 0) (#76)
by dachshund on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 10:32:52 PM EST

What do these guys charge to ship socks to the USA?

[ Parent ]
Try their US site (none / 0) (#81)
by cockroach on Wed Aug 14, 2002 at 09:45:07 AM EST

Webisoder - never miss another TV episode
[ Parent ]
Your solution is simple ... (4.88 / 26) (#8)
by pyramid termite on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 11:21:32 AM EST

... install winsocks that Unix can't deal with.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
Cockers (4.75 / 4) (#10)
by Pac on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 11:35:05 AM EST

Next time you want to experiment with socks, small flats and dogs, you should try dogs more friendly to a sockfull environment.

Cockers are known to be fearless sock, shoe and clothes-eaters. My Golden Retrievers, on the other hand, never went near clothes or shoes, even as puppies. And large as they are, I know of many Goldens living happily in very small apartments (of course they have to be walked a lot). Naturally you may want to call then AIX or Solaris to reflect their larger, no-generic, nature.

Those students who have become one with the universe will be allowed to go on and become two with the universe

Curse the cocker spaniels (5.00 / 3) (#34)
by magus123x on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 09:31:04 PM EST

I definitely have to agree here. Having raised an incredibly rambunctios cocker spaniel from 6 weeks old to current (about 6 years) they have an insatiable appetite for socks. As a matter of fact, the first year of raising him I may have spent more on socks than dog food and treats.

First he started removing them from my room and collecting them, bringing them behind the sofa to chew and lay on.

But he wanted more. But how could he get more? All the socks were his, or in the laundry. Well, he'd come up to me and slip them off my feet and bolt off with them to his secret stash to enjoy them.

Now, all this time, I had no idea where he was putting them. So one day as I moved the couch away from the wall to clean behind it, what I do see? About 20 pairs of socks, each with a few small holes in them, and covered in dog hair and drool.

The next one is going to be a Husky.

[ Parent ]
Probably a training issue (none / 0) (#44)
by vasi on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 01:53:17 AM EST

My Labrador Retriever, and my friend's Toller both go after socks like crazy, and Goldens are closely enough related to those that it's unlikely they're missing the "sock gene". Sock-snatching probably has something to do with how a dog is trained (or not), rather than what breed it is.

Maybe you could try putting something distasteful (pepper?) on a few socks and leaving them around the house, that might kick the dog's habit.


[ Parent ]

Goldens X Labradors (none / 0) (#47)
by Pac on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 02:46:03 AM EST

Labradors are generally far more active than Goldens. I know far more cases of successful Goldens living quiet and happily in apartments than of Labradors. And I know personally some a tad too "lively" Labradors. Both are far easy to train, though.

But Cockers are another kind of problem. I have even met two or three Cockers that were declared officialy "untrainable" by competent trainers (that is obviously an exageration, but in the end the solution amounted to "let the dog be"). I saw Cockers defying any kind of discipline imposed to them if it meant giving up something they really wanted. A very determined race, the Cocker Spaniel.

Those students who have become one with the universe will be allowed to go on and become two with the universe

[ Parent ]
Re: Probably a training issue (none / 0) (#54)
by AzTex on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 08:18:00 AM EST

Yes, it is definitely a training issue.

Some people think it is a good idea to give a puppy old socks (or shoes) to chew on. The result is an adult dog that thinks socks are chew toys. And dogs don't seem to know the difference between an old sock and a new one.

If you have a puppy, absolutely never give it a sock or shoe. If he does ever pick up a sock (or shoe or anything other than what you want him to chew on as an adult), discipline him right then and there.

solipsism: I'm always here. But you sometimes go away.
** AzTex **

[ Parent ]
Methinks I'm too easily amused this early, but.... (3.66 / 6) (#13)
by lwhalen on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 12:18:22 PM EST

"Since they neutered him, I renamed him to Unix and took him home..."

That had me laughing so hard, I was crying! Good one! 8*)

I don't get it (none / 0) (#82)
by rdskutter on Fri Aug 16, 2002 at 07:46:03 AM EST

Please explain what neutered dogs have to do with unix.

If you're a jock, inflict some pain / If you're a nerd then use your brain - DAPHNE AND CELESTE
[ Parent ]

Ha ha ha. (2.40 / 20) (#15)
by ennui on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 01:17:20 PM EST

Ha ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha. Ha ha ha (ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha) ha ha ha, Ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha, ha ha ha, ha! Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha ha, "Ha ha ha," ha ha, "ha ha ha ha."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha...ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, ha ha. Ha ha ha, ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha.

"You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone." -- Al Capone

Yep (none / 0) (#75)
by icastel on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 06:12:55 PM EST

-- I like my land flat --
[ Parent ]
You were on the right track... (3.16 / 6) (#16)
by jxg on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 01:47:27 PM EST

Just buy one color of socks.  When you find non-matching clothing, eliminate it.  Buy all of your clothing, including socks, in one color (I choose grey), and you shall find true happiness.

Who needs socks? (3.40 / 5) (#18)
by Meatbomb on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 02:25:39 PM EST

Sandals work great, leather shoes breathe nicely even with bare feet inside them. If it is really cold where you live in the winter, get boots with thick wool liners.
The solution to the war on socks is simple: JUST SAY NO!


Good News for Liberal Democracy!

Viva la Revolution! (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by Andy P on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 10:21:40 PM EST

As someone who wears sandals through Canada's winter, yes!  Finally, someone who doesn't think I'm insane.  I've found a single square of bounty paper towel works in a track shoe instead of socks too.

[ Parent ]
you're insane (none / 0) (#52)
by Subtillus on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 07:59:15 AM EST

but i'm curious how you prevent losing your toes in a canadian winter.

[ Parent ]
You do. (none / 0) (#80)
by jred on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 01:45:44 PM EST

Seriously.  I have this argument with my 6yo all the time.  *Why* do I have to wear socks, daddy?  Well, sweety, when you don't, your feet stink.  Really bad.  And you get blisters.  Plus your feet stink.  So let's wear socks, ok?

[ Parent ]
Good white sock recommendations, please. (4.00 / 3) (#20)
by IvyMike on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 03:21:58 PM EST

I haven't bought socks for a long while now. Why? I'm trying to grind ALL off my current, mismatched, ill-fitting, hole-filled socks into the ground and then throw the entire collection out and replace it with a colleciton composed of a single style of sock. I'll never have to worry about mismatched socks again!

But unfortunately, now that I have to pick that single style of sock, I have a problem: which sock type to buy! I want a quality sock--imagine having a collection comprised of only sucky socks.

So, my question to the world of sock-wearers at large is: what brand and style of sock should I buy? I am able to wear sneakers to work, so I'm looking for white socks, not dress blacks. Any recommendations?

I recommend gold toe (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by Skippy on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 05:52:36 PM EST

I think that's the brand name but I'm not sure. They are easily recognizable by the yellowish-gold toes. Nike makes good socks too but some people have ethical problems with Nike.

# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #
[ Parent ]
What's wrong with dress socks? (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by haflinger on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 11:20:40 PM EST

I only wear dress socks. They're comfy. White socks make my feet itch like nobody's business.

'Course, I mostly wear black sneakers. Well, always black sneakers. Okay, always black Reeboks. And apparently even the same line. Sigh.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

White socks look stupid (none / 0) (#86)
by blakdogg on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 01:40:55 AM EST

White socks are only suitable when wearing sneakers, preferably with track pants. I would suggest black casual socks, if you must standardise. They look better, are more flexible and don't get so dirty
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
Amen! (3.66 / 3) (#25)
by Anon 17933 on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 05:09:34 PM EST

Great article -- I had the same problem. So I just kept buying more -- now I've got two drawers full of them.... They've taken over my life! I don't know what to do... aaahhhh.....

Thanks, I needed that. (4.50 / 4) (#27)
by n8f8 on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 06:22:44 PM EST

Funny stuff. I can relate. Two years ago I changed all my socks over to Hanes with gray toes and heels. Worked wonderfully for sorting until my wide decided they would be great for everyone else in the family.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
Heh .. (5.00 / 2) (#42)
by cafeman on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 11:58:14 PM EST

Your "wide"?  You'd better not let her hear you call her that ...

<ba boom ching>

"No Silicon heaven? But where would all the calculators go?"

[ Parent ]
yeah, really (5.00 / 1) (#65)
by calimehtar on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 03:54:21 PM EST

I think the technical term for them is "broad"... better be more careful next time.

[ Parent ]
Gray-tipped Hanes with Red Stripe (none / 0) (#45)
by MicroBerto on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 02:29:17 AM EST

Best Socks in the world!!!

- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
[ Parent ]
Exactly (none / 0) (#46)
by n8f8 on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 02:31:37 AM EST

Easiest to match also.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
the truly important question (4.40 / 5) (#28)
by senjiro on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 06:39:42 PM EST

is the underlying behavior of socks that causes them to go missing. I, too, have suffered the costs of fickle socks, unsatisfied with an average sock existence. How do they get away? I have gone so far as to move my washer/dryer around, half expecting to see a thriving sock population living in subterranean caves underneath. I now suspect that, like ballpoint pens, there is a homeworld for socks, and that they make their way there, to live in peace.

it is by will alone that i set my mind in motion
matresses (5.00 / 2) (#38)
by slothman on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 11:19:25 PM EST

Well we know there is a homeworld for matresses.

[ Parent ]
uh? (none / 0) (#51)
by Ubiq on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 07:02:55 AM EST

I think I'd notice if my mattress went missing, though.

[ Parent ]
the underlying behaviors of socks (none / 0) (#63)
by yami on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 02:43:24 PM EST

I've heard of one man who never loses socks to the laundry. However, he is plagued by socks which constantly turn themselves inside-out. One can only assume that when a sock tries to disappear, and fails, it is turned inside-out - and one man has stumbled upon a source of freakishly disabled socks.

Why should we plant when there are so many mongongo nuts?
[ Parent ]
Easily explained by... (3.40 / 5) (#29)
by CHIMPO on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 06:48:00 PM EST



But how do you explain (5.00 / 1) (#49)
by dark on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 06:59:50 AM EST


[ Parent ]
With a Carnot heat cycle (none / 0) (#53)
by Subtillus on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 08:08:28 AM EST

of adiabatic expansion followed by an isothermal expansion followed by two compressions of equal and opposite magnitude.
The resulting work drawn from the system has an efficiency which can never be 100% by the definition of the above terms.

If you want any more you'll have to talk to someone smarter, like jesus or Santa claus.

[ Parent ]

Didn't work for me (4.20 / 5) (#30)
by mike3k on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 08:29:16 PM EST

My sock draw consists of several identical packages of gray tube socks (all the same size when purchased).

Although they're all mostly the same color, there are several slightly different styles and vastly differing sizes. Due to variable shrinkage depending on the number of times any sock was washed, it's now almost impossible to find two socks exactly the same size even if the color & style are the same.

me too (none / 0) (#83)
by machine on Fri Aug 16, 2002 at 02:09:47 PM EST

I bought a whole bunch of black 'sport' socks in the vain hope that this would mean I wouldn't have to deal with mismatched socks but I was wrong. Certain socks, even though they are all the same brand, are softer than others and some are more stretchy.

So I've ended up with an entire sock drawer full of mismatched black socks... go figure.

[ Parent ]
Socks are tools of slavery (4.70 / 10) (#31)
by cowscows on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 08:44:01 PM EST

I only wear one type of sock. It's the only kind I can stand. I don't know where to purchase these socks. My mom does. As long as she knows and I don't, she has power over me. As much as I want to be fully independent, it will never happen as long as she has the monopoly on the socks. I'll keep coming home at christmas, despite any other better plans, because that's when my sock supply gets replenished. How terrible.

One time I threw a brick at a duck.
Definitely... (none / 0) (#61)
by davidduncanscott on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 01:55:03 PM EST

the K-Mart in Cincinnati, 400 Oak Street.

[ Parent ]
A lasting solution... (4.33 / 3) (#32)
by knawsey on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 08:44:40 PM EST

If your sock drawer is causing you angst do what I do...reach into your sock drawer with your eyes closed, grab the socks that feel most similar (notice I said "feel") and then put them on. Yeah that's right put them on. Don't hesitate or go back for others just put on whichever ones you just picked. For the first couple of days it might seem strange especially when people come to you and ask "i think you have mismatched socks". Over time people will stop mentioning it to you and it won't feel as strange anymore. What makes all this worth it is the one day you reach into the sock drawer and pick out a pair of matching socks. Try it!

Revolution is the only answer! (4.20 / 5) (#33)
by blixco on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 09:23:39 PM EST

Burn the sock drawer! Burn it to the ground!
The root of the problem has been isolated.
Yes, and it the wake of the evil... (5.00 / 3) (#36)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 10:49:02 PM EST

... sock empire a grand foot utopia shall rise. The children of the world will join hands and feet as they sing in peace an harmony. No crops shall wither for the rain will always fall on time. Joy, joy brothers and sisters will be with us all. Behold the great day is at hand... er, at foot.

[ Parent ]

sock matching doesn't matter (4.00 / 2) (#41)
by Xenophon on Sat Aug 10, 2002 at 11:44:22 PM EST

...if you wear boots! Nobody can tell what socks you are wearing! The drawback to wearing boots though is that you pretty much have to always wear long pants...
also, even if others can't tell if they match, it still feels funny if they are sewn differently. :-(
I salute your effort!
Matching socks or happiness (none / 0) (#67)
by Mantikor on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 06:32:55 PM EST

Sock matching is a pointless waste of time and energy at the best of times.  The idea is to keep your feet warm and comfortable, not impress others with your ability to match two different objects.  Fuck, most of us were able to do that sort of thing in kindergarten.  Many of us were given that sort of thing to do as an exercise to aid growing minds - so, now that you're a grown up, you don't need to waste your time any more.  Matching socks is a game for children.

One black and one white sock will keep your feet just as warm as two black socks.  Who really cares about the odd retard who sees two different socks and thinks "ha ha, they can't match their socks!"?  I say laugh right back at their ridiculous need to conform and have strangers accept their sockular choices.

Stand up for your right not to be driven mad by mismatching socks - accept them instead, and demonstrate your dismissal of judgement by appearances.

[ Parent ]

Boots in Winter... (none / 0) (#70)
by Bios_Hakr on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 12:53:39 AM EST

and Birkenstocks in the Summer.  Never agian will I have to match socks.

BTW, I find combat boots to be the best.  Black goes with anything and you can always shine the hell out of them for special occasions.  Plus they have better traction than Cowboy Boots.  I'm wearing Corcoran Jump Boots now.  Very comfortable and not too heavy.

[ Parent ]

dammit! (none / 0) (#73)
by Shren on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 10:48:47 AM EST

also, even if others can't tell if they match, it still feels funny if they are sewn differently. :-(

Dammit! I never noticed this before, and now I can't stop noticing it!

[ Parent ]

Fol-ding (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by Ludwig on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 12:16:06 AM EST

Why don't you fold pairs of socks together as they come out of the dryer? Pretty basic laundry technique. Your sock drawer can look like this, with a minimum of fuss.

You mean, like a game of Tetris? [m/t] (none / 0) (#74)
by fullcity on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 11:25:44 AM EST

There's one fly in the ointment that we've swept under the rug.
[ Parent ]
Don't.... (3.50 / 2) (#55)
by MonoSynth on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 08:28:52 AM EST

....put the socks and the ball pens in the same room without supervision. When they get too close to each other, they'll transform into clothes hangers.


....And the world goes on racing, like the world always will....
Or All the Seas With Oysters.... (none / 0) (#79)
by The Muffin on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 11:31:15 PM EST

Interesting theory, that.

And yes, the title was intentional. And if you know what I'm talking about, I love you. And beware the coat hangers.

- This is the end.
[ Parent ]

The socks themselves are not the problem (3.66 / 3) (#56)
by axxeman on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 09:06:01 AM EST

Unix is a sucker for standards. If all your socks were incompatible legacy socks from different manufacturers, Unix would fail to recognise them as socks. Problem solved.

Being or not being married isn't going to stop bestiality or incest. --- FlightTest

unix is trying to tell you something (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by turmeric on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 11:24:34 AM EST

lighten up. life is good. lots of cats to chase, lots of rooms to run through.

Technology to the rescue (4.50 / 4) (#58)
by nchannen on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 12:31:50 PM EST

This problem is clearly caused by insufficient technology. Here's what I'd recommend:

You need a USB (Universal Socks Bus) WebCam in your drawer, which regularly scans the number and colo(u)r of remaining socks. If it drops below a pre-set threshold, it uses SSL (socks support layer) to connect to a local socks retailer, and automatically orders more (be sure that your proxy is configured for SOCKS support). Soon, UPS (Universal Purveyors of Socks) will deliver a sox box to your door. Voila, problem solved. Just watch your VISA (Very Interesting Socks Account) bill.
Parents of young organic lifeforms are warned that towels can be harmfull if swallowed in large quantities. [HHGttG]

brainstorming (4.50 / 6) (#59)
by calimehtar on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 12:59:22 PM EST

The problem is not the sock, and it's not you, it's the fact that there are two of them and they are not physically connected. The solution? Connect them like a child's mittens with a string you thread up through the crotch of your pants. Or better yet, wear stockings. As long as you wear long pants, no one will notice (well, apart from the occasional girlfriend maybe, but the girlsfriends will become rarer, trust me).

Another solution I have found that works well with pens (pens have a nearly equal tendecy to disappear) is to buy really expensive, high-tech socks. If the socks are really really cool you will think about them more often and generally take better care of them.

bingo (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by synaesthesia on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 01:36:25 PM EST

The way I stay on top of pairing socks is to treat them as if they are physically connected during all handling stages. That means you should never put one sock in the laundry basket without knowing where the other one is, you should never grab half a pile of dirty laundry and shove it in the washing machine without checking that all pairings are present and correct. The same goes for transferring between washing machine and tumble dryer, or if you dry your socks on a line or rack, pair them whilst you're hanging them out, then they're already paired when you put them in the drawer.

I did toy with the idea of enantiomorphic velcro squares at the top of each pair; but this would have to be strong enough to survive the wash cycle. Perhaps some other sort of clasp.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

Socks & Dogs (4.50 / 2) (#62)
by Mzilikazi on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 02:09:22 PM EST

When my mixed-breed was a puppy, he had a viscious appetite for socks. One interesting solution I found in a book was this:

Take an empty coke can and put a dozen or so pennies in it. Tape over the open hole at the top, and tie a string to the tab. Tie the other end of the string to a sock, and set the can on a nearby table or shelf. When the dog grabs the sock, the can falls and makes a loud rattling noise. It's even better of the dog decides to run with it. (The look on the dog's face is hilarious if you catch them in the act.) :)

This worked pretty well with Wolfgang, and after a week or so he lost interest in socks. He'll occasionally still grab one, but only if he is trying to get my attention and nothing else works. Fortunately this just involves dragging them out the door of my room and not mangling them.


Dang it! (5.00 / 1) (#68)
by influx on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 07:10:24 PM EST

I want to get a puppy just to try this!

The more you know, the less you understand.
[ Parent ]
The Gold Toe Conspiracy (4.00 / 2) (#64)
by AzTex on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 03:01:03 PM EST

I did something similar when I wore suits everyday. I had 15 pairs of identical Gold Toe Cotton Fluffy black socks in by black socks drawer. It was great. But after 4 years I started replacing them as they wore out. Alas, the new and the old Cotton Fluffies don't match! Now I have some Gold Toe black socks and some well-worn and washed Gold Toe very dark grey socks. The texture between them is different too. Sigh.

My white socks drawer is, and always has been, a mess. I have recently been migrating to Gold Toe white socks. One day I hope to have only Gold Toe Cotton Fluffies in my white socks drawer. One day, indeed...

solipsism: I'm always here. But you sometimes go away.
** AzTex **

Um why not follow this simple plan (4.33 / 3) (#69)
by tzanger on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 09:38:35 PM EST

When putting socks away, only socks which are paired make it into the drawer.

Yes, that's right. Take the matching socks, put them together, and then fold the top 2-3" of one into the other in a simple and efficient fold, finally tossing them into the drawer.

Socks with missing partners don't make it into the drawer; they stay on top of the dryer or on top of the dresser until their mate is found. My dryer likes to eat the odd one and this prevents me from tossing the remaining one in case I prematurely declared its mate forever gone.

Safety pins (4.00 / 1) (#77)
by dachshund on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 10:33:52 PM EST

I know a guy who uses safety pins on all of his sock pairs. Nothing goes into the wash unless it's pinned together, and it remains that way until it needs to be worn.

[ Parent ]
Count yourself lucky..... (5.00 / 3) (#71)
by kimpton on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 04:07:28 AM EST

He loves socks more than hamburgers, cake and cat combined. Like a feral wolf, he tears the socks from their very fabric in violent fits of head shaking.

An old friend of mine's dog was famed for eating bits of clothing carelessly discarded. The friend had a girlfriend stay over one night and in the morning they found the dog had eaten the entire crotch area of her jeans.

no links? (4.50 / 2) (#72)
by elderogue on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 10:36:43 AM EST

great article, but you should have mentioned some of the previous work that has been done in this area.
You're getting a great deal (none / 0) (#78)
by dachshund on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 10:42:03 PM EST

He loves socks more than hamburgers, cake and cat combined. Like a feral wolf, he tears the socks from their very fabric in violent fits of head shaking.

This only seems like a problem until you look at the price of actual dog toys. If your dog is content with socks, I see no reason to dissuade him. Just make sure he doesn't see any of the price tags, or he'll figure it out and move onto something more expensive. (Though try and dissuade him from actually swallowing too much of the sock in one sitting, as that can cause digestive problems.)

Other than that, just throw money at the problem. Go back to that discount store and fill an entire cart with socks.

Socks (none / 0) (#84)
by clarioke on Fri Aug 16, 2002 at 02:34:49 PM EST

are the larvae form of hangers.

That's why you lose socks and have more hangers than you know what to do with.

My roommate marks his socks.

I hate socks. I also hate shoes. Hell, I'd be naked if I wouldn't be arrested. But, alas, I get mighty damn cold out here, so socks it is. If you are confident in your Sock Mismatching, you can start a trend.

I'll start it out here in Boston and someone on the West Coast start. We'll have MisMatched Socks be immensely popular. (I think they were once popular in the '80s.. big, mismatched, slouch socks.)

Good luck. When all else fails, buy a pair of Birks and feed your dog the rest of the socks.


Must be something strange about socks....... (none / 0) (#87)
by Niha on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 04:44:58 PM EST

One day, I took some clothes from the washing machine and put them in the dryer. When I took the dry clothes,there were four socks among them, and guess what...of course,they were four completely different socks.Their mates? At the remaining wash in the washing machine.And I hadnīt selected the clothes I put in the dryer...

The Great Sock Experiment | 87 comments (79 topical, 8 editorial, 1 hidden)
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