The conversation went a bit like this.
Eugene: ‘Wait, Delroy! Wha happen to yur other sock?’
Delroy: *Carefully examines his own ankles* ‘Ah dunno. Musta got distracted an forgot to put it on….’
Eugene: ‘How you didn’t notice you were wearing only one sock? *creases up on the floor in laughter*
By first break time the whole of our Sixth form had heard about Delroy. By lunchtime, some of the more extrovert boys in my class had removed one sock in a mocking tribute to Delroy, the academic genius, who was somehow capable of not only forgetting to put one sock on before leaving for College, but whose feet were not sensitive enough to tell him something was awry.
By the following day more boys were wearing a single sock, but now they were in fluorescent colours, and by the end of the week virtually the whole Sixth Form were trying to outdo one another in wearing increasingly weird and wonderful sock combinations. If you did wear more than one sock they were almost certain to be in contrasting colours and designs.
Imagine fluorescent green on one ankle and the other swathed in orange and red Paisley and you get some idea of what we got up to. So began my sock fascination. It was 1986.
I moved on from outrageous socks to interesting socks and am still taken by the way that a great pair can add a flash of colour to an otherwise somber ensemble. As famously noted in one of J K Rowling’s Harry Potter books: “One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” I’m with Dumbledore, socks, especially posh socks, make a great present because I like them but am slightly too cheap to buy them for mylsef. If I am going to spend £20 on socks I expect to get multiple pairs for that sum, not just a single pair.
So imagine my delight when I discovered that my Christmas stocking this year included a wonderful pair of posh socks from my delightful son. Even better they feature pink elephants! Makes me feel like I’m back in Sixth Form. It is my mental age after all….From a company called Soxks, what they lack in spelling ability they make up for in sock skill.