In Sept. 27 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron
Oh, my goodness sakes alive! You will NOT believe what just happened!
I've been sitting here, for like, 30 minutes, just typing away, and I guess my hand slipped, or something, and everything on the screen just disappeared.
Oh well, they say something is better the "second time" you write it, but I believe I'm about to blow that theory all to pieces.
(Wait, let me hit "save" real quick to avert even more disaster...OK, cool, sorry for the interruption.)
First of all, I am truly overwhelmed by the many calls and comments I've received over the past few days.
When I quit the newspaper business almost a year ago, I didn't think anyone would notice.
(Better hit "save" again.)
Your kind words and encouragement have been a blessing, and I cannot thank you enough.
If there's one thing I've heard a lot, it's "What are you going to write about next?"
Yes, I said SOCKS, so this may be a good time for you to jump over and read Ron Cowell's column, or maybe check out the sales papers.
You see, I have realized that a good portion of my life has centered on socks.
If there's one thing my parents drilled in my head, it's the importance of the "proper socks."
(And the importance of saving your work as you go, so you won't do something stupid and lose it all.)
My mother was from Indiana (or "up north," as we say around here), and knew what was "socially acceptable."
Her sock acumen was "white for casual wear, dark for dress."
My father grew up here, but gained his sock knowledge after moving away and selling x-ray equipment all over the world.
He said "sharp dressers" always had nice socks.
"Sharp dressers" were usually successful, he surmised, and in order to be successful, you had to wear proper socks.
My dad's favorite socks were either black or dark blue (and the occasional brown), were painfully thin, and felt like women's hose.
Now, how do I know what women's hose feels like?
Hmmm... let's move on, shall we?
As I grew up, I tried to follow my parent's advice because I assume they knew what was best for me.
In order to avoid being embarrassed, or fear the possibility of going "down there," (you know, where's it's real hot all the time), I was to never, EVER, wear white socks with a suit.
And I was to never wear dirty socks in case I was involved in an accident.
Now, we've all heard you're supposed to wear clean underwear in case you're in an accident, but for real-let's say you are in an accident. Wouldn't it almost be expected that you may have dirty underwear?
You hear people say things like, "Oh, man! A car pulled out in front of me and I almost ______ my pants!"
Get what I'm saying?
I can't imagine someone wearing "dirty" underwear on purpose, anyway. Yuck.
But back to what I was talking about-I could almost imagine being wheeled into an emergency room somewhere and the medical staff ignoring soiled drawers, but being aghast at dirty socks.
"Did this guy walk around without shoes on?" a doctor may ask. "Did his parents not teach him the importance of clean socks?
Ah-ha! See, now we're getting somewhere...there really IS no excuse for dirty socks.
Nowadays, I don't worry so much about "proper socks."
What DOES bother me is that I spend at least 20 minutes each morning trying to find a pair of matching socks.
I get up around 6:30 a.m., go back to sleep, wake up again at 6:45 a.m. throw the alarm clock across the room, go back to sleep, wake up again and 7 a.m., panic, and begin getting ready.
By 7:30 a.m. I'm remotely clean, and dressed...except for socks.
It's the same ritual EVERY morning.
We have this huge laundry basket full of socks-mostly white with a few black, and a hint of grey in there, I think.
I dump the basket out on the bed, and sit there trying to match up a pair of socks.
Long white, short white, white-ribbed, white-smooth, white with logo, white with no logo, boiled socks, fried socks, etc.
I would much rather spend my morning "down time" praying, meditating, hang-gliding, ANYTHING but "hunting socks."
Usually, around 7:55 a.m., I find a matching pair, or at least something, close, and dart out the door.
Why don't I try to find a pair of sock the night before?
Well, I'm a guy, so therefore I'm not capable of logical thought.
No, no, no, I conduct this daily ritual as if I'm trapped in some kind of "sock purgatory."
Each year, during the U.S. 127 Yard Sale, I'm not searching for antiques or rare collectibles-I'm looking for "The Sock Guy."
Following the many "12 PAIRS OF SOCKS FOR $5" signs, I found him this year next to Mighty Dollar.
I had tears of joys in my eyes as I walked toward his tent and saw table after table piled with bags of bright, fresh, new socks.
I also saw several middle-aged men, with joyful, yet pained expressions on their faces, lined up to make purchases.
These men reminded me of...ME!
When it was my turn to pay, I asked "The Sock Man" how a person could survive by just selling socks.
"You many not believe this," he said, "but most of these people can't keep a pair of socks. They're always losing them.
"Some people tell me it's the highlight of their year to come and buy socks," he said, taking my hard-earned money.
"That sounds crazy," I said.
"Yeah, well, I guess the washer and dryer keeps eating peoples' socks, don't they?" the vendor said.
I thanked him, and started to walk away.
"HEY!" he shouted, "you forgot your change.
"And haven't I seen you around somewhere before?"