I absolutely bloody love socks.
There I’ve said it.
You hear stories of the rich and famous with their demands for Veuve Clicquot served from an ivory tusk by a highly trained badger or caviar that can only be served on a shark-fin soup wafer on an autumnal Tuesday in Latvia, but that stuff isn’t for me.
If money was no object I reckon my single, perfect luxury would be a brand spanking new pair of socks every single day of my life.
Look, I’m not a purist so if there was some spare cash to ensure the new batch could be brought to me by Jennifer Lawrence while she was modeling the previous day’s offering then I’d be happy to go along with it, but it really is all about the socks.
I’ve just Googled and discovered that JL is in fact only 25 and so I’m feeling old and inappropriate.
Interestingly, she was born in Louisville, Kentucky which is where my dear (now sadly departed) Uncle John settled after emigrating to the States from Wales some sixty years ago. He called it Lovelyville, and I was lucky enough to go there in 1982 as a nine year old.
About nine years before JL was born.
Fine, Jessica Alba then. She’s 35.
You might be wondering why I’m banging on about socks (he said in an attempt to draw attention away from the fact that he has been having sock related thoughts about a woman the best part of two decades his junior before admitting it through the medium of a bracketed aside thus ruining the entire intention and wasting several moments of your precious, precious lives).
You might not be. But who cares I’m going to tell you anyway.
I follow an excellent blog called Research Reviewed (the theory behind child language and literacy development) and the splendid author of the blog (and purveyor of equally splendid short fiction via Girl At A Desk) made mention of the fact that she was staring at her rainbow-coloured socks.
I’m still wearing them as you can see. What? Do you think I can just afford to put on new socks of an evening? I’ve got two kids, a wife and an expensive drinking habit I’ll have you know.
And so…in that very collision of time and space a moment was shared. A show of sockidarity if you will.
And even if you won’t.
It left me wondering if there is any correlation between sock choice and writing quality. Clearly rainbow-coloured socks on a Tuesday can now be closely correlated with wonderment, wordsmithery and all round wowness but what does your choice of sock say about you as a writer?
I realise I’m supposed to follow Blogging 101 and end on that unusual and quite brilliant question in order to stimulate a greater number of comments but frankly I can’t be socking bothered.
Not only am I going to continue, but I’m going to do so with an ill-conceived fantasy micro-fiction piece in which socks play a role.
“Do not leave us at this hour Frask. The shadows grow long and the curses grow longer. Come, let us refill our tankards and make merry while the goblins roam.” Harlyn clapped Frask on his shoulder and stopped him from rising. “Old Bil has even got a new wheel of cheese around here somewhere and a bread he claims is made from the fin of the Grand Beige Shark of Ishra. Bought it off a wandering minstrel from…where was he from again Bil?”
“Latvia,” said Bil without looking up from his pewter polishing. “Was in here on Tuesday.”
“Latvia, Latvia. Ah…the very sound of it makes my bones ache for adventure Frask. What say we head off in the morning and find ourselves a young Latvian maiden or two?” Harlyn laughed without mirth and wiped foam from his lips. “Not too young of course my friend. We are men of a certain age, but a wench of say thirty five with mostly her own teeth would be a gift from the stars.”
“I’d love to Har, but sadly I’ve got to…Bil what in the name of the gods have you brought us now?”
“I can see it’s ale, but this tankard is…well it’s a bit weird to be honest. It looks a bit like a…”
“Tusk,” spat Bil with the beaten down venom of an aged snake who has had the secrets of the world revealed to him. “Bloody ivory plays havoc with the brew. Foams all over the bloody place. Not that the brewmaster cares mind you. All the bloody rage he reckons. Folk over in Verve Clicket won’t drink from anything else. Bunch of bloody badger bothering bastards.”
“Steady Bil,” said Harlyn. “It’s just rumour and hearsay. Just because you don’t see a lot of badgers in the wild doesn’t mean they’re being…anyway, a toast my friends. To Latvia!”
“I can’t do it Har. I really can’t. I have to complete my mission.”
Bil shook his head and disappeared silently behind the bar save for one mumbled bollocks as the kitchen hand dropped an elephant-based receptacle. Harlyn drained his tusk and fixed his friend with a level gaze. “Please tell me you aren’t serious.”
“I have to find to find it Har. It’s my destiny.”
“It’s a bloody sock you fool. A sock that may not even exist. A sock that…”
“No, not a sock,” said Frask getting to his feet, his rainbow coloured eyes looking unusually unhinged as he continued, “Not a sock. The sock. The Sock Of Ka’ard’aa’shi’aa’aan.”
“I’m telling you Frask, it’s not real. It’s just myth become fireside tale become failed bardic pop experiment become fake rural legend. There is no one sock that can unite the lands. Too much blood has been spilled. Too many bodies crushed beneath the spokes and axles of fate. Too many dreams trampled by the shoes of time.”
“But imagine Har, just imagine! If the crushing shoe of time could made to chafe a little less with the addition of a suitable sock the world could truly be whole again. Curse it Har, I have to at least try.”
Harlyn put his head in his hands and scratched at his scalp. When he looked up it was with the flat gaze of a man who has accepted the inevitable. “Then go my friend. Go and bring peace back to our kingdom. May the world be brought to heel. May your toes find comfort and may Our Faithful Lady hold you safe in that small archy bit just in the middle of the underside of her majestic foot.”
“Thank you my friend. What will you do now?” said Frask gripping his friend’s hand and pulling him in for a badly timed shoulder bump slash man-hug.
“To Latvia of course! Possibly with a stop off in Albania. I’ve heard tales of an exotic dancer who could raise my spirits…”