As promised, I conduced a thorough investigation earlier this week into the distressed state of my sock drawer. The results were grim. It seems that I own upwards of two dozen orphaned socks. Where their mates have run off to, I have no idea. But I am developing some theories.
The first is that my dryer is connected to a black hole in the universe that has a particular taste for cozy, stretchy pieces of fabric designed to cover one's foot. I have long maintained the position that that if Heaven exists as a physical place, it is also where people are reunited with lost possessions. Should I ever have the privilege of ending up there, I expect to find quite a number of earring backings, lens caps, pens, winter hats and house keys. We can now add socks to that ever growing list of lost and found objects.
My second theory is based on the South Park episode Gnomes, where an underground army of gnomes sneak into Tweek's bedroom every night and abscond with his underpants. If memory serves it was never clear what the motivation for their endeavor was other than to sell them for profit. The Marxist scholar in me has always loved this episode as a metaphor for the mysterious workings of capitalism and its sometimes devastating effects. Whenever I find another orphaned sock, I can't help but remember that episode and blame my problem on the sock gnomes. Somewhere in DC a cottage industry of sock puppets is no doubt thriving, thanks in part to the fruits of my sock drawer. If this indeed the case I expect some sort of kickback.