Monday, 23 March 2009

The Escape Of The Stripy Sock

Contrary to popular belief I actually quite enjoy travelling by train, as long as I have a seat and it runs on time. I found my seat with plenty of time before departure, set my coffee down on the little drop-down table and unpacked my bag.

The contents of my bag are always the same. A couple of books, the latest copy of The Spectator, enough old receipts to make a papier-mâché fortress and my trusty notepad. I carry that notepad everywhere, scribbling in it frantically the moment blogging material presents itself.

The train rapidly filled up and by the time it left London it was packed. My gaze wandered lazily round the carriage, taking in my fellow passengers. Ah yes, the usual black fedora. There is ALWAYS a dubious chap in a black fedora. In every pub, at every bus stop, in every train. Does he think he's in Capone's Chicago? I'm getting paranoid, he's probably following me.

Something caught my attention. A stripy orange sock lay in the aisle halfway down the carriage. Solitary, lonely and very, very orange. You have to be a real twit to lose a sock. A total klutz. Especially a sock like that, a sock that offends the fashion conscious, a sock that no sane person would ever own, the type of sock that only a complete loser would wear. Only an absolute giraffe would go outside wearing something like that. Conceivably it could have been dropped by a mole. But what would a mole be doing on the 18:30 from London Euston?

And then it dawned on me. It was MY sock. One half of my favourite pair. It must have been travelling in my trouser leg, waiting for the perfect moment to drop out.

A stronger, prouder man would have let it go, sacrificed the sock in order to save face. I couldn't do that, I HAD to retrieve it. I hatched a plan so cunning that, had they heard about it, all the foxes and weasels in the world would have worshiped me as the god of cunning.

I walked down the aisle past the sock and "went to the toilet". I stood in the toilet cubicle for what I deemed to be an appropriate length of time, during which I untied my shoe, then strolled nonchalantly back up the carriage.

Reaching the sock I stooped down to tie my shoe, scooping up the sock and hiding it in my hand with the subtlest of movements. The god of cunning was at work. I rose and headed back to my seat, the master of the known universe, the most brilliant strategist since Alexander The Great. I had got away with it.

As I walked up the carriage a lady caught my eye. "Nice sock," she said.

35 comments:

Kat said...

Even the most brilliant plans are foiled from time to time. Nice attempt.

Lisa said...

please, please a photo of the paper mache fortress!!

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

You know I had to follow the link ... and I agree - the Dame is everywhere these days.

Speaking of agreeing (something which I am fundamentally against - however...)I agree with Lisa, we must see photo of papier mache fortress!

Comedy Goddess said...

I heart your story. You are still the God of Cunning. Nice new font too.

Joanie said...

So close!

phd in yogurtry said...

"enough old receipts to make a papier-mâché fortress"

This had me laughing. And I would have grabbed the sock, too.

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

It's fun to have a bright orange stripy sock (only one) underneath a stuffy suit... no one knows you are having casual Friday in one of your shoes.

Nikki-ann said...

ROTFLMAO! I really do love coming here and reading your blog, it really makes me chuckle!

Yes, come on, we want to see a paper mache fortress made of receipts! :D

Call Me Cate said...

It was a brilliant plan. Sorry it didn't quite work out for you. Your socks sound quite lovely!

Diane said...

You know someone out there blogged this morning about the bloke on the train who picked up an orange stripey sock, thinking he was being all cunning and discreet... you just know it.

Once, when I was in high school, I wore a pair of jeans I must have worn earlier in the week without washing them between wears. I was at my locker and noticed a sort of bulge half-way down my calf. 'What the hell?' thinks I... so I reached up my pant leg to see what it was... GASP... it was the underwear from the last time I wore them!! I was HORRIFIED!! I tried to discreetly remove them and stuff them in my locker. I don't THINK anyone saw.

But thank God there were no blogs back then...

Soda and Candy said...

I badly want this story to be true.

But it's so perfect!

blognut said...

I am so glad you were busted out on that cunning little plan. I'm sorry! No way should you have gotten away with dropping a sock on the train. It goes against the fates.

Asphodel said...

Hahahaha better a sock than an unfashionable underwear!!!! Eeeep! I hope that doesnt ever happen to you or any of your followers! But then again, it is blog material worthy eh?

jpooh said...

Mo, Mo - no, no! You walk over, pick up the sock and if you can't bring yourself to hold it up over your head and say, "Hey - does this sock belong to anyone? My cat will LOVE it!" you pick it up, examine it briefly and say quietly (but not too quietly), "Hmm, someone lost this hideous sock; can't say as I blame them. The cat will like it though." Then you walk back to your seat, toss it in your bag and go about your business.

It only took me 46 years of embarrassing moments to finally learn how to weasel out of one semi-successfully.

Between you and my husband, you could paper maiche the Great Wall of China.

Stacie said...

mauahahaha...i love socks, especially bright ones...and patterned ones...glad you got yours back, so where in your pants did you say it was hiding??? ;)

Ms. Florida Transplant said...

lol, brilliant plan!

Minka said...

Good for her!
Did she say it with a smile? Maybe she understood it only to well.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I think you are brave. And the lady who saw you, I think I read her blog earlier today.

cactus petunia said...

You know, I had a feeling that missing socks hopped trains to get away from their mates...

Mama Dawg said...

Awesome. Brilliant plan, terrible execution.

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

You know, she was probably keeping an eye on that sock so she could snatch it up for herself.

Melanie D said...

Do we get to see a photo of the sock?
Next time try dropping something bigger than the sock on it, then you can pick them up in one scoop :)

Kylie w Warszawie said...

Hilarious! And you forgot to mention that you also carry your blackberry (or other similar piece of equipment, perhaps owned by Apple) so that you can always be the very first commenter on my blog.

Not that there are that many in competition with you. But still. You're ALWAYS first!

Peggy said...

Mo...if you love something, you have to set it free...I think your sock was just trying to get out and you know, explore life.

rubbish said...

You're on the 18.30 train and you lose the sock then. Doesn't that mean the sock had been on your person all day? Ninja socks, doncha love them.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

haha, that is awesome! What a funny little story. thanks for the giggle.

And well told as usual :)

Frogs in my formula said...

Striped socks are well worth retrieving. If you'd said plaid I would have scoffed.

About "It must have been...waiting for the perfect moment to drop out."

Why are your socks trying to break free?

Tooj said...

I would have been that lady. For whatever reason, I love calling out people like this. Those trying to be subtle. LOL

bernthis said...

I would have likely said, "Nice ass"

The Mister said...

I likely would have just picked it up and asked if anybody was missing a sock, shrugged and pocketed it, thus easily avoiding the onus of owning up to, um... ownership.

The Gnu said...

she was part of the plan too, right? just to draw attention to how cunning you were. cos there is no point in being cunning if other people don't see it!

C.B. Jones said...

black fedora dude and nosy woman are like a tag team. If you spot one, the other isn't far behind.

thistlesandmapleleaves said...

I was about to tell a story about a pair of ladies' undies lying about the hallway of a gym i used to frequent...until you confessed to owning the sock.

Your retrieval move was brilliant.

And for the record, the ladies panties i just mentioned were not mine.

Maria Roth said...

You ALMOST got away with it. Do you like to wear your orange socks with sandals and shorts?

Nej said...

Please, if you are the woman who blogged about a chap stopping to pick up a stray sock on the train....let your voice be heard!!!

She either saw it fall out of your pants leg, and laughed when you picked it up...or, she's wondering why you'd want this one strange orange sock.

Either way, I'm giggling.

As I have quite a few new readers since I became a "Jelly Biter" I've put this up here again. To understand the context you must read this post!