“Why are all your socks spread out over the bed?” Layce said.
“What? I can’t hear you,” I said.
“Take your head out of the washer that might help. Why are you in the washer anyway?”
“I’m looking for socks,” I said. I put the flash light back in my mouth and resumed my search.
“Why? You have plenty of socks,” Layce said. She was now peering into the depths of the washer with me.
I removed the flash light from between my teeth and pulled my head out of the washer. “I know. I have 106 complete pairs of socks. I also have 52 single socks that used to be pairs but somehow, somewhere, their partners have gone AWOL. That means that I lose on average one sock a week every year. I want to know where they go.”
“And you think there’s a trap door in the washer where sock gnomes pop up once a week and steal a sock taking their precious back to the King of the Sock Gnomes to offer tribute,” Layce said, doing a good impersonation of Gollum.
“Well that’s one hypothesis. And since our garden gnomes went missing last Halloween they may have joined the sock gnomes of their own volition or they have been forced and now they suffer Stockholm Syndrome and are willingly stealing our socks because we are the bloated bourgeois of socks and need to be taught a lesson.”
Emma came in the laundry room.
“What did you find out?” I asked her.
“The only thing was a post that said the washer repair man thought it was possible the socks get under the agitator.”
“I don’t think 52 socks would fit.” I looked at Layce. “Can we remove the agitator and check?”
“No, we cannot.”
“How about this, there’s a black hole under everyone’s washer that leads to another Universe where aliens wear all the mismatched socks,” Emma said.
I looked at Emma. “That’s not bad. But why do they want mismatched socks? Why not take a matching set? Is it a fashion statement? Do they think we won’t miss the missing sock? Are they using it as a test of will to see if we will fight for our missing socks? Are they operating on the assumption that if we just accept the sock thing that taking over our planet will be a breeze? And why are so few people interested in this dilemma? I mean if you walked outside and your car was missing one tire wouldn’t you be more invested?”
“I think most people have more important things to think about than where their socks go,” Layce said, as she shut the lid on the washer. I guess that settled the taking the washer apart option.
“That’s how society begins to unravel. It starts with little things,” I said. I peeked behind the dryer.
Emma asked, “Mom, have you seen my Duomo hat?”
I raised my eyebrows and pointed a finger at Layce. “See! It’s starting already. First socks…then hats, then cars, then bank accounts. Who knows where it will end.”
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