28 July 2009

The Best Socks in the World

Nice Socks

The Gary Gary Sock

The Gary Gary is a sock that was gifted to me by the charming and erudite, Mr Vivek Nagrani As you can see here, the Gary Gary was designed in honor of some, what I can only guess, are two very heavy hitters in the world of government and the military. I mean, Joe Shit the Ragman does not meet with the Secretary of Defense and have some laughs about socks. So I told Vivek my sock story in the hope he'd consider naming a pair in honor of The Trad.

My story has a connection to the Gary story in that the military was involved. But that's about it. Back in the Army, when I was an E-nothing, I lived in a open bay barracks. Usually 50 or so men per floor on steel bunk beds with two floors per barracks. These were WW II white frame abodes who had no business hanging around as long as they did except... they were so well taken care of by 50 years of 19 years olds scrubbing them spotless. You can still see these relics today on the other side of the wire on any Army post in this country. The latrines consisted of six or seven sinks and six commodes...without any partitions. A big part of my indoctrination in the Army was getting used to doing number 2 with five other guys doing number 2 -- all visible and audible.

So there's no privacy in the latrine. Except in the middle of the night. Which reminds me of the time I was a barracks fire guard and walked into the latrine around 2 AM where I saw a fellow platoon member satisfying himself over a sink while he watched himself in the mirror. You can be assured I told everyone in the platoon and this spread like wild fire to the entire company. I'll spare you the nicknames this unfortunate soldier earned. Amazingly, he turned out to be something of a celebrity.

Most of us opted to be nameless when it came to this activity. Hence, the popularity of the athletic / tube sock. Sold by the dozen for a dollar in Columbia, SC, Columbus, GA or Fayettville, NC, these white cotton socks turned out to be a staple in any Army barracks. Simply by affixing the tube sock under an Olive Drab blanketed bunk, a soldier was afforded, after lights out, a multi - purpose solution to what that troop I mentioned earlier was doing in the latrine over the sink. 30,000 men in the 82nd Airborne Division alone must have created a huge demand for tube socks and ultimately a thriving textile industry boomed in the southeastern states where Army posts were as common as mosquito's and country ham. Although, there were the unsavory types who, instead of throwing away their soiled cotton, insisted on washing their socks. This, I never did understand but I've never been into recycling. At least not when it comes to (or in) socks.

There you have it. My sock story. Which I proudly told Vivek.
He seemed somewhat taken aback but managed a laugh. I'm not sure if he's working on designing a sock in honor of my story... but I do wish you would give his fine product a try. They're very comfortable. And at $45 a pair...I'm not throwing mine away for a very long time.


Desk Jockey said...

So lovely to hear a song and dance about the glory of the kill rag.

Anonymous said...

Well. Hmmm. Well. I guess The Tintin would have to be made available in a myriad of sizes. Extra small, small, medium, large and no f***ing way, get that thing away from me. Would they necessarily have to be sold in pairs? Brings a whole new meaning to "I love your socks. I mean, your sock." D

Anonymous said...


Is this a preview of your full sock drawer post? You big tease.

You have confirmed what I have long suspected. Tube socks were designed for tube steaks.

-An athletic supporter

Anonymous said...

Ah the old "one o'clock sock". Also known as "the midnight caller".

Had a guy in my unit get caught doing the very same thing. One of my buddies questioned whether we could make fun of him for doing something we all do. Of course we can was the reply. We may do it, but we're not dumb enough to get caught

Anonymous said...

I have a pair, thanks to you! I use them sparingly, and only, ahem, on my feet...


ADG said...

The yag sock. Damn. Brings back memories. Fratty house...same as barracks.