Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Strange Case of the Teleporting Sock

If anyone wonders where I get some of the supernatural wackiness that shows up in my books, well, my real life is a good source. Not that I actually think anything truly supernatural is going on. It's just that some things are odd enough that a supernatural explanation might actually make more sense.

Take socks, for example. There is a giant sock black hole in my house, and it really likes the socks I like or use the most. Socks always seem to go missing for me, to the point that the top of my dresser is sort of a lost-and-found department for widowed socks. I live in hope that the missing mates will return some day to be reunited with their loved ones. But that's not the weird thing. What's weird is that my socks can apparently teleport. When I went to visit my parents for my class reunion, I brought two pairs of one kind of sock. As I was frantically packing to leave Sunday morning, I only found three socks. I didn't have time to go on a quest, so I figured the missing sock was stuck inside a pants leg or bundled up with some other clothes and I'd find it when I got home. When I got home and unpacked to do laundry, I very carefully took one item out at a time, gave it a good shake, and then checked inside legs, pockets and sleeves. No sock. So, when I talked to Mom, I mentioned the missing sock, and she said she'd check for it in the guest room. She didn't find a sock. I checked other bags I had with me, in case maybe it got mixed up in my books, my tote bag or my computer case, but there was no sign of the missing sock. Yesterday I got a pair of shoes I'd brought with me that weekend to wear for the first time since that weekend. I picked up the shoes from my bedroom floor, where I'd put them after taking them out of the suitcase and checking inside for the missing sock. The missing sock was hiding under the shoes. How could it have hidden when I was taking everything out, checking inside and shaking it? Teleportation is really the most logical answer. It was hiding in my parents' guest room, then the moment Mom started looking for it, it teleported over here and hid under a pair of shoes.

Then there was yesterday's adventure with my season 2 DVD set of The Office. Due to whatever odd urge, I decided to straighten up the jumble of DVD sets on my coffee table and around my sofa. The new sets this season all seem to come with a cardboard sleeve around the fold-out case (which I hate), and the sleeves had become separated from the cases. When I went to put the Office DVD set up, I noticed that some of the discs had come off their little spindle holders, so I had to open up the case and snap them into place. That's when I noticed that there was a disc missing. I knew one was in the machine, but there were only two in the case. I knew I'd watched pieces of all four discs since I got home from my parents' house, so the missing disc wasn't in their DVD player. I went on a frantic search for the disc that must have fallen out of the case when it got loose. I searched under the sofa with a flashlight, checked every newspaper and magazine that had been on my sofa, cleaned off the coffee table and generally turned my living room inside out, to no avail. I even checked the case a couple of times to see if a disc could have slid between the plastic and cardboard and to see which disc was missing. Finally, in utter desperation, I checked the case again, removing each disc from its slot and putting it back in place. The missing disc turned out to be hiding under one of the other disks, so there were two in one slot. But how did I not see that when I had to put loose discs back in place earlier? The only logical answer is that the disc wasn't actually there when I checked the first few times. It teleported in from a remote location at the last minute.

I know I'm always saying I need to get my life in order and my house cleaned, but I'm not sure a clean house would have helped in either of these instances. I guess I might have noticed the missing sock sooner if I'd put the shoes away in a shoe rack instead of leaving them on the floor (unless the sock wasn't actually there until later), and if my living room had been pristine with no clutter whatsoever I wouldn't have had long to search for a missing DVD before realizing it just wasn't there, but I'm not sure I would have found it hiding any sooner (especially not if it just magically appeared).

So, if the simplest answer is usually the right one, I either have tiny, mischievous, invisible beings living in my house and messing with my head, or my possessions have the power to teleport.


Amanda Ashby said...

I have two small kids and therefore have to mulitple your teleporting sock theory by a gazillion since the socks are in fact smaller and therefore the ratio of ever finding the missing one is even more impossible. Oh, and since England is nearly always cold, it sure makes for a lot of missing socks!

Shanna Swendson said...

Seems like you already have small people living in your house. :-) There's no telling where socks might get hidden.

You probably also have a colony of Borrowers in the house. I hear they're native to England.