The greatest mystery of all time

Brian Rogers
Rogers Rabbits

Finally, someone is taking the greatest mystery of the century seriously.

No, it’s not a fix for the hole in the ozone layer. Nor the tracking of the Loch Ness monster. Even more perplexing than why Shortland St continues to run. Not even the discovery that Elvis is alive and well and working in a drycleaners in Tirau.

It is the realisation that something mysterious is happening to our socks.

And something serious needs to be done about it.

For decades, New Zealand men have been suffering from serious sock lossage.

Usually just one, but sometimes the pair.

But steadily and surely, our socks have  been disappearing.

It drives me hopping mad.

Many blame the washing machine, others the clothesline. Then there’s the evil dryer.

Sitting demurely in the corner, looking the innocent party – but who really knows what happens in the heat and confusion of the tumble cycle?

Blokes, you can take some small comfort now in the knowledge that you’re not alone. For years we’ve been individually suffering silently, refusing to publicly admit we have a problem, too embarrassed to discuss it.

Just sitting in our odd socks, hoping the length of trousers will keep the shameful truth from the scornful eyes of the fashion police.Finally sock makers Jockey Gold Top has ventured where no sock maker has gone before. They’ve documented proof that there is a mysterious force at work. Their survey of New Zealand men has found that our socks are disappearing into the washing machine, never to be seen again.

Five out of ten keep the odd sock, clinging to the hope that one day the missing one will again appear and be reunited.

Two thirds have confessed to deliberately wearing odd socks. And I have to admit to this indiscretion.

About 70 per cent also believe their sock drawer contains up to five unmatched socks at any given time. Hell, just the five? I’ve got bags of forlorn lost sole, sock orphans.

I’ve placed a moratorium on further use, given them until 2007 to await the return of their buddy, or be mis-matched with a fellow widower and put back into service in the sock drawer. It won’t be ideal, but at least they will serve out the rest of their days making a contribution.

Many theories abound as to the destination of lost socks. A large number of men surveyed cast suspicion on wives and dogs. Others rambled incoherently about sock-thieving pigmies. (The survey results are unclear about whether alcohol consumption or substance abuse was a factor in these survey participants.)

One man surveyed believed there exists a conspiracy, in which socks end up in schools to be made into puppets.

Another confessed that he at least knew what happened to disappearing socks.

He wore them until all the holes eventually joined together and the socks gradually disappeared into nothing.

There are as many theories as there are odd socks.

Here at the Weekend Sun, we’re taking the revelations very seriously and would like to hear from sockless readers.

Send us your theories, stories, and  any miracle cures you may have to stem  the epidemic.

You will gain huge satisfaction from knowing you’ve contributed to solving the greatest dilemma mankind has faced since the invention of the moccasin.

Send your ideas, with “Sun Sock Submission” in the subject line, to:

"Like... umm... like... blah, blah, blah... like..."

by Jim Bunny

Whatever, like, has happened to the word like … like!

A perfectly good functional word has become an assault on the ears like, an attack like, on our linguistic sensibilities.

Like, thrashed, dropped needlessly into sentences like … completely out of  context like.

When you can’t think of a word to use throw in like, and even when you are in full flow, throw in endless likes. It means nothing but beats the hell out of a silence… like.

Which is a shame because a silence can be a very powerful communication.

But silence has been contaminated by the word like. It’s irritating – it makes you want to scream in protest. I was just becoming immune to “oh my god” when along  came like.

It seemed like it was like just verbally challenged teenagers who resorted to, like, indiscriminate usage of the word like. But it’s become, like, an insidious disease, it’s like become pandemic. It’s like verbal ebola.

But it’s worse than that… it is the rape of a valuable and good word.

Like is a very versatile word … a preposition as in “he used to have a car like mine”, a conjunction as in “people who change countries like they change their clothes”, an adverb as in “there was a funny smell, dusty like”, an adjective as in “I responded in like manner.” It can also be a noun.

But like, it was never like intended, to be used as in this overheard conversation.

“My boyfriend was such a dick last night. He like got home from work and like spread all his smelly clothes across the room and I had like just cleaned up that morning. He never does the cleaning, and then I was like ‘can you pick up your mess’ and he was like ‘I’ll clean it up soon’ and like then he spent the rest of the evening playing video games with like his best mate who is super annoying.

“So I like refused to cook dinner for him and like stayed the night at my friend’s house. Like I like him, but sometimes he can be a real arse.”

Nine likes in just one breath. Nine needless likes.

We don’t like. So please, like, stop it.


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