} Why, oh, why must I waste precious minutes on questions, when the
} answer can be found on Nova?
} Oh, very well. I will quote from Nova - Tuesday May 28, 1991:
} Since the dawn of time, man has sought to answer the questions that
} plague his very existence: "WHY are we here?", "Why are WE here?",
} "Why are we HERE?" and "What about socks and coathangers?". Okay, so
} maybe you never wondered about that last one. But Andy Rooney has, so
} we'll answer the question in the hopes that his column will go on to
} something more interesting. Like swimsuits. I really like swimsuits.
} Especially the ones with the itty-bitty straps that move around when
} the women walk, and the ones that show every contour of the OW!
} alright, alright!
} NOVA PRESENTS
} Socks and Coathangers - The secret symbiosis of the species.
} Neither the sock nor the common hanger are indigenous to the
} Americas. Some ecologists now believe that socks were accidentally
} introduced to this continent by Scottish and German immigrants. Dr.
} Hofkrank explains his theory:
} Well, first, there is a, mmm, strong resemblence between the
} Scottish traditional clothing and the American Argyle sock, a
} species which has suprised us all by flourishing outside of it's
} habitat, even threatening at times, to drive out the black businees
} sock, introduced in the early 1900's by the British.
} Second, we notice the tendency for those who wear argyle socks,
} not to wear underwear. We, have studies this, er, at length,, and
} believe this to be the due to the Scottish influence of the socks.
} Well, certainly, no self respecting black business sock wearer
} would be caught dead without underwear. And we've verified this,
} too! All black business sock wearers who've died in the past year,
} were wearing underwear. 'Course, we can't observe them when
} they're alive, because of the smell. It drives our bow ties crazy.
} Finally, we notice the pattern and the resemblance between the
} argyle sock and the white sport sock. Both are neither left-foot
} nor right-foot oriented. They both have the little extra stretchy
} part for the heel, and they also have the little lip at the top
} that tends to curl over when the sock gets old.
} Many people have critized Dr. Hofkrank's theories, saying that socks
} evolved with the rest of the clothing and is a descendant of an
} illegitimate mating between the sandal and the glove. Some of his more
} rabid critics claim that Hofkrank himself is, in a word, flat out
} nutso. Make that three words. Dr. Hofkrank argues this poin:
} I am not flat out nutso!
} One thing is certain, though. By 1929 there were entirely too many
} socks. The New York Sock Exchange suddenly realized that they could
} simply pluck the things in the wild and not have to pay anything for
} them. The bottom fell out of the market and America was plunged into
} the great Deppression. The government hired crop sprayers to
} exterminate the wild species. They tried Detergents, dyes and
} bleaches, but still the species prevailed. Then, in 1936, a literature
} student of USCSDSGS U stumbled upon the idea of using a natural enemy
} of the sock to weed out the species. After some research, he decided
} that the coat hanger would be the best candidate. He was right and his
} discovery led to a master's degree in Ecology. Unfortunately, he had
} wanted to go into literature. Not knowing what to do with this cruel
} blow fate had struck him across the cheek, right between his left ear
} and the left corner of the lip, where it stung him when he tried to
} smile, he, uh. I'd better start over. Not know what to do with this
} cruel blow that fate had struck him, he committed suicide and wrote a
} book about it.
} His idea, though, was a success. Not only did the coat hangers succeed
} in restoring the ecological balance, but they actually proved viable in
} maintaining that balance naturally. At first, government formed the
} Ickological Restoration of Socks program (They never have been good
} spellers) to perform regular surveys and issue sock hunting licenses to
} help reduce the population. However, after Argylegate, the press
} convinced the public that this responsibility should be left in the
} hands of the public. Thus was it agreed that, when a person reaches
} the legal voting age in the USA, by registering for the draft, he
} agrees to take on all sock-related ecological responsibilities in his
} What you, as a concerned (or apathetic, since there seem to be a lot of
} you) citizen can do to maintain your sock collection:
} 1) Wash them regularly. If you do not, their natural odor will attract
} other socks and they will begin breeding out of control.
} 2) Destroy them in pairs only. This is the only humane way to do it,
} as socks mate for life.
} 3) Never store socks in the same area as coat hangers. The hangers are
} indiscriminate eaters and will eat until they're so twisted that
} they're no longer good for breaking into cars.
} 4) If you find you have too many socks, wash them more often. This
} will slowly reduce their population by draining them of their natural
} 5) If you find you have too few socks, you should check you coat hanger
} population and further isolate the two.
} Next week on Nova:
} High powered business men who pick their noses
} Well, there you have it. In a nutshell, from a nut.
} You owe the Oracle two hundred toes cut from virgin wool socks.