You may smile at this title dear reader, but it is a very real problem in my life and possibly in yours too. Or it may be that you are far more organised and efficient than me and the socks that go into your washing machine actually come out again. I'm not so sure that mine do. I know not what what alchemy is afoot in my utility room, but many pairs can go into the wretched washing machine, but I'm darned sure not that the same quantity come out again.
Not only that, but last week at least some did come out of the washing machine and I duly hung them up on the electric airing rack overnight, came back the next morning and collected the laundry in, took it into the bedroom to sort out and blow me down, there was only one sock of spouse's left to put away. How did that happen? My socks seemed to be all present and correct, but only one of his? He is not one-footed, he did not throw one out prior to laundering so what is going on? Like my bell pepper seeds and grains of rice being strewn over the floor and worktops at night, I believe the house elves are having a laugh at my expense. How else can I be left with one lonely sock?
At Chez Comb we have both have two feet and thus wear our sock in pairs. Ergo, pairs of socks go into the washing machine - nota bene, pairs, not singles. So why is it that I end up at the end of the laundering process with so many lonely socks? Where do they all go? And never to be clapped eyes on again. They never turn up, how is that? We both have drawers full of lonely socks. Does this only happen to me dear reader?
It's the same with gloves. There were always two of them, carefully put away in the drawer after use and then on going to retrieve them for their next outing, there is only one there. One of life's many mysteries.
I wonder if Noah had the same problem in the Ark? The animals went in two by two. Did they indeed? Well, I bet a lot of them didn't come out two by two by the time the flood was over and they were decanted on to dry land. You can bet your bottom dollar, or last shiny pound coin, that Noah and Mrs Noah were left scratching their heads when the animals trotted out of the Ark and down the gangway and quite a few of them went solo. No amount of carefully searching the nether regions of the boat would reveal a lost mate and I bet they asked themselves the eternal question too - where did they go, what happened to them?
When I mentioned this puzzle to spouse, (the socks, not the animals), he came up with yet another domestic conundrum. Where have his favourite waterproof work trousers gone? He did have two pairs and one pair seems to have vanished into thin air. Likewise the woolly hats that keep his bonce warm when working outside. He had several to choose from at one time and now he is reduced to one. I know he can only wear one at a time, but he did have his favourites and they are nowhere to be found. Is it the house elves again?
I may not have lost a giraffe, elephant or warthog lately and if I found one what would I do with it anyway? But I would like to discover the whereabouts of the stash of lonely socks that there must be somewhere. I know you're out there. Come home soon and all will be forgiven. that is my final offer, house elves. You have been warned.