The Curmudgeon Report: Shirts and socks prove oddly befuddling

I don’t intend to buy too many more shirts in my lifetime. Neither do I plan to buy any new socks. When you reach my age, adding to your collection of either is as dumb as eating one more spoonful of ice cream even though your “ice cream headache” has kicked in.

However, even though I curtailed my purchases, I still get a new shirt or a pair of socks now and then from my children or grandkids when it’s my birthday or at Christmastime. When I try to open the packaging on the shirt, though, I am prepared for an exercise in futility. The manufacturer, for some dumb reason, has placed more pins in the shirt than you’ll find in a 10-pin bowling alley. In addition, there are plastic inserts holding the collar in place and labels and other paraphernalia placed randomly on the garment for reasons that defy logic.

A word of caution: don’t wait till you are going to wear the shirt before removing it from its packaging. You’ll be late for the ball, have a good bawl and ultimately swear you’ll never wear a new shirt again.

To top things off, after you remove all the pins, snaps and plastic paraphernalia and finally slip it on, there is always one pin hidden inside the shirt that pricks you the wrong way.

As for socks, they usually come in a multi-pack, with three or five pairs of socks attached together with an indescribable tiny T-shaped thingamajig holding it all together. To get to the first pair of socks, you have to carefully cut the gadget holding the pack in place. The cutting area is so small, it is impossible to break any pair of the footwear apart from the others in the packet without actually cutting the sock itself.

It is bad enough you just got more socks to throw into the drawer, but after the removal procedure is completed, some of the new hosiery starts its life with a hole in it.

I don’t know how long manufacturers have relied on this marketing presentation but I think the cast of the old TV classic “Laugh-In” was referring to what covers our toes when they shouted, “Sock it to me!”

Again, in the scheme of things, how my new shirt and new socks are packaged is not one of life’s crisis points. Maybe the Arrow shirt company and its competitors enjoy throwing darts at customers, but I’d rather they didn’t.

An aside: since the subject of socks has arisen, let’s not pussyfoot around the burning question that sooner or later is asked in every laundry room.in the country: ‘Why am I missing one sock? It happens so often that many households set up a missing sock drawer to hold the two or 12 mismatched toe toppers. This phenomena used to lead to a scratching of heads but not any more. Now, it’s a part of life that we simply accept and move on.

Oh yeah, on the blood boiling scale. I would grade this grating experience a 4.

Winslow has written the Curmudgeon Report for more than a dozen years. He wonders how rapidly your blood is boiling on this issue? Let him know at donwin16@gmail.com.

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