Oh darn

I was snoring softly in the easy chair when a barrage of socks brought me to full consciousness.
“Look at them! They’re all full of holes! Throw them out! I’m not washing them again!” stormed my wife, the Pearl of the Orient, as she grabbed the remote control and flicked on her favourite soap.
“Throw them out? They’re perfectly good. Just need a little mending that’s all. Why these heavy-duty socks should be good for at least a couple of years,” I retorted, as I poked my finger through the hole in the toe.
“If you’d cut your toenails, maybe they’d last a little longer, and you’d quit shredding the bed sheets to boot” countered the Pearl.
“Well you know I don’t like the sheets tucked in at the foot of the bed,” I countered with my best whine.
“Here! Clip ’em or I’m taking you to the vet to be declawed, and maybe fixed while she’s at it,” threatened the Pearl as she tossed the nail clippers at me.
The next 10 minutes was filled with grunts and groans as I struggled to get my toes up within hoof trimming range. The effort was occasionally pierced with squeals of annoyance as pieces of toenail shrapnel whizzed by the Pearl’s nose.
“How’s that look?” I questioned as I extended my foot out for the Pearl’s inspection–with only one bloody toe where I’d gotten a little too close.
“Now I’ll show you how to darn socks,” I offered proudly as I brought out the sewing kit and dumped the mountain of navy blue socks in front of me (I buy my socks all the same–two dozen at a time. It’s economical, and it doesn’t matter a hoot if the dryer eats one or you leave one in the bed at some motel).
“You see, you just put this old light bulb in the end of the sock and weave the hole shut with a good sturdy darning needle and some of this super duty nylon yarn.
“Why nothing to it and they’ll be better’n new,” I bragged.
“You only pay about a buck apiece for those socks. Just throw them out and get new ones,” argued the Pearl, unconvinced.
“The secret is anchoring the end of the yarn securely in this seam,” I demonstrated, tugging mightily to pull the giant darning needle through the sock seam that was a tough as shoe leather.
Fortunately, when the needle came loose, it missed my eye but did graze my cheek before neatly piercing my right ear lobe. As the Pearl later dabbed at the wound with some disinfectant, she observed through a veil of tears (mirthful ones) that she didn’t know a grown man could make so much noise.
And then to add insult to injury, she offered to put a gold stud in the ear.
Humbled, I returned to my darning instruction, patiently demonstrating the technique. Then holding up a completed masterpiece, I commented, “There that looks pretty good. Would you like to give it a try now?”
“I don’t do socks,” allowed the Pearl with all the scorn she could muster and returned to her TV program.
Three hours later, with an additional score of needle wounds, I had worked my way through eight pairs of socks. At minimum wage, that figures out to about $2.25 a pair. At least it beats framing.
And as of this writing, the infection in my ear lobe is just about cleared up, the blister on my heal raised by the lump of darning isn’t too painful, and my big toe has punched another hole in the socks.
Oh well. At least with summer just about here, I’ll be able to wear open-toed sandals for a few months.

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