Posts Tagged ‘Birkenstocks


Area man sorts through his sock drawer

Realising that he was 15 minutes late to work the other day because he couldn’t find a matching sock despite a collection of more than 60 pair, area man Bob Frapples, 52, is sorting through his sock drawer.   Frapples, a research scientist with the Institute of Applied Institutional Applications in Hamburg, Germany, says the task he faces is an immense one.

“Look, maybe I’m going fucking colour-blind in my old age, but I just can’t tell them apart anymore,” he laments.  “I mean, look at these things.  One’s blue, the other’s dark blue, that one’s black… you know, I’ve got better things to do that piss around on my day off sorting through socks.”

Frapples is not alone. In a recent poll, 65% of German men said they gave up finding a matching pair the other day and actually put on their Birkenstocks without socks, a major male fashion faux pas in a country that leads the developed world in awkward ways to dress.

Another survey found 35% of men would rather spend money on new socks rather than spend the time sorting through their old ones.

Specialists in the field of household psychology pin the problem on the pervasiveness of technology in modern life.

“People just figure they’ll be able to download some app for this sort of thing one day like they do for everything else, so they let their socks just sit there in the drawer, forever unsorted and ultimately unused,” said Bill Melater, Ph.D.  “Then they find they’re neglecting other household tasks, like getting around to doing the laundry or finally fixing that damned handle on the bathroom door that never seems to close properly.”

Economists have also picked up on the trend and say the growing under-utilisation of sockage in the market might be countered by external forces that will determine whether socks in the future get sorted.

“You might actually begin to entertain the idea,” said Gudeggs Getlaid of the London School of Economics, “that it is starting to look like the initial stages of a budding appearance of a growing societal trend wherein market demand for a strategic fit in the realm of sock drawer logistics is determined not by whether one ends up with two socks that actually match, but…oh…  Oh shit.   I’m terribly sorry. Where was I?”

iPhone developers have picked up on the trend.  One group is now working on an app that could revolutionise the world of sock drawers and free up untold millions of hours now wasted on sorting.

“Alls ya godda do is point the iPhone at your sock drawer, and the app’ll do the rest, OK?” said an excited app man at some Starbucks somewhere. “The app will analyse the colours and sizes, then suggest paired matches on your screen.”

Frapples says he couldn’t be arsed with the iPhone or experts for that matter as he spreads his drawer out over half his living room.  An organised man, his socks are now neatly ordered one beside the other according to length, not colour.

“That breaks it down a bit,” he said on a break for lunch three hours in.   “I figure with my system in place, I’ll be done before it’s time to head to work tomorrow morning.  I’ve already warned my wife that the living room’s a construction zone ’til the job’s over.”

Frapples has brought in extra lighting from neighbouring rooms to help out in the task.  “That helps to tell the difference between dark blue and dark-blue-but-not-that-dark-blue-could-be-black-for-all-I-know,” he said.

So far his method has resulted in about 20 matches.


10 Further facts and opinions about Canada

For the fourth year in a row, in honour of Canada Day we give you 10 facts and opinions about Canada.  Previous editions are to be found here and here.  And if that’s not enough: here.  Any complaints as to the humourous quality of this post should be addressed to Conrad Black, Some Jail, USA.

  1. Real Canadians look back at the recent Vancouver Stanley Cup hockey riots with revulsion, but rioting about hockey is, in fact, a great Canadian tradition.  One St. Patrick’s Day in the mid-1950s Montrealers went absolutely apeshit after a star player on Les Canadiens was suspended for the season, thus jeopardising their team’s chances at La Coupe Stanley.  Pelting the NHL president with food after he had the gall to attend the next Montreal home game, fans later spilled out onto the streets smashing windows, clashing with police and looting stores.
  2. Montreal was the site of five of Canada’s eight biggest hockey riots since the above-mentioned Rocket Richard Riot.
  3. Maurice “Rocket” Richard’s little brother Henri was also a huge Canadiens star.  They called him the Pocket Rocket, or in Quebec: Rocquette Pocquette.
  4. I was in Montreal this time last year and had a great time, but I wouldn’t call it a riot.  The riots were a few days before in Toronto at the G8 summit.  That was sump’n’ broodle.  A billion dollars for security and the place still ends up a shambles?   They made it all up for us though by building this fake lake so we wouldn’t have to swat flies at a real one: 
  5. Two hours east of Montreal in the Eastern Townships of Quebec there is a 110-year-old building that straddles the Canada – US border.  You enter the library on the US side, but take out books on the Canadian.
  6. I don’t know which currency you’d pay your fines in, but the Canadian dollar is now worth more than the American.
  7. I would say nya-nya-nya-nya-NYA-nya about right now, but that would be most un-Canadian.

8.  One Birkenstock is in Canada, the other in the United States.  See if you can tell which is where.

9. In a national anthem survey, 79% of Americans know the first line of Star-Spangled Banner but only 37% of Canadians know the first line of O Canada, which is pretty pathetic considering the first line of O Canada is O Canada. – attributed to Jay Leno. 

10.  By the time you read this, we’ll be in Canada.  Unless you see it the moment it’s published, in which case we’re somewhere over Greenland.  Or maybe Iceland. Have a great summer.

The banner photograph shows the town of Britannia Beach, BC, Canada, where I grew up. It's home. But I don't live there anymore.

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