APFwebs

Walking the floor over you

Aside from a leg, a foot has not much closer acquaintance than a lowly sock.

The onus of dirty socks is laundry. A missing mate search goes to the machines, transport path, and clean clothes with static. Guess: the straggler shows up in the last place I look.

For word junkies, “foot” came from the Proto-Indo-European grunt “ped”. Other English words from “ped” are fetch, fetter, impair, impeach, impeccable, pajamas, pessimism and pioneer. What a kick. 🦶🏼

A foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. (Danged if I can figure how to fit three phalanges into my little stub- and corn-prone pinkie toe.)

But socks are user-friendly: they slide on easily over this complexity, except when a big toe or foretoe nail needs an early clip.

Since the Bronze Age, the foot has been long or short, in step with times and places, based on barleycorns or other body part sizes. Then along came the meter in 1791, refined in 1983. The humble foot doesn’t stand on its own: the standard is exactly .3048 of a meter.

But socks are easy to buy: small, large, and the ever popular medium. (Try that with a shoe.)

At nightly strip I free my feet of socks. I step and stand on one sock toe while I pull its foot out, then repeat on the other side. And stuff the two into the dirty laundry bag. Its size grows, demanding attention. The price of clean socks. Soon.

Laundry. 🧦