By Allan Sko
Father’s Day’s upon us again and not a moment too soon. And not, as you may think, for the prospect of breakfast in bed or the heart trembling embrace of one’s pink progeny, nice though that is.
No, it’s because I’m perilously low on socks and underpants.
Now, the sensible among of you—that is, women—may very well be imploring me to just go out and buy some, if the need is so dire. What you’re not contending with is men’s dogged ability to ride undergarments until they are more hole than cloth.
I believe I have unearthed the deep-set psychological reason from this. And it involves The Moment Socks and Underpants Go From Being The Worst Gift In The World To The Best.
Peer back through the fog of memory, if you will, and remember those moments at Christmas when your gangly-legged self would nip emu-like from present to present, gingerly squeezing each in turn in an attempt to form a sharp mental picture of what lay beneath.
Inevitably, you would come across a shudderingly soft present, one with the undeniable give of a pair of neatly folded socks. Your blood runs cold. A quick glance at the label confirms your worst fears – ‘Dear Allan. Thought you might need these. Much love, Gran.’
‘Drippy cow!’ my nine-year-old self would hiss. O well. Another fart in the ol’ thank you card it is, then.
This attitude to undergarments continues unwavering through the teen years. But then, one day, something strange happens. When a tired partner asked what you’d like for your birthday, you find yourself uttering the impossible words…
‘Oooo! Socks and underpants would be great!’
A strange phenomenon, yes, but there is a simple logic behind it. Years of presents from fart-caked elderly relatives has allowed a healthy supply of undergarments and – much like bills, food, and generally every other cost of running a household – their value has been shielded from us.
When you finally move out of home at the trembling age of 28 and discover undergarments don’t just periodically appear, it’s a shock. I’m welling up just thinking about.
Socks and underpants are like cars – we need them, but we hate spending money on them. When we put Old Bessie over the pits, and the charlatan of a mechanic returns (no doubt rubbing oil off their hands with an unfeasibly dirty cloth like they do) to say it’ll be $1750 dollars for four new tires, a brake pad, and a new baffle-spigget, we don’t cheerily retort:
‘O well! Such is the inevitable wear and tear of daily life. I’m just happy I got five years in before having to replace anything. Thank you for your time and expertise, my oily chum!’
Instead we normally bark: ‘Thief! You won’t see penny one from me, you slag!’ before driving off into a tree.
So loathe are we to spend money in this vital area of modern civilisation that we go countless months—nay, years, if we could—with frayed undies, holy socks, and elastic so stressed its on six valium a day.
We can’t fathom paying for them after so long, so we try to figure out a way to avoid it. Stealing them could see you end up in jail, with a crime so lame you’d be the bitch’s bitch. Starting a fashion mag for the freebies is a shade more effort than required. And at that precise moment, we realise… We can get them as gifts, and so we enter into The Moment.
It’s either this, or it’s the fact we simply can’t be fucked to buy them. Just bring on Father’s Day already. I can hear the last thread unravelling…