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Thursday 9th February 2006

I was at the Barbican with a friend tonight to see The Andersen Project. I enjoyed it.
Afterwards we were walking through the foyer of the frankly ugly building close behind another couple. Something appeared to drop from one of them and landed on the floor. It looked like it might be a scarf or a glove which would make sense as it was cold outside. We called after them but they didn't respond, by which time we were by the fallen item and were able to see that it was a rather grubby looking sock. Which was a surprise.
The couple had now turned around to head out of the door behind us and were passing us. "Is this your sock?" my friend asked.
"No, I don't think so," scoffed the woman dismissively as if this was an insane question. Yet I'd been pretty sure I had seen it fall, though now had to admit this seemed unlikely.
"Ah," chipped in the man, "It is mine actually."
After the woman's vehement denial this confession seemed doubly embarrassing. He picked the sock up, by which time we had moved on, not wanting to stand and stare at the man who was, for whatever reason, carrying a sock with him. It definitely hadn't fallen off his foot. It was a sock that he had had in his pocket or maybe in his hand or possibly rolled up and stuffed down the front of his trousers. Who knows?
It was one of those incidents that makes you wonder what the story was there. The woman had seemed so sure that the sock was nothing to do with them, so it was a secret sock - a sock the man had kept hidden from his friend. Perhaps we could assume that this was a first date in which case the mysterious dropped sock was an embarrassment or maybe they were long married in which case this secret sock was even more shocking. Why had the man had a loose grubby sock on his person? I know some young men use a single sock during their onanistic experiments (presumably to catch any effluent as well as acting as a makeshift channel for the penis to enter), but was that why this middle aged man had a sock? Unlikely, but it would be quite apt as part of the play had dealt with secret masturbatory fetishes.
Or maybe more innocently, the man had realised he was wearing dirty socks before the date and had bought some new socks, which he'd changed into and then put his dirty socks in his pocket and one had slipped out at the worst possible moment.
I suppose it could be the case that the man uses socks for gloves, which to be honest is almost as embarrassing as him wanking into them, or stuffing them down his trousers to appear better endowed.
Whatever the case I hope the couple had a strained conversation on their way home from the theatre.
It was certainly the most embarrassing dropped sock I have ever encountered. What do you think the answer to this sock riddle is?

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