Sock Rebuttal

How fortuitous! I come back from a dinner with lawyers (preparatory for this biotech patent law mock trial hooha I’ll be doing in the next few months) to discover that Simon has responded to my tempestuous gauntlet-throwing. Like any sensible blogger, he chooses to duel with rhetoric. So without further ado, let me present the kernel of his argument:

Now put the sock through a full cycle in the washing machine, and then the dry tumbler. It will inevitably, always, sure-as-f*ck, come out with the designated inside facing out. […] This sucks! It sucks because turning all your socks natural inside-out (or designated inside-in) after washing them is a condensed moment of absolute and pure ├╝ber-boring suckage!

As I had suspected, Simon’s thinking is just riddled with false assumptions. To enlist the truth and rigor of mathematics on my side of the argument as well, I’ll number them.

  1. No matter how they go in, socks come out of the dryer inside-out
    The easiest way to remove a sock is to grab it at a single point on the ankle and yank down. Unless you have exceptionally slippery feet, this leaves the sock inside-out, with the toe maybe poked in a bit. So it’s no surprise when they come from the laundry inside-out – they’ve been that way since leaving your foot.
  2. You should care which side of a sock is inside, and which is outside
    This is true, sort of. However, it also indicates a poor choice of sock, or possibly a poor choice of shoe. The best of my socks have minimal toe-seams, located across the top of the toe rather than at the tip, so they can be worn inside-out without chafing. The inverted hula pigs are an extra bonus.
  3. You should invert all your inside-out socks in a batch, as you fold your laundry
    Moderation in all things! Should you need to invert your socks, it’s much less annoying to do so one sock at a time, as you take them from the drawer or put them in the laundry or even (Martha Stewart take note) as you take them off your feet. This reduces a concentrated bout of über-suckage to insignificant moments of inconvenience, which pale in comparison to brightly colored socks.

To be perfectly fair, the effect of the laundry process on socks is an empirical question. I’d offer to test it, but I did four loads of laundry yesterday, and all my socks are clean.

Yeah, clean socks! My toes wiggle with delight.


  1. Simon wrote:

    Well, my dear opponent, you have a point there with number 3. And a tiny one with number 2. Number 1, however, is plain wrong. I’ve got some socks spinning around in the machine right now, so let me inform you about reality over at my place later today.

  2. yami wrote:

    Well, I did leave it open for empirical dispute… *grin*

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