I have more white athletic socks than the average junior varsity football team.

No, it’s not some kind of bizarre sports memorabilia fetish. Neither do I have a rare skin disorder.

In fact, my sizeable collection of white socks is entirely involuntary. Certainly, over the years I’ve bought a few pairs of low-cut socks so I could fashion-style around the golf course. But the sheer volume of high-top, crew-top and roll-top white socks I attribute more to family tradition than anything else.

For many years, every Christmas I received a fresh 6-pack of brand-new, white athletic socks. Some guys get ties. I got socks. Old-fashioned, white sweat socks. The tradition was temporarily suspended this year when, owing to some sort of rip in the fabric of space-time I received instead a 3-pack of black dress socks – but I’m sure that’s only a brief glitch.

Somehow, I’m sure, the beginning of the odd tradition was connected to my Dad’s 40-year history as a high school football coach. Wishful thinking perhaps, in a sort of “if we give him enough socks, maybe he’ll run faster” way? I doubt it. Since my early youth, it’s been pretty obvious that I was never cut out to be a champion cross-country runner or an Olympic sprinter. I was always more of a “squat 450 pounds and knock guys down” type.

I’m not much of a runner, jogger, race-walker, cyclist or any other type of high-volume consumer of athletic socks. I’m also not such a total yee-ha that I wear white socks to my office job, so you may imagine that a 6-pack a year is considerably more athletic sockage than I require. Which, in turn, means that there’s a considerable stack of the damned things up on the top rack of my closet.

While I full well understand that there are a number of creative ways to use white socks that don’t necessarily involve wearing them on my feet, I’m just not that much of an enthusiast for sock puppets, home-made boxing gloves or other DIY solutions. I have a moral compunction against using them to strain cottage cheese and, since I moved away from those noisy neighbors, I have had no compelling reason to consider stuffing them with C4, coating them in axle grease and using them as sticky bombs.

So there they sit on my closet rack, leering down at me like the ill-mannered offspring mob of a prolific pair of crew-topped rabbits. The commercial possibilities of “” seem pretty limited, so I guess I’m stuck with the fecking things for now.

Unless, of course, some generous reader is just dying to trade me his copy of “Case Blue” for a couple 6-packs of white athletic socks.

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