Hello! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sockey. I do not have any flashy bright colors, cartoon characters, or advertise any sports teams. I don’t even have those fancy five individual spots for each of your toes. I am just a plain, everyday, run-of-the-mill, ordinary white sock. I am here to tell you about an extraordinary day filled with courage, bravery, and most importantly, teamwork. I hope you enjoy it. Let’s get started!
Laundry day was finally here. All of my fellow sock friends were excited. You would be excited too if you had not had a bath in a week. It was time for all of us socks to clean up, dry off, unwind, and just relax.
“Good morning,” cried out Mr. Jones as he swung open the door of the bedroom where were we were located. He entered with a loud stomping of his feet. “Rise and shine, gang!”
Mr. Jones began moving the fingers of his right hand towards his scruffy chin. I watched Mr. Jones shuffle through the bedroom in this maroon bathrobe and old and tattered pink bunny slippers. The sun was just peeking out of the clouds and Mr. Jones proceeded to swoop open the Venetian blinds.
I heard a soft giggle to my direct right. It was Sockette. Sockette and I had been paired with each other since the day Mr. Jones bought us from the local department store. That was many years ago and, over time, we had developed a long-lasting friendship.
“So, Sockette,” I questioned as I nudged her side, “what’s so funny? What do you know that Mr. Jones does not?”
“Well, Sockey,” yawned Sockette as she moved closer, “I don’t think Mr. Jones remembers that he put us and the basket.” She guided my eyes over to the maroon swirl of fumbling and swinging arms.
“I don’t think the laundry basket is over by my desk” he said as he approached the oak-framed structure.
“Oh Sockey,” squealed Sockette, “Mr. Jones is so close!”
He moved his long arms across the desk. Cluttered papers and book were sent flying into the air like a hurricane.
“Okay,” he sighed. The basket is not on my desk.
We could feel the floor quake beneath us as we caught a glimpse of the pink bunny slippers pacing back and forth.
“What about under my glass table?” he questioned himself as he dropped down to his knees to get a closer look. “It would be a lot easier to see the basket if I would just clean up this table every once in a while.”
“It would be a lot easier for you to find us,” said Green Toe Sock in a half-awake, half-asleep voice to no one in particular, “if you would put us in the same place every time.”
Green Toe Sock stretched out his long and tall knee-high body in our small black basket under the bed.
“Give him a break, Toe Man!” burst out Sockette. “We all know that he will come to his senses after he has his traditional cup of morning coffee.”
The black basket began to shift its way out from under the bed as Mr. Jones flip-flopped his way down the narrow staircase. We would now see the aftermath of the hurricane of papers and books strewn across the bedroom. All of the sudden the flip-flopping came to an abrupt halt. The momentum propelled the black basket forward and out from under the bed. The force was so strong that it Sockette straight up in the air and out of the basket. Her white body hovered above us for several moments before she fell flat on the floor.
“Sockette!” I cried out. Are you alright?”
“Other than being very startled, I’m fine,” called back Sockette in a daze of confusion.”But, I really could use some help getting back into the basket!”
I scanned my surroundings. Papers and books where lying all around and it was difficult to see anything. Then I saw a white blob bolt up into the air. It was Sockette, and she was actually only a few feet away from us.
The familiar aroma of freshly brewed coffee drifted its way upstairs. This smell was accompanied by Mr. Jones’ sloppy slurping noises. It actually sounded more like a locomotive train blowing its horn. All of the sudden the noise came to a screeching stop. I knew he would be heading back up the stairs and we had to help Sockette get back into the basket. What would we do? Then it hit me!
“Green Toe Sock,” I yelled out. “Do you think you could use your five toes to carry Sockette back into the basket?”
“Oh man, Sockette!” cried out Green Toe Sock. ” Tone it down, my friend. I’m right next to you!”
With all of the excitement going I realized that I was talking at an ear-splitting level.
“Sorry about that, Green Toe Sock,” I replied in a softer expression.
“No problem, my friend. Your wish is my command.”
Green Toe Sock used his toes as climbing tools to lift himself up and used the edge of the basket as a diving board. He catapulted into the air and out of sight.
“Ouch!” called out an invisible voice.
“Green Toe Sock!” I gasped. “Are you alright?”
After a long pause, I got my response.
“I’m cool, Sockey. Thanks for asking! Now it’s time to get this job done!”
I heard the acoustics of Green Toe Sock wiggling across the linoleum floor.
Around this time I heard the flip-flopping of Mr. Jones’ slippers making their way back up the narrow staircase, accompanied by loud slurping sounds.
“Eleven, 12, 13!” hollered out Mr. Jones. “I counted out 13 steps. I know there are 14 steps, so I have to go back downstairs and start counting again.”
“Hurry,” I cried out to Green Toe Sock and Sockette. “Mr. Jones may be superstitious, but he is always on time for our regular Sunday laundry day. He will be back in no time!”
“I’ve got her,” I let out a huge breath of relief once I heard Green Toe Sock say these wonderful words.
As I looked up I could see the clear white back half of Sockette, followed by 5 green toes returning to the black basket.
“Please tell me you’re not hurt,” I called out as I pulled her front half back into the basket.
“I’m fine,” replied Sockette, still gasping for air.
Green Toe Sock jumped back into the basket and landed right on top of me.
“Ouch!” I scolded him.
“Hey man,” he sighed. “I got her back into the basket, didn’t I? And just in time, too!”
The sounds of the humming and the flip-flopping of the bunny slippers was getting noisier by the second.
“Thirteen, and this time we have 14 steps! The 3rd time is always a charm!”
Now Mr. Jones was in plain sight and we all breathed a collective sigh of relieve.
“Actually,” whispered Sockette, “that was only his second attempt.”
I whipped my head around and stared straight into her eyes.
“Sockette, we all know this but it’s getting close to opening time. Naturally Mr. Jones enjoys washing only his laundry before any of his customers arrive.”
“I am so sorry to be so disorganized today, gang,” Mr. Jones announced, “but we will be able to get you all cleaned and dried all by yourselves before the business day starts.”
His long arms reached down to pick up our black basket, now out in the open, and placed it to rest on his right hip. We moved swiftly down the narrow stairs and began to bump into one another along the way. As we approached the bottom of the stairs our movements turned into what seemed like a rollercoaster ride. I tried to make eye contact with Sockette.
“Are…you…holding…on…tight…Sockette?” I finally choked out of my rotating body.
“I’m fine, Sockey. In fact, this is kind of fun!”
With all of the distractions going on I didn’t realize we were now outside the front door until I heard the squeaking of the front door.
“I’ve been meaning to fix that door for a long time, guys,” he said in an apologetic tone as he looked down on us. “I just can’t seem to get organized.”
His blue eyes shined down on us and we could see is stress and sadness.
“Okay, guys,” I told my fellow sock friends, “we have got to do our best to work together so we can help Mr. Jones stay on track. We can do this!”
“Indeed!” shouted out Green Toe Sock.
“We can do this!” cried Sockette.
“That’s the spirit,” I replied.
With all of the excitement going on, we hardly noticed were being placed into the passenger’s seat of Mr. Jones’ umber Volkswagen until I felt the seatbelt being placed gently across the basket.
“Here we go, my friends,” proclaimed Mr. Jones. “Safety first! Now, let’s get you washed and dried before we have any customers.”
We heard the clunk-clunk sound of the Volkswagen’s wheels as we made a sharp turn out the driveway and onto the road.
“Finally!” grunted Green Toe Sock. We are finally moving.”
As if right on cue, Mr. Jones slammed on the brakes. We were forced forward once again as a result and found ourselves stacked on top of each other like a pyramid.
“I can’t believe I forgot!” cried out Mr. Jones.
“I can’t believe all of us didn’t go flying out of the window,” gasped Green Toe Sock.
“Time to turn the car around and head back home. I forgot my cell phone.”
I heard Sockette giggle under her breath as the car began to move in reverse.
“What’s so funny, my dear?” I asked as I turned towards her. It wasn’t long until I started laughing too. Sockette was peeking our at me from underneath Mr. Jones blue cell phone case. She used her forward momentum to flip the phone back onto the dash-board.
“What?” yelped Mr. Jones as he stepped on the brakes once again and shifted the car gears.
Green Toe Sock threw up his five digits in defeat.
“We are never going to get to the laundromat. Ever!”
Mr. Jones reached over to the dashboard to collect the blue cell phone and put it in his pajama pocket.
“Um, should we tell him?” asked Sockette.
“Well, Sockette,” I said, “we have been through this laundry event so many times we know it like the back of our hands.”
“Hands? What hands?” Green Toe Sock glanced through each of his 5 toes.
Sockette burst into an uncontrollable laughter. It was infectious and Green Toe Sock and I joined in.
The umber Volkswagen began to clink and clunk its way forward.
“Since I found the phone,” said Mr. Jones, “I can call my customers and let them know I will be opening a little later than usual today. I think I’m still forgetting something, but we are almost there.”
As we peeked out of the basket we could see the long flourescent neon light straight ahead of us. It read.
“MR. JONES’ FAMILY LAUNDROMAT!”
In smaller writing directly below
“COME IN! ALL ARE WELCOME!”
“Well,” said Mr. Jones, “it looks like we are finally here.”
Mr. Jones pulled into the gravel parking alley and put the car into park. He then engaged the emergency brake.
“Better safe than sorry, right gang?”
We saw Mr. Jones’ feet making their way out of the car and heard them crunching into the ground. He then started to fumble through his pink pajama pockets.
“We’re here,” chuckled Sockette. “I think someone forgot something else at home!”
I had to laugh.
“He did forget to change out of his pajamas, but at least he didn’t forget the keys!”
We heard the familiar jingle of the laundromat keys and we knew we were getting one step closer to being clean.
“Yeah,” said Green Toe Sock. “After the way this day is going it could be a lot worse. If we any later, all of his customers would get to see his pink pajamas and bunny slippers!”
We heard Mr. Jones’ feet grating toward the passenger’s side of the car. He opened the door with some squeaking sounds and delicately removed the seatbelt with his long and slender arms. We were lifted out of the car and he quietly closed the door. With precision he removed the silver laundromat door keys from his right pajama pocket and we made our way to the door. With a soft click the door creaked open.
“I have been meaning to put on a sturdier door and lock on this place,” he sighed, “but I just haven’t been able to find the perfect time.”
Our black basket was set in front of the very first opaque washing machine and we all let out a collective sigh of relief.
“Here we are!” I proclaimed to my fellow sock mates. “We finally made it!”
“And we are still all in one piece,” said Green Toe Sock, finally cracking a smile.
Mr. Jones lifted his right arm to press the clear circular “wash” button and used his left arm to begin the delicate process of putting us into the machine.
“I hope he uses the apple-scented soap this time,” yawned Green Toe Sock.
“I hope so too,” answered Sockette. “The apple-scented soap is so refreshing!”
As though he could read our minds, Mr. Jones began pouring the apple-scented soap into the detergent dispenser. He pressed the “start” button and soon a cool and refreshing waterfall of sweet aroma washed all over us. After going through a hectic morning we were all finally able to relax and enjoy our own soothing spa time
Before we knew it the machine transformed from a warm bath into a spinning rollercoaster. We started bumping into each other just as we had in the house and in the Volkswagen. Around and around we went. This was rough, but nothing would compare to the spin cycle we were about to enter. We continued to twirl as the water began to drain away.
“Wow, what a ride!” laughed Green Toe Sock.
The temperature of the water itself was cold, but now with most of it drained, it was becoming frigid. We laid together in a damp, tangled heap and waited. And waited. And waited.
“I hope we can get into the drier soon,” Sockette stuttered, shivering. “It’s freezing in here!”
I looked out of the clear round circular washing machine window. Nothing. I looked left, right, up and down.
It was a loud snore that finally caught my attention and brought my eyes straight into focus. I saw Mr. Jones sitting down in his brown chair near the entrance, fast asleep.
“Uh-oh,” I sighed. “I think it might be a while.”
A few seconds later I heard the sound of the creaking of the front door.
We all tried to cram our bodies into the tiny window of the washer at the same time to get a closer look.
“What’s going on,” asked Green Toe Sock. “The laundromat isn’t open for customers yet.”
Mr. Jones’ head and eyes sprang upwards, dazed and confused.
“Thanks for leaving the door open for me, mister,” a strange voice cackled. “I thought I’d have to break in.”
“The laundromat isn’t open for customers yet, sir,” replied a puzzled and groggy Mr. Jones as he quickly grasped his arms around the handles of the chair.
“For me it is!” the stranger cried. With an enormous amount of strength the stranger lifted Mr. Jones’ entire body straight up out of the chair and into the air. The stranger scanned his eyes across the laundromat to make sure he was alone and his gaze stopped when he looked down.
“Nice bunny slippers, by the way.”
“Thank you,” Mr. Jones said nervously.
“I have looked all around this place and I still can’t find a place to put you so you won’t be in my way.” The stranger’s dark brown eyes twitched. “I don’t think the washers and dryers are long enough to hold a tall guy like you.”
We could see Mr. Jones’ eyes light up just like fireworks exploding.
“I have an idea,” cried out Mr. Jones.
A loud snort was emitted and caused us to huddle together, scared and full of fear. Mr. Jones’ weight was beginning to cause the stranger to lose his balance and the stranger had to lower Mr. Jones down to his eye level.
“I’m the robber, mister! It is my job to figure out where to put you.”
“I know it’s your job,” Mr. Jones said politely, “but if you could just put me down I can take you to the bathroom.”
The stranger thrust his head up in the air in agony. “I don’t have to go the bathroom right now. Can’t you see that I’m in the middle of something?”
“What I mean is,” Mr. Jones began, “you can lock me in the bathroom. That way I won’t bother you and you can go about your business.”
Mr. Jones craned his head around to the opaque washing machine.
“I will cooperate with you, no questions asked. Just please don’t hurt my socks!”
“Alright,” said the stranger, shrugging. “I guess that will work.”
We listened to the loud footsteps in fright as they made their way towards the bathroom.
“Boy,” chuckled the stranger, “could this get any easier?”
I had to stop the robber. I had to stop the robber for Sockette, Green Toe Sock, and especially for Mr. Jones. But first things first. I had to get myself and the others out of the washing machine.
“Okay,” I said. “I’ve got an idea.”
I whispered by on-the-spot plan to the others as we heard the slamming of the bathroom door. Now we heard the clinking of his shoes over to the direction of the cash register. Now we heard a “ka-ching”
“We’ve got no time to waste,” I bared to the others. “On the count of three, we have to use all of our weight to force open the door.”
“What if we’re not strong enought?” whimpered Green Toe Sock.
“We HAVE to be strong enough!” yelled Sockette. “We have to be strong enough for Mr. Jones!”
“Okay,” I replied with a huge smile. “On the count of 3. One, 2…”
On the count of 3 the washing machine door burst open. We flew out in every direction, along with the remaining water that had not yet drained.
“What’s going on?” The stranger started to look nervously around the laundromat. “Um, where is all of this water coming from? Gosh, it sure does smell nice, though!”
The stranger started to walk away from the now-empty cash register. We saw him looking up to the sky in disbelief and frustration. In the midst of the confusion the stranger did not take the time to look down at the floor, which had turned into ta small pond by this time. He turned his eyes around and it was too late. He swirled and spun around several times before his entire body fell down onto the floor. The ground shook and rattled throughought the entire laundromat. The sudden jolt of energy from the tumble seemed to trigger a light bulb in my head.
“Mr. Jones went back to the house to get his cell phone!” I recalled to the others. “If the 2 of you could keep him occupied, I’ll make my way over to the chair.”
“No problem, Sockey,” said Green Toe Sock.
“It’s worth a shot!” cried Sockette.
I inch-wormed my way across the linoleum floor as the stranger tried to pick himself up. Sockette and Green Toe Sock squiggled towards the displaced stranger.
As I climbed up the chair I could here a loud moan. Turning abruptly, I saw the stranger on the damp floor with two wet socks holding him down.
I wiggled my way towards Mr. Jones’ chair. Looking up my eyes could see his cell phone. Victory! I wanted to give myself a high-5, but then I discovered another problem. My heel was just too big to punch in any of the numbers on the phone. Wait a minute! What about Green Toe Sock? He can use each of his 5 toes!
“Over here, Green Toe Sock,” I hollered.
“I’ve got him,” cried out Sockette. “Go ahead and get that phone!”
“I’m on my way.” Green Toe Sock scurried across the slippery floor and began to make his way up the chair. He grabbed ahold of the cell phone and pushed the number “9” with his little toe and then “1-1” with his big toe.
The stranger started to swim toward the exit with Sockette. I jumped from the chair to the floor and clung onto the stranger’s right ankle with all of the strength I could muster.
The sound of a siren burth through the racket in the laundromat.
“We’ve got back-up!” yelled Green Toe Sock with joy.
“We sure do!” I called back. “It’s the police!”
I heard the creaking turn of the doorknob. Next was a burst of light and the sound of footsteps.
“What’s going on here?” said the short officer as his green eyes scanned the room.
“Let me out!” cried Mr. Jones from the bathroom.
Carefully tip-toeing accross the smll pond on the floor, the police officer made his way towards the door. He turned the knob and out flew a big stall blob of hair.
“Thank goodness you’re here!” Mr. Jones gasped to the officer. “I was going to call you from the bathroom, but I forgot to grab my cell phone in all of the commotion.”
He looked down and pointed his index finger straight at the stranger lying in the puddle on the floor.
“That man was trying to rob my laundromat!”
The police officer scrunched his eyes and foreheard in concern.
“But if you were in there and your phone was out here, then who called “911?”
“It wasn’t me!” said the stranger, peering his head out of the puddle on the floor.
The police office did a double take
“Is this the guy?” he asked? “We’ve been on his tail for months. We just haven’t been able to carch him in the act. Until now, of course!”
The police officer untangled the stranger from Sockette and lifted his drenched boy up onto his wobbling feet. He slapped a pair of handcuffs on this wrists and started to move his wet body towards the exit.
“For what it’s worth,” said the officer as he marched himself and the stranger towards the exit, “you’re laundromat smells wonderful!”
“That’s right,” the stranger sneered. It smells just like apple pie.”
As the police officer escorted the stranger out the door they almost bumped into a slim lady lugging a huge laundry basket in her arms.
“You’re open early today, Mr. Jones,” she chirped.
“Not exactly,” Mrs. Wright,” replied Mr. Jones as he made his way carefully across the still-damp linoleum floor towards her. “It is still a little wet in here and I don’t want you to slip and fall.”
“Well, isn’t that sweet of you, Mr. Jones!” “So, why is all of this water on the floor? And what is that handsome young police officer doing with this strange man? Those fellows look like they just got out of a swimming pool!”
“Let’s get your laundry into the washer, Mrs. Wright,” said Mr. Jones. “I want to get it started for you so you don’t miss your lunch date with your friends. I know how much you look forward to your special time together.”
The stranger was under arrest. “MR. JONES FAMILY LAUNDROMAT!” was now open for business. Most important of all, Mr. Jones, the police officer, the stranger, Mrs. Wright, Green Toe Sock, Sockette, and I were all safe and sound and ready to begin a bright and beautiful new day.