Sock Puppets

Denver is a sock puppet town. Of the 35 introductory emails I received, ten of them mention sock puppets. Only six of them mention leafy green vegetables, and two of them mention beets.

Though the Denver men say they like sock puppets, there is only one man brazen enough to ask for pictures. Below is a transcript of our email exchange.

“I did, in fact, recently build five simple sock puppets,” I retort from his accusatory email, “since I am in need of advice. And who better to advise than suddenly animate inanimate objects with brand new eyes. However, I just don’t think it’s ethically responsible to post sock puppet pictures on the web without their permission. Most sock puppets are notoriously camera shy.”

“Is it out of line to ask if your sock puppets tend to be multi-cultural,” he backs off. “How worn can a sock be before it’s too worn out to be a sock puppet candidate? It’s almost overwhelming to think about how a tube sock might behave differently than a dress sock.”

He is, quite clearly, a thinker. 

“I don’t know if my sock puppets are multi-cultural.” I answer. “I have one, Powerslut, who drinks too much and has a comb over. But the other socks are hip, multi-colored, striped, and patterned. Those guys are pretty high-end, having never been worn by a foot. I’ve been wondering if it would be inappropriate to bring a sock puppet on a date. I mean, I probably wouldn’t want to get involved with someone who carries a sock puppet in their purse, but girls are cuter than boys, so I could probably get away with it.”

“To me, bringing sock puppets on a date is all sorts of appropriate. Anyone who would question or judge you negatively based solely on your 100% dedication to your art is just a fucking lame-o. Beyond that, most folks surely agree that girls, generally speaking, are cuter than boys.”

He is also very wise.

“Alright, here’s a picture,” I concede. “Caught Robin eating my ipod. She was drunk, as usual.”

“Thanks for the picture. It looks like you got there just in time to save both Robin AND your iPod. Now, both you and I know that there is nothing wrong with having a few drinks every now and then, but hopefully Robin will realize there’s more to life than being a 24×7 Party Person… Would it be inappropriate to ask that you share some information about her friends?”

Open minded, fair, with a strong sense of curiosity. A drive to learn…

“Well, there’s Robin, who is quite wise. Enid, Karen, and Butch also like to offer their two cents. Powerslut’s somewhat of a bad influence, since he’s always drunk, and I think they might’ve picked up another “friend” while we’ve been on the road. We haven’t been introduced yet. Currently, he’s pretending he doesn’t see me and I’m pretending I don’t see him. But out of the corner of my eye, I can see him looking at me out of the corner of his eye.”

“I’m in awe of your ability to challenge these sock puppets at their own game. I was trying to come off coy and in the know about all things sock-puppet-esque, but now I realize that I should’ve left my pride at the curb and asked sooner. Thanks for not calling me out about acting like a typical guy. Maybe I’m just jealous of not being a part of a seemingly cool inner circle.”

Humble, supportive, self-aware…

“Please don’t beat yourself up about not knowing things about sock puppet culture. I, myself, am a total outsider. There is no pair of “hands” (which is what they call us) who really knows what goes on in the minds of sock puppets.”

“I wonder if the sock puppets aren’t just acting tough. My guess is that they become very congenial/ gregarious as laundry day approaches.”

Cheeky…

“I have insinuated wearing unruly sock puppets and have even held one over a churning top-load laundry once (it was a hard time for both of us), but I would never do it. Sometimes we have to take a moment, step back, and remember how hard it is be a sock puppet. Imagine the loneliness. Even humans have a hard time finding their One True Love, but it does happen. Sock puppets… it’s rare. Really really rare.”

“I hadn’t considered the plight of our friends. It’s easy to lose sight of the burden they bear. To think that they come into the world as pairs, to end up being tossed around in the spin cycle of life and, in some cases, literally hung out to dry.”

and kind.

“I don’t mean to be forward,” I write, “but do you want to meet for coffee?”

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