Q: why have all my socks gone missing?
You have an infestation of sock goblins.
What on earth are they?
Goblins, sometimes also known as knockers, trows, bogles, or wichtlein, are native to Northern Europe. They are natural pranksters who enjoy disarranging your home thus ensuring you can’t find things. However, they are also sock fetishists and have very likely stolen your socks for their own sexual gratification.
But I don’t believe in goblins
Some of us don’t believe in the Inland Revenue but it doesn’t make taxes go away. The goblins don’t care whether you believe in them or not. In fact, your not believing in them makes it easier for them to live in your house and carry out their fetishistic activities.
What do you mean, they’re sock fetishists?
They enjoy the form and style of socks, also the feel of them against their rough skin, and are known to experience heightened sexual response to unwashed socks especially, which they sniff. Should you find socks that contain either viscous or dried mustard-coloured fluids, unfortunately these will have been left inadvertently in your house following onanistic practices. The fluids are however acidic and very likely the only evidence you’ll find will be a single unwashed sock, with a hole it in, possibly stuffed under your sofa or behind the TV set.
Socks that are particularly attractive to goblins are women’s sports socks though there have recently been reports of long, gothic-style purple and black striped over-the-knee socks going missing.
How come I never see the goblins?
Goblins generally are about 30cm high, dark, hairy, ugly and given to wearing dark colours – black and grey. You may occasionally see an unwary one out of the corner of your eye, but they can move very fast, ensuring that even though they may be literally just behind you, they can scamper around you as you turn. They are also able to squeeze into tight spaces, such as between the cushions on the sofa.
Are they all sock fetishists?
There are a few panty and bra goblins (they tend to prefer silky G-strings for the concentration of scent on narrow band of material), and increasingly we have come across evidence of goblins exhibiting a preference for leather, rubber or PVC in any form. The claim that there are now porno DVD goblins is still being debated because there is only limited evidence they have learned to operate electrical equipment. Basically they have followed our industrialised way of life and now exhibit a high degree of differentiation and specialisation. They are however quite a different species to gremlins, which prefer office environments and like sitting on photocopiers while they are operating.
Do they do anything else with my socks?
There is no definitive answer as yet. Some sources believe they simply hoard them in order to gain repeated sexual excitement. They may for example regard sniffing a set of three or four socks from different owners in the same way that you or I would appreciate a three or four course meal.
Others believe they eventually trade the socks for other articles such as clothes hangers. Some faethropologists claim goblins use clothes hangers for more dangerous sexual practices. There is also a market for socks among elves, who use the fibres of pre-worn clothing items to weave spells into their wall hangings and tapestries. There is as yet no evidence to support the trading of socks for clothes hangers, though it is possible a quite complex eco-system, or economy operates in which the elves obtain socks to make their spell-tapestries, which they sell to dry cleaning trolls in exchange for clothes hangers. They would thus make a profit from both the goblins and the trolls. This has not been empirically proven, however.
Are the goblins dangerous?
Although historically they have been known to weave nightmares from gossamer and place them in the ears of people while they were sleeping, modern life produces nightmares far worse that those goblins are able to make. You are unlikely to experience significant additional risk from exposure to goblins. Indeed, depending on your own sexual preferences you may find them stimulating.
How can I get rid of goblins?
There are two methods. First try bribing them by leaving out vodka, food and pornographic magazines or DVDs and they may leave your socks alone. If this doesn’t work, buy a dozen pairs of new socks, wear them consistently for several days and then place them overnight in the washing machine with the door open. About 10 minutes before dawn slam the door and start the wash cycle. Any goblins trapped with the socks will be flushed away, though the socks may be unwearable after such treatment. Repeat as necessary until your problem is solved.
Won’t this damage my washing machine? I’ve heard goblins can be as strong as people.
Their strength rapidly dissolves in water, especially with detergent added.
Can they breed?
Apparently so, but we don’t know how this happens since only male specimens are ever found. Socks may form a crucial if unexplained part of their mating rituals.
Unkle Fulani’s problem page… no.2
Q: I’ve solved the goblin problem but now my washing machine is eating my socks. Why is this?