The pair, who everyone agrees were made for each other, were rent asunder after Right made a seemingly innocent excursion to the laundry basket two years ago but never returned. Although Left, his companion, initially took it in her stride, she later began to sense that something serious must be wrong. ‘It wasn’t like him,’ she said. ‘He’d never gone off without me before. Sure, we’d had our troubles, but we’d always managed to patch things up.’
At first friends rallied around Left, but after a while they got cold feet and soon she found she was being shunned by some in the community. ‘When you’re a couple, you get taken out. But once I was single, that’s when I found out what people were really like,’ she said.
A born survivor, Left vowed to pull herself up and get back out there, and on a couple of occasions she succeeded in getting picked up, but each time she was put down again soon after. In the dark of one early morning she even had a blind date with an odd sock, but after stepping out together once or twice, everyone agreed they didn’t look right together.
‘At times I felt like giving up and starting afresh as a finger puppet,’ said Left.
But then, one magical day, Left’s sole-mate walked back into her life. ‘He’d lost that spring in his step, but he still had that old comfortable feel. Even after two years I’d recognise him anywhere. I’m not complete without him.’
However, after two lonely years in the corner of the utility room, Right appeared to have taken the separation badly. ‘He looks faded and may be suffering post-laundromatic shock,’ said Left. ‘He’s developed a thousand-yard stare. I think he’s been places and seen things that no sock should ever see, but I’m confident he’ll soon regain his shape.’
‘It was hard,’ said Right. ‘There were times I thought I’d been hung out to dry. But it was the thought of Left waiting for me that kept me going. God, she’s top drawer, isn’t she?’
Although Left and Right quickly curled up together and once more looked inseparable, the very next day Right disappeared again. ‘Utility room my arse,’ said Left. ‘He’s pissed off with those fishnet stockings again, I know he has. Well, see if they don’t look stretched and baggy after years of uninvited entry. Plus his elastic’s gone, he’ll never be able to keep it up.’