Tabor’s Take: The Sock Slider

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On no particular Thursday afternoon, after declining the affordable meal offered by SAGE Dining Services, and instead partaking in the weekly pilgrimage to a hearty but overpriced experience at no particular Freret Street Eatery, I found myself in a peculiar situation. Returning to campus from Danneel, I noticed an open door on the side of the Tuohy Gymnasium. Not for a moment did it cross my mind to enter at such a forbidden corridor, as to do so would be a direct breach of re-entry rules for off-campus privileges. I wouldn’t dare walk the tightrope of indecency on behalf of my junior peers, whose privileges would have been immediately revoked, and who I knew were depending on me to return to campus safely. To enter at such a point of access would be the moral equivalent of single-handedly ripping apart the very foundation of which the famed gymnasium lay upon, industrial wall fan by industrial wall fan, which would undoubtedly send its ghostly father Edward “Skeets” Tuohy rolling over in his grave, not to mention the earth-shattering curse which would be endured by generations of Brewsters to come. (As Tabor Henry Leopold Brewster XIV, it is my duty to ensure that the bloodline continues, and to risk such a feat would be to challenge the very dynasty which provided my own existence).  However, upon further contemplation, intuitively running through possible scenarios in which my descendants would be born disfigured (or not at all for that matter), I came upon the realization that this was an issue of school safety. The sight of an open door suggested an easy route for a possible intruder, and the situation required further investigation. Acting on proper decorum and survival instinct, I made the decision to enter through the door to ensure that all was secure. To you dear reader, it may seem hypocritical for me to make such a decision after carefully measuring out the infinite tangent realities which would have been spawned by my aforementioned actions. However, I insist that any flaw in my judgment must be withheld on account of the actions I took which could have very well saved your life, and to criticize the noble author for his altruistic deeds would be a great failure on behalf of the reader. Upon entering the gym, I beheld no great danger, to which I knew I succeeded in my actions. However, that is not to say that there was nothing unexpected within the gymnasium. Hundreds of worn-out items, from oversized and faded duster jackets to tasteless Christmas ornaments, decorated the basketball court. The only human occupants were middle-aged white women, curating their personal museum with prescription glasses and welcoming smiles. The series of events which ate away at my mind (on both of consciousness) that day had led me into the very zenith of Newman’s annual disposable income festival, the Garage-a-rama.

Most of the items were standard garage sale harvest: lamps, tables, dressers, clothing. One item however, seemed to radiate its obscurity above the rest. The Sock Slider™.

The Sock Slider, presumably designed for people with mobility issues, such as the elderly, disabled, or pregnant, claims to be the fast & easy way to put on your socks. Little rings true from that sentence besides “a way to put on your socks.” Yes, the sock slider is a very unique way of putting on your socks. Fast and easy? Perhaps not. Of course, I shan’t speak on behalf of the elderly, disabled, and/or pregnant, but even for a sarcastic teenager who thinks he knows how to use everything, it was difficult to get started. The contraption includes two main parts: a half-pipe shaped cradle where the foot slides into the sock, and the chimera of a long shoe horn and claw.

The instructions assert that it’s easy as 1-2-3 and provides the steps needed to safely put on a sock:

  1. Place the sock on the cradle. Seems easy enough, right? Wrong. The necessary distance to roll the sock over the cradle is unclear, and it took me a few tries to find the right length to eliminate the awkward sock flab at the end of my toes.
  2. Lower the cradle to the floor. This may be the most deceivingly impossible step. The picture provided shows the cradle on the floor, not the cradle being lowered to the floor. The flimsy hook/claw/shoe horn device does an inadequate job of providing a stable lowering system, and it only makes me feel less safe about putting on my socks as a confusing contraption dangles above my lower digits. Never before had I feared the possibility of dropping the equivalent of a paperweight on my toes while getting dressed in the morning, and I fear many sock slider users may just be a cradle drop away from death’s inevitable call.
  3. Slide your foot in. Thankfully, if the two prior steps are followed to a tee, the device does the trick.

Design: 4/10

Awkwardly shaped in an uncreative color.

Durability: 5/10

While the cradle seems sturdy enough, the shoe horn seems ready to snap at any instant.

Cost: 10/10

$2 at the garage-a-rama.

Uniqueness: 9/10

Never before. Never again.

Packaging: 7/10

The box accurately depicts its many uses: Dress socks, casual socks, athletic socks, compression socks. Its misleading instructions confuse the elderly.

Portability: 8/10

The device packs down small enough to fit in the convenient box, but taking it apart is no easy feat.

Practicality: 9/10

Probably very useful for those who fear bending down but don’t fear dropping a weight on their toes.

Reliability: 3/10

Unclear instructions – different approaches needed for different socks. A dangerous amount of room for user error.

Overall: 6/10

Two dollars. Hopefully the fact that I own a Sock Slider saves the toes of one elderly person out there. With that in mind, I can sleep peacefully at night.