There are those stories of people in your life that make an incredible difference. This one isn’t one of them, but it’s funny and it doesn’t just involve me, but a lot of my good friends. Using the word saga is a bit much, because Sockman was not heroic, and certainly neither were we. Were just a bunch of moron college kids who wanted some easy money, but then it got weird (well weirder than it already was).
A side note: I talked to my Aunt tonight and we started swapping weird stories. I see now where the gravitation towards the bizarre comes from. Apparently it’s genetic.
So anyway, here we go…the Saga of Sockman:
I had to do some digging because I’m starting to get old and forgetting little details, but I believe the story started before I entered my freshman year of college. First off, yes I was in a fraternity. There really wasn’t much else to do at my school if you were a guy and they were a great group of guys, so go to hell. Anyway, our fraternity house had a pay phone in it (remember those???) and the phone number was listed in the phone book. So one day the phone rings and Grandfather Bitch (it’s a fraternity thing) answered the phone. The man on the other end of the line was asking if they could provide him with a sweaty pear of socks, “like someone had just gotten done playing basketball in them,” and he would pay $50.
Being a college kid, 50 bucks for something so stupid sounded like an easy and awesome deal, so he said ok. The deal was to leave them in a bag on the wall outside the house. Grandfather left the bag and when he came back there was a soda can there with $50 in it. There was really no rhyme nor reason to when Sockman would call with his request, but it became semi-regular. Everyone had their own ideas about what he was doing with the socks, but no one really cared. He got his socks, they got their money, everyone was happy.
Fast forward to what I think was my junior year (I’m a bit fuzzy on the timing) and Sockman apparently felt the need for a little more. So one day he calls and he asks if someone would fart in his face for even more money. There was some internal debate of course. First off, what a freak. Second, if this dude was this strange he could be some psycho. But being the young, strapping, testosterone fed idiots we were, we figured there’s how many of us and only one of him. If he wants to try something then he’s going to regret it.
So we agreed and the night came for the rendezvous. Until this point there’d never been any face to face contact with Sockman. People had seen him because obviously curiosity was going to lead someone at some point to stake out the socks to see him. He was just a regular middle-aged guy it turned out, with some seriously odd interests.
When the time came he showed up and there were a few brave guys who decided they would be the guinea pigs. The rest of us hid up on the roof to watch what went on. One of the guys in his own words “got stage fright” and couldn’t do it. The other delivered. Now the wrinkle here beyond how bizarre the whole scenario is, is that Weiner was wearing a Redskins Riggins jersey. So every time Sockman called the phone after that he specifically asked, “Is Riggins there?” Understandably this freaked Weiner out, but I of course thought it was completely hilarious.
Anyway, fast forward to what I think was senior year. Sockman called again and had another unusual request: he wanted someone to paddle him with a fraternity paddle. We had the same discussions about how weird it was and the risks, but ultimately said what the hell, why not?
The appointed night came and the set up was the same. Us on the roof, a few down with Sockman on the ground. When it came time to do the deed Party Pants was the man for the job. He basically took a running start and smacked the shit out of Sockman. Needless to say we never heard from Sockman while I was still in school.
However…I did some checking with some of the younger guys and Sockman did come back again after we were gone…this time sticking to just socks.
I really don’t think there’s a moral to the story other than how weird people are, but I will say this: Thank you Sockman, you provided a lot of money short college kids with a lot of beer and pizza!