On the morning of April 23rd, 2021, at her home in Burlington, Vermont, student and all around decent person Sophie Wolfe discovered a giant hole in her left sock, roughly the size of a really fat acorn. Wolfe was horrified on discovering this loss, and has lived through various states of grief in the days following the event. Wolfe has been spotted by reporters and professors, as well as people who just couldn’t help but notice such a depressing public spectacle, in various spots around campus, openly sobbing into bags of Takis and making very loud phone calls to Bombas Socks Customer Service, begging them to explain why they chose to ruin her life. A source close to Wolfe has disclosed to The Water Tower that this was a particularly important pair of socks, which contributed to Wolfe’s intense grief. However, when asked exactly why the socks were so important, the source could only shrug and say, wearily, “I don’t know. She’s just like that.”
Upon further investigation, it has been discovered that the sock in question was a men’s size medium Bombas Tri-Block Hiker’s Calf Sock. Obviously, many questions have arisen in the wake of this information. Why a hiker’s sock? Many eyewitnesses have noted Wolfe’s inability to even walk to class without losing her breath and have argued that there is no way she has any practical use for a hiker’s sock. And why a men’s size medium? To quote an anonymous source, “Sophie is the smallest person I’ve ever seen in my life. She is like a little mouse. No way her feet are big enough for those socks.” But then, the question remains, how much do we really know about Wolfe’s feet?
After several days, there was no answer to the biggest question of all. What had Wolfe done with the fallen sock? Readers who identify as sock connoisseurs and/or mentally unstable young women will empathize and understand that when faced with a sock hole one is also faced with a significant moral conundrum. After what was perhaps the longest silence in Water Tower history, our team finally received an update to this story late at night on the 26th of April, nearly four days after the inciting incident. WT correspondents were innocently lurking around the Cynic offices for no particular reason, when critical information about the sock was received through an anonymous tip. By anonymous tip, I mean that someone suddenly came sprinting through the hall of the Davis Center and violently chucked a crumpled up piece of paper at us. Clearly, the sock situation was having an even greater effect on the greater UVM student population than we had feared. It was the question on the tip of everyone’s tongues: What had happened to that left sock?
Only after our team had returned to a secure location (an intricate network of tunnels underneath a certain residence hall) could the note finally be opened and read. A single sheet of college ruled notebook paper was carefully uncrumpled under a single hanging light bulb. You can picture it. Everyone peered over each other’s shoulders to get a closer look at the message we had been waiting on for so long. Two sentences, seven words, written in all caps and truly disgusting handwriting: THERE’S STILL TIME. THE SOCK IS ALIVE.
Everything had changed. While the reporters at the Cynic slept soundly on their goose feather pillows, our team stayed up all night, subsisting only on three-year-old Big Texas Cinnamon Buns from the library vending machine, deciphering the message. We faced a bitch of a moral dilemma. Journalistic integrity had not been in such deep shit since Bob Woodward offered a Pulitzer nomination to that totally fabricated story about an eight-year-old heroin addict. No one was sure of the right move. We could sacrifice the story by intervening on behalf of the sock’s livelihood. Or we could watch from the sidelines, letting the proverbial chips fall where they may. Some were unsure of whether the sock was even worth saving. “It’s got a hole,” one particularly downtrodden reporter noted, with an air of hopelessness. “There’s nothing to be done for it now.” But all hope was not lost. As the sun rose over Lake Champlain on the 27th, a decision was made. That men’s size medium Bombas Tri-Block Hiker’s Calf Sock would not go down alone. We wouldn’t allow it. Because if there is one ethical standard we have here at the Water Tower, it is that there is nothing holey which cannot be mended.
By the time direct contact was finally made with Wolfe, the saga of the sock had a lifespan of approximately four days. Wolfe would later go on to say that, at the time, she had felt that at least a month had gone by, living a half-life, wondering if there was anything to be done for her sock, this talisman in which she had placed so much meaning and significance. We spoke to Wolfe that morning in her dorm, with the sock laid between us in the center of the room like a sacred item, like it was about to come to life in front of us. Several roommates walked through the room during this intervention process, notably rolling their eyes and asking if, like, we wanted some tea or something like that.
There, sitting on the grey carpet, in something that resembled a prayer circle, we watched a 3-minute YouTube video called How to Darn Socks. The sun rose higher in the sky. Nature healed. And we knew that we had made the right decision. When asked later that day how she felt about the whole thing, now that the sock had been revitalized, now that the nightmare had finally come to an end. In response, Wolfe looked up from whatever geek ass book she was reading and said, “Sorry, what are you talking about?”