Most of us are familiar with this vindictive little creature. Part of the gremlin / goblin family and relatively benign in comparison to some other members, this small, rarely sighted being likes to wreak havoc in the quietest yet most irritating of ways. In common with its gremlin relatives it targets modern electrical equipment, in this case specifically washing machines. It makes its nest in the outer casing and accesses the drum to steal odd socks from random loads. Sometimes it will take a particular fancy to one and use it as a sleeping bag but usually it stores them in a pile and may reintroduce them one at a time to another load at some future point.
Thefts and returns will be random but frequent in order to lull the target human into a false sense of security before upping the ante to make them feel that they are going mad. Many socks it likes to nibble on before they are returned. This is not to satisfy hunger but merely to further hinder its target. What sustains it are the cries of frustration and the palpable annoyance of said human each time they are sorting the socks into pairs and always find one or two orphans, or a pair that look as if they have lost the battle with a giant moth. Then its wicked grin grows wider and its little teeth grow sharper and it eagerly awaits its next opportunity to cause havoc. On occasion and to cause maximum distress it may also stick a sock down the out pipe to block the drain and possibly flood the kitchen.
Sock goblins are frighteningly common and sadly very difficult to get rid of. The only way is to starve them out. So if you frequently find odd socks at the bottom of your basket, don’t curse and swear. Smile, be glad and use them as dusters instead. The environment may thank you but the goblin most certainly won’t!