Tuesday, December 12, 2006


OK, I may be wet clear through to my bra, but at least I got some knitting finished! Look, it’s a sock!

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Oh, how did I get soaked? Well, I am in the office today. Naturally, the one (1) day all month that I have cause to be here in town, with the requisite travel via two trains and a bus, it pours icy rain all over the Bay Area.

It is a matter of keen irony that I do not wear a hat. Seriously. How many hats have I knitted for other people through the years? I can whip out a hat in a single lazy Saturday afternoon. With cables! But do I own one? And, if I did, would I wear it?

Ha! Ha ha ha ha!

No. I am not intelligent enough for such things. I do not like to wear things on my head, so I stubbornly refuse to do so. And I don’t use an umbrella either, because I become irritated by the danged things throughout the day. To save myself from getting damp for three minutes as I scurry from one shelter to the next, I have to juggle a dripping wet umbrella for the rest of the day? And, moreover, I’ve got to figure out how to carry a latte, laptop case, and bagel while simultaneously keeping an open umbrella (which is, by the way, trying to pull me into the sky like a modern-day Mary Poppins) over my head in such a way that I neither put out the eyeballs of innocent pedestrians around me or permit rain to touch my scalp?


Not going to happen.

So, under most circumstances, I just take off my glasses and deal with the rain. It has to be raining really hard, or the walk from one shelter to the next has to be really far, before I will deign to use either of these most basic of human tools.

So this morning, as I stood on the shelter-less train platform waiting for Train #1 and heard the ‘we’re four minutes late this morning’ announcement, I realized that I was about to become a very, very wet person.

I accepted this, I think, with pretty good grace. See, I’ve been riding the rails (see how sophisticated a train rider I am? I say ‘riding the rails’, not ‘taking the train’, which is what tourists do) for eight long years now. The thing about real trains is, they teach you a certain patience. Most of us hard-core train-users are the same way. We can take all kinds of delays with good cheer and a certain “eh, it’s only time” attitude. As long as the conductor is cheerful and nobody disrespects the culture of the sleeper cars, we’re good. Because real trains do not take your coffee away from you, and this makes for a happy, contented lot who don’t care if it takes another ten minutes to get there. At eight sips a minute, that’s eighty more sips from the Thermos, people.

Real trains are kind to you that way.

BART is not a real train. BART takes away your coffee. BART is mean and also, in spite of taking away food and drink, filthy. This is because, when you outlaw food and drink, only outlaws will have food and drink. And they will cheerfully dump their banana peels and soda pop all over the floors and, yes, seats – because that is what outlaws do, people.

As we pulled into Station #2, where I pick up the bus to Train #2, the sky was producing raindrops so huge and copious that I think a hard hat might have been a good fashion accessory.

Whatever drying out I had done on the train evaporated by the time I got on the bus. Also, I stepped in a pond. Not a puddle. A pond. You could barely see the tips of the masts of the tallships that had wrecked in this thing, that’s how deep it was.


At least there was shelter on the BART platform. Of course, it being in the middle of the freeway, the water was not coming only from the sky – it was being flung up from either side by the traffic. My wool coat is an excellent shedder of moisture under normal circumstances, but it was no match for the combination of aerial and ground assault. Slowly but surely, the drops began worming their way through the tight-knit black wool…

People, I am wet. It is now three hours later, and my shoes are still squishing slightly when I walk from meeting to meeting.

And, in a further dose of irony, am I wearing Good Wool Socks? You know, the things I crank out in ridiculous quantity each year? The things for which I have two storage boxes worth of Good Wool Yarn on hand at all times? The thing pictured above, for cripes sake?

No, no I’m not. I’m wearing some elasticy-acrylicy things, whose inability to ward off even moderate weather (let alone a good dunking in a pond) is only exceeded by the looseness of the cuff – I have been hitching at my left sock like a nervous schoolgirl all day.

I have three pairs of Good Wool Socks in my dresser at home. That’s three clean pairs of Good Wool Socks I could have worn, but did not. No, I did not.

I wore these, the black acrylic monstrosities. These insults to the name of Sockness. These…elastic-challenged nightmares. And worse, I am remembering, now, as I hitch at that @*^&@ing left one yet again, that I knew the elastic had gone in these. I had meant to toss them in the trash, but apparently chose the laundry hamper and, suffering as I do from stupidity and a shocking lack of short-term recall, washed, folded, and put them away.

To wear again today.

In the rain.

People, there is only one conclusion to be drawn here.

I totally deserve to have cold, wet feet, and I hope I have learned something from this today.


What were we talking about again…?


Very Herodotus said...

Wouldn't wool socks just hold moisture longer? I would think those super-thin jobbies would dry pretty quick, even if they won't stay up worth a damn. Sorry to hear about your soaking commute... 8^(

Mother of Chaos said...

Wool is an awesome substance. It retains heat even when wet, and actually gives off heat while drying. So, if I've got to get a pair soaking wet, I'd choose wool any day of the week.

Oddly, I did not know this as a "science" fact before I took up knitting, but I knew it in a "I just know it" way when I was an avid hiker. I would ALWAYS wear wool socks. They were warmer, softer, and when (not if, when) (I swear, I could be tramping in a desert croaking for water, and STILL manage this somehow) I stomped right into a big old puddle of water, they wouldn't feel icky-gross like cotton or acrylic.

Mother of Chaos said...

OMG! I just realized: I put those @*^&@*^&@!!!!!!!! horrible black monsters IN THE HAMPER! AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!

Pardon me, must go retrieve from hamper and PUT IN TRASH.... 8^D