The Legend of Stinkfoot’s Socks

One summer, during college, I went jogging each and every night with my frat brother, Brad, and whenever I did I wore the same pair of socks. I never bothered to wash them because I only wore them for jogged and… Well, at the time, that logic made more sense than it does now trying to rationalize it. Anyway, I didn’t bother washing them.

After several weeks, Brad was in my room watching late night reruns of Star Trek when he complained about something smelling really bad. We figured out it was my jogging socks. So, we had to decide what to do with them.

Down the hall was a room with an air conditioner where four of our frat brothers slept. It was early August and hot as hell. So the A/C ran constantly. Brad and I didn’t enjoy such luxurious accommodations, having to make due with window fans.

Being a house officer (I was Social Director if you can imagine that), I had an emergency key to get into every room in case of a fire. During the night, with great stealth, I opened the door to the air-conditioned room and tossed the dirty, rank-smelling socks under the bed closest to the door and quickly but quietly closed the door and went back to my room. Brad asked what I did with the socks; I said, “Taken care of.”

The next day when I came back from class, the door to that room was open and a box fan was blowing fresh air into the room from the hallway. The whole place reeked of cologne. I’d forgotten about my nefarious, nocturnal deed but when I asked what happened I had to turn away to keep from laughing as my frat brother told me, “We found a pair of really grotty socks under the bed. Nobody knew where they came from.”

“What did you do with them?” I asked, as I struggled to stifle a chuckle.

“We threw ’em in the far stairwell.”

A couple of weeks later, when everyone returned to the frat for fall semester and both stairwell were opened for the semester, the atmosphere in that particular stairwell was still ripe. One of my other frat brothers, an ex-Marine name Greg, decided to put on his gas mask and chemical gloves and put the socks in a black garbage bag. Then he and I carried the hazardous material over to the frat house next door and buried the bag in the woods behind.

Of course, except for Brad, I never let any of my frat bros know that I was the one they referred to as Stinkfoot, the source of the legendary socks.

Me circa 1977-1

Me during my college years, circa 1977.

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