Columnist

Mike Buzzelli is a stand-up comedian and published author. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

It didn’t happen on purpose, but someone purloined my gym socks from the locker room. It had to be an inadvertent and unintentional swipe, because they were sweaty and the left one had a hole where my pinky toenail had cut its way free.

Side note: Since the broken toe incident, it’s been difficult to clip my toenails on my left foot. The toes on my right foot are perfectly manicured; the toes of my left foot have grown into hawk talons. It grows up not out for some reason. The pinky toe, like Wolverine’s Adamantium claws, seems to be able to free itself from any sock, from over-the-calf white tube to black, wool dress.

But I digress, like I do. It had to be a simple mistake. Our gym bags were side-by-side in an overcrowded gym. The New Year resolutioneers have returned, once again, like the swallows of Capistrano.

I laid out my wardrobe on the bench. Then, I turned to pull my coat out of the locker and when I returned, the guy next to me took his stuff and skedaddled. That’s when I noticed my socks were gone. I took everything out of my gym bag and put it all back. No socks.

Who would want my sweaty, hole-y socks? The funny thing is I was going to throw them away, because the pinky toe hole was growing wider. I wanted to throw them away in the convenience of my own residence. I like a nice warm ankle for the ride home. Instead, I had to stuff my freshly showered feet into my old, gross gym shoes, ankles in the wind – like a gladiator.

Yes, I know some people wear flip flops in January, but I am definitely not one of those people. I’m not walking around with visible ankles in this frozen tundra we call Pennsylvania.

It’s a good thing my mom bought socks, underwear and other accoutrement at Christmas. She can’t stop herself. I have two full drawers of socks. My brothers, their wives and children have all asked my mom to stop buying them socks, gloves, hats and scarves. My brother, Rick, could give a baseball cap to every unprotected head at PNC Park. None of these said heads would wear the caps, because they’re from every team in the United States (including minor league teams like the Batavia Muckdogs and the Pensacola Blue Wahoos).

Secondary side note: I have 14 pairs of gloves. No man needs 14 pairs of gloves. A man needs two pair, one for gardening and one for shoveling the driveway. The only reason it’s not just one pair is because the garden gloves need to have that polyurethane coating for gripping stuff.

Some dude just got home, opened his gym bag and found a pair of foreign, dirty, hole-ridden socks. He didn’t get home, laugh manically and say, “I have Buzzelli’s sweaty gym socks! I’ll sell them on the dark web to the highest bidder!”

I’m pretty sure.

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