PART TWO: “No, it doesn’t,” argued that brave soul.
“Here, I’ll show you!” Roger said. He kicked off his shoe and lifted his foot into his lap, where he peeled off the sock and held it up for us to see. It was as if his foot was still in there, plumping out the filthy, natty black fabric, with several planetary rings of crust around the toe and cuff. Everyone cried out in dismay, realizing that we had just gained knowledge that we could have gone happily all our lives without knowing. Roger smiled, and then he threw that crusty, disgusting sock into our midst.
Had a bomb gone off, it could not have caused more destruction. The sock landed in Gay Panda’s lap. All thoughts of being quiet to not disturb the show vanished; I shrieked and jumped up to get it off. The sock landed on the lap of Hairy Bob, who shouted and thrashed. He hit the tray of napkins at his side, and two hundred folded crowns went flying through the air along with the sock. The door opened and shut as Ramon fled out into the night, and the sock landed on the knee of Not Hairy Bob.
It got no better from there. Not Hairy Bob jackknifed his knee in reflex and hit his own tray and mine. Napkins flew in every direction and utter chaos ensued of tipping trays and spilling sodas, people screaming and rushing into each other as we tried to get to the door. Roger stayed in his seat and laughed, and then our boss came in and unloaded on us for the noise. When he left, we looked about in fear for the sock. It was gone. Once the tiny break room was set back to order, the sock was still nowhere to be found. Accusing us furiously of thievery, Roger went home with only one sock that night. For the rest of that season, we all wondered what fate the Sock of Grime and Terror had met.
Two years later, we found out. Roger had been fired by then, for helping himself to several hundred dollars in the cash register. We had a new hire that night, a guy on his first job who wanted to impress us, and he cleaned every single inch of our tiny break room. There was a cry of disgust and we went to see. He had been sweeping, and forced the broom all the way under our employee lockers. Pulling it back out, he discovered among the hairballs, utensils, and soda caps a filthy, natty black sock, crusty rings embedded around the toe and heel.
It was still in the shape of Roger’s foot.