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Useful And Fantastic: The Da Vinci Sock Mystery 2

Val Yule continues her surrealistic mind-bending tale.

It hops up in many ancient cultures as strange pedic symbols, from the Hoplites of ancient Sparta and the ancient Israelites in the marshes of Goloshen, the Asian hordes from the Steps, resisted toe to toe by the even wilder Cossocks, the footloose Sandals and the anomalous Boths who never put a foot wrong, with moths in their socks.

If Ned Kelly had stuffed his helmet with socks it would not have got dented. But his problem, it has been found, was that he was actually a musical blacksmith, not a bushranger, and wanted to get resonance within his metal casing, and only had one sock to protect his ears.

At the bottom of the escalator the searchers into the Universe were swept into an electrified garbage trolley by the Mad SleuthKiller, an appalling figure who wore his socks round his neck in the vain hope of not losing them. As the trolley zoomed towards the nearest airport, via the frightful underground tombs beneath Parliament House full of old Hansards, the secret records of a democratic secret society, the escapees observed that almost all the other contents of the bin were odd socks, mostly with tartan patterns. Holly's treacle-colored lash-fringed eyes filled with fear.

"We are not really going to the airport! I have a map that shows that these socks are used to start new islands in the sea, where coral does not do the job. That is why they are called islands, standing for 1-Sock-lands. Lost Atlantis was really one great big Lost Sock, as its name shows - At-Lant-1-Sock. - at the Land of One Sock.. Every time a sock goes missing, somewhere a little island is born."

Sure enough, the bin was tipped off a jetty at Tullamarine, which is more of a marina than an airport, and the Mad Sleuth-Killer began shooting holes in all the socks as they fell. Holly and Pedo saved themselves by jumping into a passing submarine. "Why were all those socks different patterns?" mused Pedo, "Surely that is a clue to the Universe."

"You are right," hissed a mysterious voice from behind a binnacle. 'The comon folk believe that it is wily sock manufacturers who ensure that no pairs of socks are the same, so that when one sock is lost, its mate is useless and more socks must be bought. The common folk also believe in Possums that take the odd socks for their nests, but that is not true either."

"But there is a good deal of evidence for the Possums," argued Pedo, "In darkest Australia there is a manuscript called the Magic Pudding, which is a code for Magic Socks, and in it there are revelations about Possum sock-thieves, and a Bandycoot which was odd-socked . . These Sock-snatchers . ." "But if it is Possums, then why are so many odd socks found in ponds and gutters? Surely the Master of Ormond College must be correct in asserting that little men come over from Ireland to collect odd socks wherever there are students who actually wear socks."

"There is the Robotic Washing-Machine theory too, you know, yet never a sock is found when the machines are dissected." "That is because the Robot eats the socks, to save on electricity." "Like the theory of devouring cupboards and carpet underlays that turn socks into food for &endash; but who has seen a silverfish eating pre-masticated socks?"

The submarine had surfaced, and shot Holly and Pedo into space from its missled-sock- launcher. As they whizzed among the satellites, which kept taking pot-shots at them from Kalashnisoks and Legalites, and the Holeproof advertising balloons, they discoursed about the translocation theory - whereby one family can have a drawer full of 81 odd socks and not one will match the 81 odd socks held by another family, because the odd socks have been sucked into trans-variegated Black Holes, and become Holey Socks. "It is becoming clear from this height that Society is based on the Odd Sock. Soc = Sock, 1 = One, and K is a magic quantity from Arabic mathematicians, so in any one society there will be K socks. Indeed odd socks are everywhere, except for the ones that are missing."

More to come

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