Thank you for letting me borrow this image, Wikipedia, even though I did not ask your permission. I guess that means I’m joy riding and may be convicted of grand theft sock puppet. Oh, and thank you to the web series Totally Socks, on which this lovely sock ass is a character. You see, I nearly always take my own blog photos (Thank you, Apple. Thank you, OS 8.1. Thank you, tiny camera on my iPhone, to which I am joined at the hip these days. And thank you, dear wife, for purchasing said iPhone for me two years ago and for keeping it updated. And thank you, Lord, for bringing me my beloved some 16 years ago. Oh, and if I left anyone out, it’s not that I’m not thankful for you, it’s just that I’m getting old and forgetful. Forgive me?), but I couldn’t for the life of me find a decent sock puppet to photograph. Perhaps I’m just not cultivating the acquaintance of the right people.
See, there’s this job I want to apply for, but I can’t get the employer’s HR website to cooperate. Apparently, I have a little sock puppet problem.
I may have to ask my two year old grandniece for advice.
The error message consists of a long string of gobbledygook where the job application should be. It ends with something about mysql/mysql.sock(2). Talk about a kiss-off! I suspect this is just a fancy, high tech way of saying “Ha ha ha! And you really thought we were going to let the likes of you apply for this job! Sucker!”
Well, not so fast. I don’t give up that easily. Let’s take a minute to break this thing down and figure out what it could really mean. First of all, I’m not sure what all this folderol about “mysql” is. I’ve heard of a database program called SQL, but I know that’s not it, because how can I be in the company’s database when I can’t even log onto their blessed website to apply for a job?
So what does that leave us with? It could stand for “my squirrel,” but I haven’t seen any squirrels around here for quite some time. Now that the wind and rain here in northern California has finally washed the leaves off the trees, there are no more tasty acorns in evidence. The squirrels must have all gone into hibernation with the bears. Or else maybe they’ve flown south for the winter along with the Canada geese. I saw a flock of them (geese, not flying squirrels) zoom over the parsonage in the pre-dawn darkness as I headed out to work of a recent morning. Employing the classic V formation, they were hauling it double-time in the general direction of Tijuana, screaming their fowl heads off against the wind and the rain, as if to say “I told you we should have gotten the heck out of here last month! What were you thinking hanging around so long?!” You’d think they’d have heard of Interstate 5 by now.
Perhaps this mysterious coded message stands for “my sequel.” But what would it be a sequel to? It figures. I’m always behind the times. Here I am expected to know all about the sequel when I haven’t even been exposed to the original yet.
Then again, it could stand for “my squiggle.” This might make more sense, as I see many squiggles as part of statements written in various and sundry computer languages. I don’t even know much Spanish, so don’t ask me to try to converse with a computer. I still haven’t figured out how to pronounce those squiggles.
Finally, we come to the part about “sock(2).” On the face of it, this seems pretty clear to me. As part of my daily routine, I do indeed put on (2) socks, one on my left foot and one on my right. I do this by performing a subroutine that involves accessing my sock drawer and then following some good old computer logic. IF a pair of clean socks is in the drawer, THEN pull apart the paired socks + set my feet up on the ottoman + pull socks over my cold toesies = aaaahhhhh! I haven’t yet figured out where in the program to put the part about removing the lint balls or doctoring up the blister that has mysteriously raised up on one of my toes for no other reason than to annoy the bejabbers out of me.
When running this subroutine yields error messages, it is generally either because I have been left with sock(1) after the dryer has mysteriously made off with sock(2) once again, or because neither sock(1) nor sock(2) will fit on my big old dogs. In the latter case, I simply proceed to the next subroutine: IF we are dealing with ankle socks(2), or IF socks(2) are striped or in pretty colors or are anything other than dark blue, THEN return socks(2) to wife’s sock drawer ELSE socks(2) belong to Pastor Mom. It’s fairly simple, really. BASIC, one might say, or possibly FORTRAN. No need for Java or C++++++ or even mysql.
As for my job application, a little research revealed that I have probably run into a sock puppet. As a general rule, I don’t like to run into anything (the mere thought of it makes me say “Ow!”), but at least sock puppets tend to be nice and soft. Sock puppets, I have learned, are a form of false identity, basically going online and pretending to be someone you’re not. So if I were to create another WordPress account under the name of, say, Tasty Avocadoes, and proceeded to praise to the skies this Uncle Guacamole guy and recommend that everyone read A Map of California, I suppose I would then be a sock puppet (not to mention evil, and stupid, and juvenile, and… oh, well, you get the picture).
I have no idea why my prospective employer thinks I am impersonating myself or anyone else (honestly, you get to an age where you have enough trouble just being who you are). But this gives me an idea. The next time I run that subroutine and end up with an error because instead of socks(2) I am left with only sock(1), I can turn sock(1) into a sock puppet forthwith. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, so I am certain that it will not look anywhere near as pretty as the lovely donkey in the photo that I stole from Wikipedia. Perhaps I can find some loose buttons to use as eyes, and some threads that have been hanging off one of my shirts as a mouth. I would then slip sock(1) over my hand, and voilà, sock puppet! If I impersonate a high, squeaky voice, who knows what adventures I might be able to conjure up? I bet I could entertain my little grandniece for hours!
Alright, who am I kidding? My grandniece is two years old, which means that she can’t be entertained for more than three minutes at a time, and that’s pushing it. Besides, if it’s not Mickey Mouse or Barney or those darned Teletubbies, she simply wouldn’t be interested. She’d just ask to borrow my cell phone, please. Not that she wants to call anyone. She just wants to entertain herself with videos of people taking apart eggs or singing in Mandarin Chinese.
That’s okay. She may not have any interest in sock puppets, but at least it’ll be a while before I have to break the news to her that responsible adults use the internet for things like applying for jobs and puzzling over Dr. Seuss caliber computer code about sock(1) and sock(2).