Its origins are lost to history, but the name lives on: “sock bomb”. We aren’t even certain what a “sock” was, there are a number of possible explanations, but none have the ring of complete truth about them. We know what a “bomb” was, but the most common meanings don’t seem to fit the ritual either.
Today the Sock Bomb is a solemn ritual. We suspect that in the past it was more whimsical, but the orthodoxy is powerful and we don’t dare oppose its dictates too openly.
It most commonly begins with the selection of a place or person to be the recipient. This is usually someone notable in our town, but almost always not for an obvious reason. It is never the Mayor and rarely any one who with any actual say or power in town. The recipient is actually only notable afterwards, despite the traditional assertion that they were selected because they were notable.
The process of selection is secret. Even the participants in the process are secret. In practice, it is as if the whole town woke up one morning simply knowing who the recipient would be. And for all we can tell, that might actually be the method. We simply don’t know, and those who do know aren’t talking. One thing is clear, however, and that is that the selection is almost always effectively unanimous. Once selected, the townsfolk all agree that any other selection would simply not be right.
One quirk is that the recipient themselves is usually unaware of their selection, unless some well-meaning soul leaks the information.
So all who would participate bring their talents to the fore, and together visualize and manifest a collection of handcrafted items which are installed in and about the recipient’s home or person. The installation usually happens at a time when the recipient is not able to observe the transformation.
It is easy to imagine how this could have began as an act of whimsy.
It is also easy to imagine it being formalized to the point where all whimsy is lost.
This year, the participants are manifesting bright and colorful decorations for all of the hitching posts in town. The horses are ignorant, of course.
Next year, no one knows. Yet.