Food-wise, Harrell’s tried the World’s Best pancakes, hot dogs, burgers, salads, tacos, and fudge. He’s yet to find the best of anything. Each time, he’s vowed never to make that mistake again – and he hasn’t, not at the same location. He’ll make that mistake again at the convenience store with the broken plate glass window … because what if that particular convenience store with the broken plate glass window has the most amazing flapjacks? He can’t chance missing out.
Harrell’s also hard on socks. (Stay with me. This will all come together at one point.) During this COVID-19 year, staying at home and possibly more aware of little things than usual, I noticed how often those big box store socks ended up with holes in their heels. I mentioned it, more than once. What I should have said was: nothing. Those socks cost maybe $12 for six pairs. Each pair lasts a few weeks. In hindsight, not a terrible deal.
As unlikely as it seems, these two bits of oddness – my guy’s fascination with all things “Best” and the destruction of his hosiery somehow became intertwined and it ended up running us $71.52 for two pair of socks. Yes, you read that sum correctly. I was astonished when I saw the receipt.
It happened like this: I complained about the latest sock casualty and, this time, Harrell heard me. Going online, he typed in “Socks that last a lifetime” and up popped an ad for Darn Tough Socks of Vermont: Socks Guaranteed for Life. He read the reviews, then placed his order. Afterwards, he shared with me that he’d soon be receiving the World’s Best Socks.
They have to be. They last a lifetime – guaranteed!
If the Boston Globe is to be believed, Cabot Hosiery Mills was on its last financial legs twelve years ago when most of their big retail customers shifted production to overseas factories. Focusing on a high-quality product, creating their own brand, and giving away their socks to runners at the Vermont City marathon, they somehow hoped to stave off bankruptcy. And it worked. It more than worked; their revenue has soared. (If you follow the link to the Globe, know that one part of the article isn’t to be believed. Should your pet put holes in your Darn Tough socks, too bad for you. Cabot Hosiery Mills isn’t going to replace that footwear.)
As far as I know, Cabot Hosiery Mills have never referred to their product as the best in the world. They do offer to replace their socks if and when they wear out, but how many people are going to go through the hassle of doing that, really? Harrell will, that’s my lifetime guarantee, because he paid seventy-one dollars and fifty-two cents for two (2) pairs of over-the-calf black men’s socks.
The day the Darn Tough box arrived, Harrell put the first pair of socks on. I was watching as he looked down at his feet and wiggled his toes.
They didn’t look all that different from the big box assortment. I asked, “How do they feel?”
“Like amazing socks?”
“No,” he said, and a little doubt crept into his voice. “Just regular socks.”
Darn Tough of Vermont, you’d better not disappoint my guy.