“Previously On ‘Time Sock: The Sock That Travels Through Time,'” by Arie Kaplan

Aug 20th, 2021 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

What do you mean you haven’t seen Time Sock: The Sock that Travels Through Time? Like, ever? You haven’t seen it ever? Wow, have you been missing out.

You can probably skip the whole first season, although the pilot episode does set up the premise pretty well. So maybe you should see the pilot. And then maybe episode 3. It’s a decent non-pilot season 1 episode. Also, episode 4 is a good bottle episode. So just episodes 1, 3, 4, and maybe like half of episode 5, and you know what? Also episodes 6-24. In other words, watch the whole first season. It ends with Archibald Dingus wearing the Time Sock for the first time, and he’s been infected with the same Time Virus that brought down Genghis Khan when he wore the Time Sock…

Oh man, you don’t even know the premise of the show, do you? Okay, so really quickly, back in the late 1800s, H.G. Wells, author of The Time Machine, invented an actual, working time machine. He also invented a prototype for a steam-powered mechanical sock, far superior to the average, non-mechanical wool sock. But Wells was a man of his time, and one day, while doing typical 19th century things like riding a penny-farthing bicycle and snorting opium, he lost the sock!

Unbeknownst to Wells, the foot-mitten (as socks were then known) had been zapped with chronal displacement shockwaves from the time machine, and shockwave residue had embedded itself in the sock’s superabsorbent polymers. And now anyone who wears the sock can travel through time!

But that’s just the Time Sock itself. What about the cast of characters? Oh, you must learn about the grounded, relatable characters in this delightful soufflé of a show!

Meet Jamie Pendleton. She’s a physics student at DiamondButt University, and she just can’t seem to be on time for anything; class, a date, a date that happens after class, eating a date during class, a class that occurs on a certain date. Anything! Well, guess who is the first person to find the Time Sock in the corner of her dorm room, which used to be H.G. Wells’s time travel lab in the late 1800s? At first Jamie tries to use the sock to cover up her clawlike feet, because she’s a werewolf. Oh, didn’t I mention she’s a werewolf?

It’s imperative that you know Jamie Pendelton is a werewolf, because she spends all of Season 4 trying to use the Time Sock to find a cure for her lycanthropy. That’s why she’s stationed aboard the CosmoBus in Season 4.

Wait, did you just ask me, “What’s the CosmoBus?” It’s only the combination space-age satellite/school bus that orbits the Earth under the command of Professor Gyrus Giuseppe, his robot monkey underling Dr. Hiropolis, and his trigger-happy head of security Bonnie Bazooka, who had her left arm replaced with an 18th century pirate’s cannon. They’re all tasked with helping Jamie try to stop the werewolf-pocalypse that was foretold in the Prophecy of the Wounded Spoon, back in Season 3, episode 11.

Oh yeah, there’s a werewolf-pocalypse. That’s where it rains for 40 days and 40 nights, but instead of raining itty-bitty raindrops, it rains fully-grown 250-pound werewolves, that just pummel the Earth into submission. Oh, it is such bad news. I mean, that’s the entire reason the Werewolf-Busters were introduced into the cast in the second half of season 3.

Now I guess I have to explain who the Werewolf-Busters are. They’re actually a splinter group of the Knights Templar. Originally known as the Mystic Order of the Bronze Mullet, the Werewolf-Busters are funded by Susan Van Wyche, heiress to the Van Wyche dental floss fortune. But she cares more about saving the world from a plague of werewolves falling from the sky than about spending her daddy’s money. Because she’s a hero, and that’s what heroes do. How do I know she’s a hero? Because she was inducted into the Hero’s Guild in Season 24.

This leads directly into Season 25, which is one ginormous parody of King Lear spread out over 37 episodes. That season takes place in the 680th century, when the dominant life form on Earth is butter. That was a way for the show’s producers to save money on actors. They just cast the whole show with sticks of butter. Some people thought the show jumped the shark that season, but you know what? They got some amazing performances out of that butter, let me tell you! I mean, sometimes you’ll be watching an episode of the show from that season and you’ll notice that the Time Sock is visibly drenched in butter. It’s got butter stains all over it and such. But you know what? That’s the price of making art.

I will say that in Seasons 44 and 45 of Time Sock, the producers seem to have forgotten that the show’s supposed to be about a sock that enables its wearer to travel through time. Those are the two seasons that are performed through the miracle of shadow-puppetry, and I think that the show’s head writer Joey Spaghetti was going through a divorce or something, because all the characters are always just talking about how the institution of marriage is a scam cooked up by the planet’s five major monotheistic religions in collaboration with the strip club industry. Fascinating stuff. Where was I?

Time Sock really got back on track in season 700, which was the all-singing, all-dancing season. The musical numbers are incredibly well choreographed. It is kind of weird though that what’s doing all the singing and dancing isn’t the actors, but rather clumps of meat thrown at the set by veteran showrunner Jacques LaChoot. “Singing clumps of meat.” That’s what critics called that season. And they weren’t wrong!

Ahhh, Time Sock: The Sock That Travels Through Time. It’s more than a TV show. It’s an experience. No, I was right the first time: it’s a TV show!


Arie Kaplan is a comedy writer. His work has been published in MAD Magazine, Points in Case, Weekly Humorist, The Daily Drunk, Slate, and National Lampoon. Arie’s television writing credits include World’s Dumbest (TruTV), Cyberchase (PBS Kids), and Codename: Kids Next Door (Cartoon Network). He is also the author of three LEGO Star Wars humor books for children, all of which are currently available from Scholastic. Follow him on Twitter at @ariekaplan and check out his website, www.ariekaplan.com.

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