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By Bob Bridge, Columnist

“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.”

— Clement Moore

Ralph Waldo Emerson served as Bob’s stocking stretcher
Ralph Waldo Emerson served as Bob’s stocking stretcher.

No sugarplums, please! Stuff my Christmas stocking with ... new pairs of stockings.

And, at the risk of being portrayed as picky, particular or just plain persnickety, kindly make them extraordinarily enormous.

Stuffing these archaic, aching feet within stockings has become a formidable feat, to be sure. It became readily apparent early on that my feet were ... unique. Throughout my Little League years, every pair of cleats rapidly unraveled, clearly incapable of containing those barking “dogs.”

My mother labeled me “my father’s son.” Dad wore a size 12, EEE width shoe.

By high school, I was donning a size 12. That, in itself, was not an issue. Size 12’s are available at nearly all local shoe outlets and emporiums.

However, unlike my dad’s feet, my “tootsies” are ridiculously wide. That B in Bob B Bridge?

It stands for Bigfoot.

How wide are they?

Twice as broad as Dad’s. That’s right, 6E.

Where does one shop for 6E sneakers, loafers and dress shoes?

Alas, the options are limited to online or specialty magazines.

The cost? Particularly painful to the pocketbook.

Just recently, I was made aware of something I did not know — shoe and stocking sizes do not necessarily correlate.

Bombas, a popular manufacturer of socks, explained this during one of its commercials. My thanks to the company’s “Customer Happiness Team” for enlightening me. Bombas, in an effort to avoid cramped toes, ankles and calves, creates breathing space within its hosiery.

If you wear a size 6-9 shoe, you require a medium sock. Shoes 9.5-13 mandate large stockings, while boat-size footwear ranging from 13.5-16 demand extra-large stockings.

However, when one’s feet are nearly as long as they are wide, extra-large is the only way to go.

For many years I hired a skilled sock stretcher to expand my all-too slender stockings. I’d simply stash Snausages deeply into the toes, then order my beloved basset, Ralph Waldo Emerson, to “search and retrieve” his favorite treats via that significant snout of his.

He would promptly prod that nose into the stocking’s darkest recesses and ... presto! Mission accomplished.

Someone suggested I try Tommy John socks. After all, that’s the underwear enterprise incessantly imploring me to “get comfortable with myself.”

Or, perhaps it is time to go au naturel and shuck socks altogether.

Ever observed the “real” Bigfoot lumbering about in argyles?

I think not.

Bob Bridge welcomes comments at 812-276-9646 or

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Hey Bob

Do you remember when shoe stores used to use those metal foot measurer things with the sliding scale?

Mrs. Robertson over at Jeff Shoe, it was located across the street where the restaurant “ Papas” is/used to be?

Anyway, she did it right.

You walk in there, ya put your foot on that metal thing with the sliding scale.

use that thing anymore?

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