Richard A. Black (USA)
Auto-Sock
While water skiing I tore my left hamstring. It takes a long time to heal, and putting on a sock in a conventional way is impossible. I use a round plastic food container that has a circumference slightly larger than the width of my foot. I stretch the sock opening so that it is supported and held open by the neck of the container. I then place it on the floor, opening towards the ceiling. Once 25% of my foot is shoved through the opening, the sock is released and collapses onto my foot. I am then able to use cooking tongs to reach the sock and pull it further towards the ankle, so that I can eventually reach it with my hands and fully pull it on.

I am certain there are a number of individuals who for various reasons can't bend far enough to put on socks, and having an assistant around all the time is impractical. Or absolutely dangerous, when she is still sound asleep and extremely adept at remembering the precise words she used reminding you not to even try skiing, especially after you had enjoyed great quantities of the fermented spring water of the Rockies and you exited the boat with a back flip shouting "y'all watch this!".

With a little creative refinement, like a more ergonomic receptacle than Tupperware, and a better grasping device than hot dog tongs, this idea could be very useful to those who cannot touch their toes and wish to avoid the hassle and expense of a personal assistant regardless of their motivation (although I would suspect mothers would be more sympathetic than wives). I suspect an extension device that requires little or no bending over would even be met with greater enthusiasm. Unlike Tupperware and frankfurter grabbers, this device does not need to be dishwasher proof.

Reward: One free prototype sample ASAP.

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