Socks and Slippers Brigade (SSB)

This excerpt is from the book entitled 40 Strange Groups. Little is known about these organisations, hence the shortness of the book and the low price of less than a dollar. But, if you twisted my arm, I would admit that I’d make them up.


This group is estimated to be the world’s largest organisation of men and could be described as an international coalition. Membership is free and can be obtained if a man can prove he has received at least one pair of socks and a pair of slippers from his partner on the same birthday or Christmas – a till receipt will usually suffice.


The Brigade sends out a newsletter every month containing member’s suggestions for similar humdrum presents for their partners, such as a pair of scented candles, a box of chocolates, or a set of tea towels. The website allows members to blog about the uses they’ve put their presents to, other than wearing them. Some members let birds use the slippers as a nesting box while others use the socks as covers for their golf clubs. Members are also encouraged to enter the monthly competitions for the most boring present received that month.  


Norman Smailes is the secretary for the Sydney branch in New South Wales: “We have a number of blokes who are members many times over, because their partners always by them the same thing over and over again. One chap, Ernie Baker, decided to open a market stall, because he had a cupboard full of these slippers, all of them brown. He called his stall ‘Baker’s Toasted Slippers’ and he sold the lot in a few hours for a good sum. His wife didn’t find out. He spent the money on good wine.”

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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