Luton businessman Dev Alahan has announced plans to open the world's first Hard Sock Cafe outlet on Watling Street, in Luton, Beds. One of Mr Alahan's business partners, Steve McDonald, reported that Mr Alahan - forever on the lookout for opportunities to turn a fast buck had identified a trend in the rising popularity of socks.
"Sure we're cashing in," McDonald explained. "And why not? Right now it seems the whole world is just mad for socks. All the big names are wearing them - movie stars, pop stars, sports stars, and even politicians. Socks are where it's at, mate."
Publicity blurbs claim that the Hard Sock Cafe boss has been busy buying up socks of the stars from various internet auction sites, which will be put on display in the cafe in glass cases, with shiny plaques and stuff. So far, Alahan claims to have come into possession of socks worn by such luminaries as President Obama, Bob Marley, Judy Garland, Abbott and Costello, Tony Blair, Joey Barton, Les Dennis, Vernon Kay, Samantha Fox, Katie Price, Dame Judi Dench, Muhammad Ali, and Coco The Clown.
"In most cases," Alahan explained. "We have pairs, but we also have a few odd socks which we're considering putting on display for their rarity value. These include the odd socks of Buzz Aldrin, Diana Ross, Ned Kelly, John Wayne, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, and even a sock which once belonged to Tom Thumb. The problem with that one is that it's so small that we may well have to incorporate some manner of magnifying glass into the design of the glass case."
The Hard Sock Cafe is scheduled to open some time in 2012 - providing the end of the world doesn't disrupt the schedule.