Steph Carrico has no worries in the friend department. That's because she helps to run the Trunk Space, a popular downtown art and performance venue that's been going strong for six-plus years.
But just in case she gets all lonely, she can always count on more than 100 sock monkeys at home to keep her company.
Carrico scored her first sock monkey on July 20, 2000, and named him Isaac. Shortly thereafter, she would take Isaac (aka "The king of the sock monkeys," says Carrico) on trips with her and photograph him in an Amélie-esque way.
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For years, Isaac was the only sock monkey in her possession. But three years ago - and thanks to local artist/musician/instrument maker/demolition derby driver Corey Busboom, who makes daily trips to the bins at Goodwill - her collection started to grow. So, too, did her fascination with the kitschy sock-made dolls that are celebrated each year at the Sock Monkey Madness Festival in Rockford, Illinois.
"Sock monkeys are a toy that most people are familiar with, and can be put into human situations pretty easily. [By collecting sock moneys] I was trying to make a statement about the collision of youth and adulthood," says Carrico, who adds, "I never intended to collect sock monkeys. I really just planned on having the one."
To date, Carrico's collection is so grand that she has to store some sock monkeys in the trunk of her car. She also has a sock-monkey tattoo.
We're on the hunt! If you have an unusual collection or know someone who does, leave the info in the comments section ...