A frozen ankle epidemic has swept across the island of Ireland. Experts have cited the recent trend of wearing ankle socks with jeans rolled up at the bottom as the major cause. Oxygen reporters set out across the country to investigate.

In the past, fashion giants Penneys have been accused of dictating what Irish students should wear. Owing in no small part to the dirt-cheap prices of their clothing. An anonymous employee contacted us with the following remark: “It’s funny really. Because our clothes are so cheap, students will buy literally anything we sell because they can’t afford or don’t want to bother paying more for anything else. So, hypothetically, if one month we were to stock yellow spandex and shoulder pads, you’d have students going around looking like Joan Collins/X-Men hybrids”.

Limerick local Daniel O’Shea was standing outside of a local Penneys store in the former European Capital of Culture, when Oxygen reporters approached him on the issue. “I’m just waiting for me girlfriend”, the 19-year-old stated. Clearly this young man was hiding something. Out the corner of their eyes our reporters noticed that his jeans were rolled up at the bottom, leaving his young ankles vulnerable to the elements. Perhaps the cold had spread to his brain, but at his point it was just conjecture. Upon further interrogation by our reporters, O’Shea admitted that he did not in fact have a girlfriend, and had actually just finished a round of shopping during which he bought the jeans and ankle socks in question. “Well I’m not a 50-year-old man” O’Shea stated after being asked why he doesn’t wear normal socks.

Research has shown that this worrying trend of wearing ankle socks and rolled up jeans originated in the country’s capital and has gradually spread outwards, infecting other counties. Connacht is one of the few remaining safe havens of the country where the epidemic has failed to make a substantial impact. Counties Mayo and Roscommon have received fewer than 5 sightings of these fashion challenged individuals. Thankfully, the only sheep sighted in these counties are of the literal variety. However, this finding leaves this writer with a disturbing thought: what would a sheep wearing ankle socks and rolled up jeans look like? In Mayo, where electricity has only recently been discovered, locals were left in bewilderment when shown pictures of the fashion items in question. However, when asked to comment, these welly-clad natives seemed incapable of changing the topic of conversation from tractors and silage.

Elsewhere, Dublin based Oxygen reporters took to the cobbled walk ways of Temple Bar in the hope they may discover some truth in the city where it all began. Upon exiting one of the area’s vintage clothing stores, a young man was approached by our reporters. He was identified as 23-year-old Trinity College student Tristan Blake-Hickey. While reluctant on discussing jeans and socks, the philosophy graduate seemed only too happy to discuss his alma mater. “Yeah, I went to Trinity”, he repeatedly told our reporters for 30 minutes. Seemingly a lost cause, our reporters made for a hasty exit.

Later that day, our reporters received words from HQ on a lead.  They were instructed to go to Stephen’s Green where they would find the lead sitting on a bench feeding the pigeons. Dressed in the uniform of a local fast-food chain, our lead was sat on a park bench rolling a cigarette. “All very cloak and dagger this isn’t it?”, our man exclaimed with a thick D4 accent, seemingly giddy with this Jason Bourne-esque style encounter. “No, I wouldn’t be a fan of the old stocaí beag”, he stated. “It’s just stupid, like. It’s 2 degrees out here and you’ve got lads wearing the big jackets with the furry hoods to keep warm then they’ve got their ankles out and their jeans rolled up – Fuckin’ stupid”. He later revealed to our reporters that he liked to wear t-shirts with scarves.

While it was refreshing to hear that there was someone out there who agreed with us that this was another nonsensical, conformist fashion trend, we were no further along in our investigation. Upon leaving the park, our reporters were accosted by a familiar face – Tristan Blake-Hickey. Asked if he had any new information he replied, “I went to Trinity”.

As temperatures plummet across the country this December, boffins estimate that the recent plight on the nation’s young lad’s ankles is set to worsen.

Thankfully, at least for now, the epidemic has been mainly confined to third level institutions. When asked to comment on the recent threat to young lads’ ankles in Ireland, UCD authorities issued the following reply: “What?”



James Simcox