Archive for June, 2013|Monthly archive page

Dangerous Fashion

In Beach, Body, Footwear, life, Men, Sandals, shoes, shopping, Uncategorized on June 19, 2013 at 9:59 am

Through a series of events I recently ended up spending the night in Charleston, South Carolina, a city that in many ways reminds me of my old stomping grounds, New Orleans. Except that it’s cleaner, and surrounded by beaches. The food isn’t as good, and the music scene is not even close to comparable, but at least you don’t have to carry your money in your shoe to fool any would be mugger that lurks around each dimly lit corner of the Crescent City. Don’t worry, I still love you Big Easy.

What I discovered in Charleston is that I’m glad I don’t have to depend on my footwear to protect my finances. The shoes that I brought along with me would have done their job splendidly on the filth covered streets of the French Quarter, but were less than desirable when it came to beach sand.

Bear in mind that this trip to Charleston was an unscheduled detour on our trip. My wife, who had made a business trip to Portland, Oregon, earlier this year had mentioned that if we were to detour slightly and head to Charleston, she could have traveled coast to coast this year. Without giving my footwear a second thought, I said that would be a great idea, so while heading south toward Columbia, I just kind of real subtle like, turned the wheel to the left and drove to Charleston.

After arriving, I removed my shoes for a nice walk on the beach with my wife, and upon returning to the car I soon remembered something that is easily forgotten when living in an aired climate such as West Texas: beach sand is not easily removed from the skin, especially moist feet. Damn. I didn’t pack my sandals. Which I am not a fan of by the way, and not just “my” sandals but any sandals. To me sandals are like the Eiffel Tower of foot ware; they may be very well made and very safe, but when you look at them they just appear to be incomplete. But like I said, I didn’t pack my sandals, so moot point right?

Well like them or not, I looked in some of the local beach shops for a pair of sandals, and decided that I would just have to pass on spending fifty plus dollars on a pair of incomplete shoes. Unfortunately, the high price of unfinished footwear led me to the purchase of an item that I have not had on my feet since I was six: the “flip-flop”.

I see people in all walks of life, all over the country, in all types of both urban and rural settings with flip-flops upon their feet. In fact I was discussing my experience with a gentleman I met down at the hotel’s pool area named Lee, who told me that he, on occasion, even rides his Harley wearing flip-flops. So my question to all of you people who seem to get around with the seeming ease of mobility while having the soles of your shoes held in place by nothing more that a string between your toes is: How in the hell do you do it?

For crying out loud, I could barely get from one block to the next, and I am not too proud to admit that it took a conscious effort to accomplish this. First let me say that I do not like the sensation of anything being between my toes. I don’t do toe socks, toe rings, and there is no way that I am even going to attempt to to try on a pair of the new five finger shoes that have become so popular; not gonna happen. But just a few years ago I couldn’t stand for my food to touch. In fact I would prefer all of my edibles to come served on individual plates, but hey, now I can eat fajitas no problem. Baby steps right? So, I strap these things between my toes and off I go.

I don’t take two steps before my brain realizes that something is going seriously wrong. I would guess that the communication between my brain and the rest of my body is going something like this:

Brain: Ok everyone, we’re trying out some new shoes, so lets get him up to speed and then we’ll switch over to auto-pilot.

Body: Understood we are ready for walking procedures.

Toes: There seems to be something stuck between us, but it is causing no real discomfort.

Brain: That is part of the new shoes; It should be ok. Are we ok to launch?

Body: Ready.

(A few steps later)

Inner Ear: Losing power!

Brain: Feet! What the hell is going on down there!?

Feet: Toes are curling, sir.

Brain: Toes, Report!

Toes: The footwear is not attached! Repeat, the footwear is NOT attached! We are curling in an attempt to grip the shoe.

Brain: Understood, good work. Arms! For crying out loud slow your pace before you put him over on his face!

Arms: Sorry, sir. Slowing.

Brain: Heart! Lungs! Relax down there. We had some minor issues with the new shoes, but the toes are compensating.

Heart and Lungs in unison: We percieved danger! Are you absolutely sure that additional oxygen flow is not required.

Brain: Affirmative Heart and Lungs, there is NO danger. Stand down. I repeat, stand down.

Inner Ear: Power is back up, sir. Balance is reengaging.

Brain: Systems check.

Body: Running at 94 percent, sir.

Brain: Toes?

Toes: We’re holding our own, sir.

Brain: Good work. Keep it up.

And this is how the rest of my day went. Me attempting to maneuver around the streets of an unfamiliar city, while a portion of my brain is devoted to making sure that my shoes stay on my feet. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to remove the flip-flop while driving, before I became a danger to everyone else and not just myself. Driving barefoot is equally uncomfortable, but I believe that should be a blog all unto itself. For now let me just say that driving barefoot is intentionally making something that you have done a million times suddenly uncomfortable by removing clothing. Driving barefoot would be similar to grocery shopping in a speedo.

I managed to survive day one of wearing one of the most dangerous garments ever created by man, and I look forward taking them off at the end of day two. And so do my toes, who have to spend yet another day gripping the soles of an incomplete shoe to insure that it remains in place. For them it’s just one more day in This World of Hurt.

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