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Henry: Putting Your Best Foot Forward


I was studying my feet the other day while having my first pedicure. Hey! Don’t get the wrong idea. I have always cut and painted my own toenails, but I won the pedicure as a door prize at the Groundhogs Unlimited Chili Cookoff.

Like most hominids, I have long-admired these industrious migratory rodents as they make their way south in winter in their small R.V.’s and VW vans. G.U. raises money to improve groundhog habitats in our area by adding water and electricity hookups next to paved parking pads G.U provides. I have spent many a pleasant evening in the bushes around the parks, watching the groundhogs waddle out of their R.V.’s to greet and sniff the behinds of the other pilgrims. Sometimes they sit in low folding chairs, smoke and chew the fat with fellow hogs headed for the famous breeding grounds near Veracruz on the Bay of Campeche.

I am sharing these thoughts about my feet with you only because we are such good pals. I don’t want you to quote me, but when I removed my wing tips and my white socks at the salon, I noticed that Pam, the nice lady pedicurist, gagged. Watching her try to avoid looking at my feet as she worked on them, I came to the conclusion that my feet must be really, really ugly.

I know you’re going to say that even in the best of circumstances, human feet are not pretty. The basic structure is just plain unattractive. The ankle bone juts out the side like it was a last minute add-on. Toes are never straight—they’re usually hunched over and gnarled, curling away from the brutish big toe. Veins on feet protrude grotesquely for a while, then dive under the epidermis and disappear, meandering and pulsating, county roads in the Badlands.

After I accepted the fact that I have ugly feet, I engaged my internationally acclaimed phrenologist, Hans O’Cranium, who felt the bumps on my head then hypnotized me by swinging a miniature Schnauzer in front of my face. Using canine regression methods, Hans had me recall images of other feet I’ve seen in my life. I pictured many of the gorgeous runway models who have thrown themselves at me over the past two decades. They had perfect bodies, but their feet were hideous. Some had flat and broad tootsies like Neolithic hunters and gatherers; others sported bony feet, high-arched and brittle, which threatened to crack and crumble at the slightest trauma. Hans asked me if I had ever heard a red carpet emcee compliment an A-Lister on his or her lovely feet.

And you know what? I haven’t. What Hans was trying to make me understand as he kneaded my scalp was this: NO HUMAN BEING HAS PRETTY FEET. Fortified with this revelation, I began thinking of my feet in a different light. For the first time, I embraced my feet, which was awkward, and made a list of the good things about my feet.

  1. I only have two.
  2. I usually keep them covered in socks and shoes.
  3. In a pinch, either of my feet is a decent weapon.
  4. Unlike my fingernails, I cannot chew my toenails.
  5. If I am killed by the Russian mob and they cut off my fingers, I can still be identified by my toeprints, which I have registered with Interpol’s Toeprint Database.
  6. My feet are much better-looking than the barnacle-encrusted flipper feet of the Creature From The Black Lagoon, about whom I still have nightmares.
  7. Both of my feet are far away from my nose.
  8. The fatter my stomach gets, the less of my feet I see.
  9. My feet are well-rested because sometimes they go to sleep on their own, without my being asleep.
  10. Ugly though they may be, my feet will always belong to me. They cannot be seized by creditors and they survive bankruptcy, even a straight Chapter 7.

Thanks to Hans’s wise counsel and therapy, I am no longer ashamed of my feet. I am proud of them. And I will keep them groomed and cleaned myself, since my pedicurist Pam told me after she finished my toes she was leaving the pedicure salon to open another business.

Call her if you need your septic tank cleaned out.

Mike HenryMichael Henry is a HottyToddy.com contributor and can be reached at smichaelhenry@yahoo.com.

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