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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The curse of the white toe

My uggs, it must be said, have had a lot of use in the past three years. Too much, you might say, but we Love in a Cold Climate, as Dame Judi would agree if she chose to live in Armidale. Also, I don't get out all that much, specially in the depths of winter. The uggs were black, bought by my discerning wife from a specialist place, and the wool lining was excellent. I'm not a person who sweats much, so for years my bare dry feet slid into them luxuriously. So good. So warm and comfortable. Never get cheap ones.

   But in recent years, the wool has compressed and the level of comfort has fallen. Sadly, I became aware of a tiny hole developing where there was most pressure from the right big toe nail; a hole which increased in size as the months – yea, the years – went by. Occasionally a visitor called, and there I would be, half my big toenail visible against the black of the shoe. It's not a pretty sight, as you can see from my illustration. I'm very proud of that toe drawing, so appreciate it. Hell, it took me half the morning.

   "Maybe I could paint my big toe-nail black," I said to Tracey.

   She failed to show any enthusiasm for the idea, but I think she does have some black nail polish. In any case, I abandoned the option. After all, I'd have to paint a fair part of the whole top of the toe, and feared that should I be whisked suddenly into hospital for some reason, they might think I had leprosy or severe frostbite or had been smoking forty a day, and amputate without further ado.

   It occurred to me not long ago that the shoe fabric had stretched to the point where it could be time to wear a pair of socks inside the uggs. As it happened, the first pair of socks I tried were black. This isn't surprising given that practically all my socks are black.

   I suppose I should add that putting on any pair of socks is quite a challenge to me. My right arm quickly develops a tremor even when it's working at its best, and has little strength. I have to sit down on the bed, draw the foot to be socked as far up on the other leg as possible, and with luck and more effort than you would be likely to expect, the sock might just go on, with the heel in the right place. A variation on Murphy's Law usually places the heel of the sock at 180 degrees to where it should be, i.e., on top of the foot, but it sometimes goes right first time.

   The right foot is trickier because it won't stay up on the left knee by itself. A third hand would be ummm... handy.

   Anyway, I got the socks on, and then the uggs. And wullah! as smooth-talking French-speaking Johnny says - my white but now besocked sticking-out toenail became invisible, as did the hole itself. Almost. This pleased me.

   So, this morning, I got out a fresh pair of socks and carried out my usual battle with each to get them on. Then I had the next struggle, namely, to put on the uggs. This involves a peculiar form of gymnastics akin to wrestling with two fairy penguins who are engaged in a battle with my besocked feet, in both vertical and horizontal positions on the bed, but don't push that analogy too far. Please.

   I stood up. Only then did I realise something. The heels of these socks were bright orange in colour. Well, I knew that already. That didn't matter. But I had forgotten one detail, seemingly irrelevant in my battle to get the socks on.

   The tips of the socks were very, very orange. As was my vibrantly orange big toe, now poking jauntily through the hole in my uggs.

   **le sigh** Some days, you just can't win.

21 comments:

  1. A sub title for this might be, 'Why Sheep Don't Have Toes'?

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    1. Sadly, that didn't occur to me, but it always thrills me to have an expert on Darwinian evolution checking over the scientific side of my pieces. How are you on fairy penguins?

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    2. Fairy poor - does that even work as a joke? Probably not.

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  2. Hmm. I'm thinking we might need to see if we can rustle you up a new pair of uggies. Good quality of course (yes, I read that bit)! How's that crowd-funding thing work?

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    1. That's kind of a good thought, but a three-pack of black socks, totally devoid of any other colour, might see me out.... :) (Why the orange bits anyway – maybe I should start wearing sandals and socks with the orange-flavoured ones, if the temperature ever reaches a point where sandals would be practical for me in Armidale.) Sandals and socks are, I believe, the height of fashion cool – right?

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    2. whether or not a 3 pack of black socks will see you out isn't the point, i'm afraid!! i'm thinking also of the aesthetic contribution a new pair of uggies might make at your place :P plus, the added benefit is that the absence of socks will save us from any discussion about the place of sandals-&-socks in fashion.

      x

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    3. On the sandals and socks, you make a strong point – though if sandals and socks are your thing, I won't think the less of you for wearing them. All I know is if I tried, Tracey wouldn't let me out of the house with them on. Maybe not even the bedroom. And that's not because of their undoubted erotic qualities.

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  3. OR we ALL cut the toe out of our Uggies and start a new fashion … xt

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    1. I'd be delighted to be known as such a fashionista leader in my mature years. Such a legacy to the world would be a triumph of which I could never have dreamed. Brilliant idea!

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  4. And exactly what is wrong with an orange toe peeping out of said ugh boot? It's called "peeptoe" for that very reason. Otherwise shytoes get to come out and be raucously loud and orangetoes. So long as they don't become comatoes. I say LONG LIVE THE ORANGETOE and whatever colour he chooses to be #solidaritoe
    Debbie Greentoe

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    1. UGH boot? Defamation suit from Ugg arriving shortly. The puns are excellent, but I refuse to toe this line.... Wrightoe?

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  5. Replies
    1. Dear Dee -- as ever, wonderfully helpful and practical. But then, gaffa tape is your answer to almost everything, is it not? As you sat perched on a 4" beam 20 metres above the stage using an old 2P&G pin connector to fix lights, you always had the gaffa tape firmly between your teeth. :)

      I did actually think of some black insulating tape. But then, I'd have no story to tell.

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  6. May I just say that I'm very impressed that at your stage of life you actually have one pair of socks with no toe holes? You must have a caring woman (or three) in constant supervisory mode.

    Socks: did you live through a childhood with holes somehow knitted, darned by your mother? I did. Wasn't pretty, and I never thanked her for it - a quite deliberate decision. And young people these days think their lives are so much harder.

    kvd

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    1. Tracey usually gives holey socks short shrift. I think Mum may have sewed up a few holes, but I wouldn't exactly call it darning!

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  7. Of course, if your non-holey socks are a mismatched pair, then all bets are off.

    kvd

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    1. You're right. Mismatched would matter a bean!

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  8. Insulating tape won't stay on

    You're obviously not aware of my VERTIGO when more than 1 foot from the ground

    I'd be using electrical (insulating) tape if rigging lights :)

    Dee

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    1. Poetic licence, Dee. I'm full of it. Heh heh.

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  9. Hi Denis. I will never take my socks, or my sock draw lightly again. It will always get the respect it deserves. I am presently looking at a grey pair, with bright red strawberries. Should I, shouldn't I? No wonder I'm running late.

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