Foot under glass, A La Mode

by Ken Carpenter



            My feet are shaped more like a shoebox than a shoe. They are about as wide as they are long, they turn a simple operation like buying shoes into a marathon pain in the behind and they always totally amaze me when they slip so easily into my mouth.

            Foot in mouth disease started fairly early in life for me; most likely as soon as I was able to put a sentence together. It has never been uncommon for me to unthinkingly, and without malice, make an observation that does not sit well with somebody in my immediate vicinity.

            The funny thing is, I never have been one to spend much time flapping my lips. I much prefer watching and listening, killing time until something odd or absurd catches my attention, a something that often needs describing. I shudder to think how much irritation I would have spread through the years if I were in love with the sound of my own voice.

There have been occasions in the past that my taste for the warped things in life could have caused me to aggravate a brass monkey had I encountered one during one of my verbal outbursts. I’ve been told a few times that you quite often can’t pry three words past my lips with a lubed up shoehorn when I get in the tightlipped mode, and I count my blessings for that.

Not that it saves me from more than my share of embarrassing moments; it just saves me from legendary numbers of those moments. I think Richard Millhouse Nixon’s record is temporarily safe.

One of my largest gourmet buffets of Foot Soufflé was so intense I can still taste the Toejam Gravy. It is kind of nutty, with a musty bouquet that brings to mind a freshly strolled rhinoceros pen.

So I was talking with a gentleman who was building a new house and had some legitimate concerns about a new neighbor. The neighbor had his own ideas about what you should contribute to a neighborhood of nice new houses. His plan consisted of hogs, goats, horses, mounds of manure everywhere, poorly constructed buildings, even more poorly constructed fences, and in short could not have created anything more unsightly unless he used the aforementioned manure for the material to build everything with.

I commiserated, agreeing that his estimate of a $20,000 decrease in property value was probably conservative. That wasn’t enough though. I had to add one more line.

“So, what are they, from Arkansas?” I quipped stupidly, not having the slightest clue what a person or a residence from Arkansas would look like.

“Well no, they aren’t,” the man drawled, “But I am.”

Crikey on a crutch!

He was too, he wasn’t just kidding. Luckily, he had a calm demeanor, a good sense of humor, and a brief Arkansas history. That didn’t make me feel any less asinine though, but it may have protected my schnozz from a remodeling.

Did I learn a lesson?

I hoped so, but I sincerely and wisely doubted it. Most of the time my tongue is faster on the trigger than my brain.

But I sure did get a refresher on the unsavory taste of foot.