Monday, December 22, 2008

Shoes are important in a civilized society. Primitive man didn’t wear them. Even until the time of the civil war shoes were pretty primitive. Shoes weren’t paired into right and left until the time of the civil war. In East Texas many people still don’t wear shoes as a matter of routine. I don’t think I wore them much until I started to school.

Shoes are supposed to protect your feet but can also make them miserable. As I have grown older I have a yearning to again go barefooted. I have developed a bit of a bunion so that my narrow, winged tip, dress shoes kill me after I have worn them for only a few minutes. High-heeled shoes have ruined women’s feet and have created an entire specialty in medicine called Podiatry. These docs make their living fixing bunions and other deformities of the feet brought on by shoes.

Shoes are also used as weapons. People have been killed by the blow of the spiked heel of a woman’s shoe. Shoes can be like a weapon on the feet of a football player. They have also made some folks extremely rich. Manufacturers and professional athletes who advertise them have made the shoe industry a major business. There are innumerable types of jogging and walking shoes and also thousands of types of boots made from exotic skins and used for many purposes from cowboying to mountain climbing.

Shoes are also important political instruments. Several years ago the Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev made a famous speech at the UN where he took off his shoe and banged it on the podium. Just last week while President Bush was visiting Iraq a reporter took off his shoes and threw them at the President. Luckily, Bush has quick reflexes and dodged the shoes. It turns out these were Merrell shoes which is my favorite brand and the kind I wear routinely to ease my aching feet. Even if the reporter had hit the president not much damage would have been done because the shoes are pretty soft.

I’m proud that I wear a famous brand of shoes. About the only place I don’t wear them is on the porch. I still go barefoot on the porch where I like to remain primitive. Sometimes in church when I’m wearing my uncomfortable dress shoes I secretly slip them off and I sometimes feel like throwing them at the preacher during a bad sermon. Maybe that’s what happened to the reporter in Iraq. Bush is known for bad speeches. The reporter may only have bunions and this caused an international incident.


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