Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The tormenting of my toes

I can now say, with considerable authority, that splashing through a deep, vast pool of liquid birdshit in open-toed sandals as you rush to leave the house in the morning isn't the most cheering way to start that gloomy first day back to work after the August bank holiday.

It's been quite the weekend for my feet. It began on Saturday in a local deli, where I was choosing lovely middle-class what-do-you-buy-for-a-man's-40th-birthday-when-he-has-all-the-books-and-CDs-he-may-possibly-want-and-I-wouldn't-know-which-ones-he-would-like-anyway-since-he-is-a-man-of-very-particular-taste gifts for my friend Mr H's 40th birthday. In a moment of high farce, an assistant behind the counter dropped a piece of carrot cake into the savoury chiller cabinet in front of her. In her flailing attempt to save the overboard cake, she up-ended a silver tray of strawberry tarts perched precariously on top of the chiller, which danced and span through the air in perfect slow motion, eventually landing with a skid and a splat on the floor, sending a miniature tidal wave of jelly and crème patisserie all over my tights.

I would like it recorded here – and I don't write this without considerable disappointment – that the cost of our purchases was not waived as a means of compensation.

I was instead offered three bits of kitchen roll with which to dab away at my foot, while I breezily laughed away the apologies of the staff member responsible, all the time thinking, 'WELL, THIS JUST GREAT, ISN'T IT? I'LL JUST SUCK CUSTARD OUT OF MY TIGHTS IF I GET A BIT PECKISH LATER ON, SHALL I? AND ALSO, AT LEAST GIVE US A BLOODY DISCOUNT, YOU CLUMSY IDIOT.'

Thankfully, being extremely uptight, I am rarely without a small pack of Marks & Spencer wet wipes, so don't panic everyone! Lemon-scented sponging ensued, and we all moved on.

Later, at the party, in the host's dimly lit garden, I tripped up some steps in my towering wedge sandals and stubbed my toe like a bastard. I could probably have prevented my toe from enduring quite so much pain, but I was very hungry and trying not to lose control of a very flimsy paper plate sagging with delicious curry. I think you can understand why my priorities lay as they did. The incident was my fault really, despite the unmitigating darkness. My pig-headed regard for my dinner meant I could not really get Claims Direct on to a dear friend.

So much did I whinge about my hurting toe over the rest of the evening that I couldn't wait to get home and take off my toenail varnish to reveal what would surely be the most spectacular toenail bruise the world had ever seen, painted in all the colours of God's beautiful rainbow, but mostly purple, which is to say – in rainbow talk – violet.

But there was no bruise. How could this be? My toenail was as pink and perfect as a baby's. But about 35 years bigger.

It was around this time that I suspected mysterious forces may be at work.

Then today, leaving the house in a hurry, worried about missing my train because the next one is not for 20 minutes and that makes me properly late, I struck out down my path briskly on a beautiful clear, dry, sunny day, only to realise within a few footsteps that one of my feet was cold and wet. You will be pleased to show there is no photographic documentation of this incident. I am choosing to believe the culprit was an extremely large bird. Possibly a pterodactyl. The other options were simply too gag-inducing – a cat with a stomach bug, or a fox who had torn open a bin bag and eaten something that was well past its sell-by date. That is the price you pay, foxes, for living a life of petty crime. You could go straight any time you like. Just look at dogs. They are just foxes who are too feeble-minded to fend for themselves, but who are happy with the life choice they are too stupid to actively have made.

Sadly I had used up all my wet wipes during the strawberry tart debacle, so I had to fall back on the tissues. For public transport reasons previously cited, I could not stop and go back inside for a full footbath. I felt like I – and everyone else on the over and underground networks (by this I mean commuters, not the Wombles) – could smell my shitty feet that morning, all the way from East Dulwich to Marble Arch.

So who has been playing malicious pranks on my feet this weekend? Who was laying increasingly unpleasant traps? Show yourselves, foot foes!

I am anxious about what is coming next. Should I see a ride-on lawnmower in motion at any point over the next few days, I will be extremely nervous. I am very much up to date with…


Mad Men.


Alison Cross said...

Laughed like a drain at this!

Stubbing your toe is the sorest fucking thing out. And all you can do is let your mascara run and moan in pain.

Still, I salute your manful saving of the curry at the same time. That's CLASS.

I'd write a letter to that deli btw and request some kind of compensation. Not in money. In buns.

Not getting your order £ waived was disgraceful!

Pterodactyl - possibly a seagull, they can shit like grown men, y'know.

legend in his own lunchtime said...

Like grown men on a vegeatable and fruit diet.