John Walker's Electronic House

by on Mar.02, 2003, under The Rest

Today I am wearing odd socks. But to look, you wouldn’t be able to tell. One is longer than the other. But due to the nature of how socks bunch up around the ankle, you’d have to look extremely closely and carefully to recognise their oddness.

Of course, I realise that by wearing socks that go past my ankles means I’m horribly out of fashion. Or is that just girls? Those scare me, those teeny tiny socks that barely sneak over the toes, so that you can wear socks, BUT!!! look as though you aren’t wearing socks. Incredible. I’m not quite sure why this would be desired. But it does seem that fashion is currently absorbing all the most uncomfortable things footwear has to offer.

Probably the second most uncomfortable thing that can happen to a foot is when the sock slides down and gathers underneath, all bunched up, and digging in. These new ‘invisible’ socks seem to adopt this as a starting point.

But now, having tantalisingly stated that there is a more uncomfortable footwear related discomfort, I must embellish upon the number one.

There is no worse feeling a foot can feel in everyday, non-injury based, walking, than when one’s shoelace is somehow inside the shoe, and underneath the foot.

Like the princess of legend and her pea, there is no way to find comfort in the stray lace. No amount of shuffling, concentration, yoga, self-hypnosis, or hammer to the head distractions can remove the soul-scraping agony of that stringy torture. Japanese prisoner of war camps in the 1940s would take the captured soldier’s boots, and glue one lace to the sole, then force the prisoner to march around the cages until they broke down in tears, threatening death if they attempted to adjust the lace in any way.

Which strangely is the attitude taken by so many today when someone realises that they need to rearraging their foot furniture while walking down the road. In any group of more than two, it is near guarenteed that if someone requires stopping to remove a stone, tug out a lace, or control a bunching sock, someone else will find this invasion of their civil liberties so offensive that they will have to insist upon carrying on walking. What on earth is this about. How important is an individual’s need to reach a destination, and how fragile is a friendship, that a person cannot wait the, what, thirty seconds it takes to sort that shoe out? But you can be sure that if you need to lean on a post, bend down, pull of that shoe, tip out the shards of broken glass and barbed wire your so-called friend would rather be shredding your skin, and then get the shoe back on while struggling with the folded in heel, someone will keep on walking, probably picking up their pace, putting the pressure on you to hurry in your life-saving operation, and then initiating that most embarrassing of walks – the half-gallop adopted by the individual still pulling on a shoe as they try to catch up with their new-found enemies.

So why is it that now all shoes must have their laces tucked in on the inside? I bought some new walking shoes-cum-trainers, and they have been built in such a way that the final loop of lace goes over and in, rather than under and out, with the intention that the bow be tied underneath the tongue, and then worn on the inside of the shoe. This is the same person who designed the non-socks – you mark my words.

Which is to say that my jeans don’t fit. The truth is, I’ve put on some more belly. But the problem is, I’ve not put on enough belly.

Jeans come in waist sizes increasing in two inch increments. TWO INCHES. Who gets thinner or fatter in two inch sections? I’ve put on one inch of belly, and am now living in that barren wasteground that lies between the jeans one can buy.

That wasteground pun is very clever. I wish I had done it on purpose.

But there isn’t an option as to which size you buy – you have to buy the size up from the one your waist offers. But this means that my jeans are one inch too big for me. And this means I have to tug my jeans up about seventy-three times an hour, or risk baring the attrocity that is the valley entrance to my bum-cleavage to the world. And no world, no matter how rotten, deserves that.

So I have two choices. I have a pair of jeans one inch too big, and one, older, one inch too small. I can either lose the weight that shaves and inch from my girth, and be able to climb back into my old, worn, tattered jeans. Or I could gain the weight to have my new jeans fit properly.

Does the Spar sell decent ice cream?

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