Monday, May 01, 2006

Journalists and salesmen have something in common, foot scars from the slammed doors. The Classie Corner archives produced this toe-in-cheek outburst:
KEEP your canoe jokes to yourself. The next person who looks down at my feet and says, "Gee, did they give you a paddle when you bought those shoes?" will get a size 12 where it hurts.
The other size 12 is spare for the "wink wink nudge nudge" type.
Just what do they say about blokes with big feet?
I don’t know. Never could understand that one.
Then, there is the old "firm grip on the world" standby.
One Grafton retail worker can share my can distaste for Big Foot jokes.
His size 12s starred in a Checkout Classifieds for-sale notice, opening up a potentially sensitive subject in front of many thousands of readers.
Ethical considerations stopped me from getting down there for a bargain – "brand new" slip-on steelcap workboots for just $25. Size 12 to boot!
Checkout staffers can’t stick a foot in the door to snap up all the good gear from the for-sale notices.
It just would not be right. We would deserve the boot.
Before Thorpie made it respectable to have size 17s I endured a big ordeal after I saw a pair of size 12s in a secondhand shop without a marked price.
I asked the woman behind the counter how much. She said with a grin: "They’ll be no good for you; they’re size 12s."
She then peeped down over the counter and her words cut deep. "Oh. I am so sorry. I had no idea." Hand on mouth.
Just as if I was suffering some terrible affliction.
That’s the sort of attititude the size 12 invokes. "I am so sorry." What a pile of toejam.
I am fortunate to have progressed to size 12s after the Beatlemania of the 60s.
As a teenager I begged mum and dad to let me have a pair of sharp-toed beatle boots.
After a year or so of nagging they said yes. The campaign was long and hard and I was proud of my beatle boots, for a few weeks.
An adolescent growth spurt tried to rob me of the boots but I couldn’t give them up. They were just so hard to get it would have been ridiculous to give in.
For the next few months I shuffled around like a pop-crazed penguin.
I couldn’t even run for the bus, let alone do the twist. A few years later I ended up at the specialist with a foot problem.
In a gruesome twist, he put me into hospital and chopped off a toe in a bizarre surgical performance that has had more modern medicos shaking heads and tapping feet in bewilderment.
There has also been a bit of a kick in the teeth from the advertised boots.
The owner’s mum took the call. The issue of foot size was touchy.
"He usually takes size 11; these were too big," she said.
"The sizes are different between the brands.
"He just made an error of judgment and got another pair.
"He’s been doing a bit of fencing with a mate who just got married."
What can you say? "I am very pleased for him."
I can certainly recommend his boots, though. Trying on secondhand footwear can bring an eerie feeling.
You tend to wonder why good shoes may be "sacrificed" so cheaply.
Be assured. This vendor is still kicking.

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