Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Callous Remarks

This column won 2nd place in the August/September 2009 America's Funniest Humor writing contest. Yay me! Enjoy.

My bare feet were making a funny “Rrrip-Rrrip” sound as I walked across the carpet. 

Looking down, I discovered the edges of my heels resembled barnacles, and it was these crustaceans that were snagging the broadloom like Velcro™. 

Since I am a true do-it-yourselfer, I checked to see if my wife had any technology I could use to fix this problem – a potentially ticklish issue. 

For example, women have this thing they use to bend their eyelashes.  My kids and I think this lashbender device would be useful as an insect guillotine and are looking forward to using it in that role.  Don’t say anything. 

The only useful item I found in her Mysterious Female Ablution Accessories Drawer, though, was a wooden paddle with sandpaper attached to both sides. 

“I can beat that,” I thought, racing to my workshop, trying to ignore the erotic possibilities of a wooden paddle with sandpaper on both sides. 

I dove into the abrasives drawer and grabbed some commercial grade, diamond grit sandpaper. 

As professionals know, sanding is important for a fine finish and this rugged paper would get the job done in manly fashion.   

Now decision number two loomed: power or manual?  Do I get out the trusty orbital, palm, or belt sander?  Or should I just see how it goes freehand? 

A vibrating tool in any mans hand can be dangerous at the best of times.  What if my feet burst into flames?  What if I had multiple orgasms?  Heavens.

I decided I would tackle this job free-hand and see what happened.

I began to wonder: do I sand with the grain, or across it?  Do foot barnacles even have grain?  What is the price of grain anyway?  I was beginning to lose focus.

Thinking it would help to soften up the raw material, I sat on the edge of the bath, feet immersed in warm, soapy water (lavender scented if you must know), reading a magazine, feeling downright contemplative.  I was tempted to light a candle.  I almost watched Oprah.

Then came the moment of truth.  I removed foot number one from the water and placed it in the bench vise I had conveniently clamped to the side of the tub. 

Bending to my task, a dreadful rasping sound rent the air, followed by a plume of skin-bits, barnacle flakes, sweat, sawdust and talcum powder, a jar of which I spilled while vigorously assaulting my cracked and turtle-like skin.  A smell, reminiscent of lavender-scented bacon, filled the house.

Now, I have worked with pine and mahogany and oak before, but never bunion.  I felt like an artist, a post-modern Michelangelo, sculpting in a new and exciting medium – callous!

Well it worked just fine – my heels emerged silky smooth and the operation was a complete success.  Hardly any blood, only a thin layer of dust everywhere, and now I no longer leave a trail of scratches across the hardwood floor. 

Carpets no longer hamper me.  My shoes fit better.

Life and barefoot locomotion are wonderful again. 

I’m curious, though: How often will my feet need a new coat of varnish?

1 comment:

Ladyluck said...

"Mysterious Female Ablution Drawer"

Love it.