About seven years ago, I bought a beautiful pair of artisan garden clogs, hand-crafted from genuine Italian leather atop a hand-carved base made of wood. At the time, I was living in a concrete jungle, so it was purely aspirational. Also, they were beautiful. But now they live just outside the front door or back door (wherever I happen to have entered the house) and I jam my feet in them when I need to dash outside. (This is Germany and you never use your outside shoes inside or your “house shoes” outside because that’s just so much easier than not letting your dog shit on the sidewalk, or wherever else it finds convenient. Also we live in the countryside and let me tell you, nobody scoops their horse’s poop, not even–grrr–when their horse has left a nice pile right at the entrance to your driveway…. It took me a while to learn not to take that paranoidedly personally.)
Anyway, just ten minutes ago, I opened my front door and nearly ended up in cardiac arrest jamming my feet cavalierly into my now a little bit more than weather-beaten and caked with chicken shit clogs so I could dash over to my neighbor’s house with a few token freshly baked cookies on a plate and the meager remainder of the flour I’d borrowed (shops are closed on Sundays) when Spouse demanded we have cookies on offer to keep the handymen who are coming to put in a new chimney flue tomorrow starting at 8 in the morning because apparently an ample supply of coffee and baked goods as well as not contesting the ridiculous trumped up fees they will inevitably place on the bill is the only way to get decent work out of workmen in this country. (And even that is no guarantee.) But somehow dried leaves leftover from last autumn had found their way deep into the nose of one shoe and when my toes met them, I jumped sky high.
As I was digging the offending foliage out, I started going through a list of all the things I’ve found in these clogs the hard way:
- this leaf
- a live mouse (which, thankfully, was not injured by my brute of a foot)
Okay, it’s not a long list. But, still… you think I’d learn to look before I am forced to leap into the air in surprise (and then, generally, have to scrape molluscan slime off of my poor little toesies).