Thursday, March 28

second nature

Perhaps you've never considered the importance of toes. I can tell you I haven't spent much time pondering the topic.

I was thinking of my toes today because my new hiking shoe
is starting to rub painfully on my little toe. My solution for this is to stop hiking, of course. And lest you think I buy my shoes singularly as I'd prefer to buy my gloves, I also have another new shoe on the other foot that is causing some trouble to my big toe.

I remember hearing that if we didn't have toes at the end of our feet, we would fall over. Although I have not had the opportunity to test this theory, I can argue that stilts have been used successfully for some time. Why, I still have no idea. Anyone with more information than I, please advise.

I'll pause here to say that my feet are arguably one of my best features; and it is therefore unfortunate that I have to wear shoes at all. But in addition to their good looks, I've found my toes to be very useful over the years.

A few days ago I was attempting to zip some riding chaps I had recently acquired and found myself employing my toes to create tension on the leather. Sometimes your foot is just the most handy thing.

For those unfamiliar with this equine attire, chaps (which can cover all or just half the leg) are worn on the outside of the pant to protect the leg while riding.

As per my usual mindlessness, I wouldn't have stopped to think anything of this unusual tactic had I been alone. But the process was strange enough to interrupt the conversation Little Gen was having with her BFF Jannisimo (pronounced 'Yahneeseemo'). That is, of course, not his real name.

Thankfully Little Gen was quick enough to capture my unusual method on camera, much like a naturalist might record the strange mating rituals of some exotic animal. In fact, I'm sure there is a mating ritual out there that looks much like the above photo.

I'm sure a similar photo could be taken every day of my life, recording endless mundane tasks completed in a manner akin to a circus act. If I could think of a use for stilts, you can bet I'd have a pair. Currently I scale my cabinets like a mountain climber to get to the top shelf.

But if I were to record all my utilitarian shenanigans, I'd have to employ a photographer who had absolutely nothing else going on in his or her life.

But who says there has to be a one way of doing things. If you find yourself in a spot where your first choice isn't an option, I suggest going with second nature.