Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Walking in another man's shoes (footprints) in the snow

Now that the pre-Superbowl thaw has begun (did the Dodgers make it to the Superbowl this year...yes, I'm that into it...), I'm starting to see more footprints that aren't mine or Franny's in the snowy/icy sidewalks on one of our three different doggy-walking routes (The Dog Whisperer says to vary your walking routes to provide interesting smells for the pooch).

As my mind drifts to childhood memories of sweltering hot SoCal heatwave nights spent mopping sweat from my brow as I attempt to get some un-airconditioned shut-eye (I love this cold weather), I notice the other footprints in the snow laden ground.

First up is a guy who is both girthy and non-height challenged, as I have to leap forward and sideways to try to walk in his shoes. His snowy indentations literally swallow up my childlike-in-comparison feet -- and I'm wearing my big boots to boot. If Sasquatch lives in my small town, I'm keeping him for myself. Think of the ease he'd have in putting up sheetrock on the ceiling...

Then there's the footprints of someone I've tagged "pidgeon-toe'd Paul," who is in serious need of some corrective footwear, a chiropractic twist of his ankle bones, or a better fitting pair of clown shoes.

Finally there's the "wandering jumper," who's footprints resemble those of a frightened deer that can't decide where to hide behind, so it checks out every shrub, bush, or tree in it's path, before finally deciding to cross the road, only to be wiped out by a couple in a Explorer on their way to dinner at Earl's Rib Palace.

As I turn to look back on the remnants of tracks Franny and I have left behind, my first glimpse at the pooch's pawprints tickles a primal instinct from my cave-dwelling forefathers whose very existence may have depended on their ability to tell the difference between a bear track (yikes) and a deer track (yum.)

While it's somewhat entertainining to judge another man's path when following their footprints, the realities of one's own life should also be examined -- it's all about balance.

My own footprints could be of less depth (15 lbs. or so less would do wonders for my midline), and still show the slightest signs of the big, black, heavy corrective footwear I was forced to wear as a kid when my right foot turned toward my left foot at a 45 degree angle. I don't recall how long I had to wear those corrective clodhoppers, but it was long enough to show up in several family vacation photographs of my brother and I.

Perhaps my prints really don't show this correction at all and it's all in my mind's eye -- but I know it was there in the past, so perhaps I'm projecting that flaw in my current feet laden trackings.

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