Freudian Slips: Footing the Bill

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

July 07, 2005

Footing the Bill

Feet not even a mother could love.
Feet have never been an erogenous zone for me. I perceive feet to be the ugliest part of an otherwise magnificent human body. Feet are the deformed stumps of the forest. Our bi-pedalness seperates us from the animal kingdom but that doesn't keep me from detesting the smell of feet, their brute nakedness, or tendency to breakdown over time.
The subject of feet reminds me of escorting a developmentally disabled client to an ill-fated podiatry appointment in the early 1990's. Luigi suffered from type two diabetes so I endured taking him for regular podiatry appointments. Podiatry is an important ancillary service for diabetics where poor circulation and skin breakdown are notorious.
I have made the mistake of finding Luigi a female podiatrist. Luigi is a wannabe player. He likes to hound women in a mostly annoying not entirely vulgar way. He seems surprised that I am sending him to a female podiatrist. Luigi snickers then promises to keep his inappropriate sexual innuendos in check. Famous last words. I remain wary.
I warned, "I am sitting back there with you."
"I'll behave." scoffed Luigi. "You don't have to babysit me."
"Been there. Done that." I answered.
Luigi and I arrived at the podiatrist office on time. The office just opened so we are immediately seen. A foot locker of an examination room, the area was too small to accommodate a third party despite the side chair that I wedged into. The podiatrist removed Luigi's charcoal colored tube socks that screamed for new ownership if not a cleansing bonfire.
"Are those the formerly white tube socks I bought you?" I asked.
"Yeah." Luigi said matter of factly.
"What happened to them?"
"I wore them."
"By appearance sake, it looks like you wear those socks every day of the week. Do you need to do laundry?"
Luigi explained "Yes, but I need to borrow some money to do laundry?"
"Wash your clothes in the kitchen sink. You get paid Friday."
We had reached an impasse. My Tough Love was rooted in prior experience. Luigi was trying to hit me up for money that he would misappropriate on lottery tickets. The podiatrist stumbled upon bigger problems making dirty socks the least of Luigi's worries. I took one look down and saw two sets of cat claws that curled underneath his hammer toes. It seemed more accurate to say Luigi walked on his toenails rather than his feet. He had edema, calluses on top of bunions, and deep vein thombosis to boot. Luigi solidified my aversion for feet to the point of no return.
I lobbied, "His poor feet! You have your work cut out for you, doctor."
The podiatrist clipped and clawed his toe nails in professional silence. The sound of brittle nails hitting the floor bound plastic tray proved to be a slow death for all parties. The podiatrist proceeded to wipe toe jam between the digits. I looked away from the action and caught a glimpse of Luigi laughing at me. He was actually enjoying my discomfort as if he were manufacturing foot atrocities to ward off his scrupled chaperone. The question remained. Would I remove myself from the situation to leave the female doctor alone with my conniving client? Life is teaming with tests of will.
Things kicked up a notch when the podiatrist operated a buffing wheel on all cylinders. Shards of dead skin kicked high into the air. A smell took mold and it reminded me of a grilled cheese sandwich made with extra sharp provolone. Flakes of skin landed on my clothes. I tried not to react but I wasn't doing a banner job. As it rained dead skin, I began to inconspicuously brush off my clothes. Luigi began chuckling and his impressive belly jiggled in its reclined position. I gave Luigi the evil eye warning him to stop his shenanigans.
Meanwhile, the dead skin continued to parachute down on my shoulders and lap. I have brought my work home with me before but this was ridiculous. I needed a small umbrella and an air freshner the size of a Volkswagen. I felt so disgusted and dizzy that I almost passed out but this was war and they were going to have to carry me out. Where there is a will there is a way. Meanwhile, Luigi laid there like King Faruk with his hideous feet being meticulously serviced by a servant. Luigi saw my eyes swimming like saucers and figured it was time to move in for the kill.
"Hey Doc, look at my social worker. Joe looks like he is ready to puke. The baby can't take it. Why don't you wait in the waiting room, you big baby?"
I didn't budge. Eventually, the dust settled and Luigi stopped laughing...



Blogger Erin said...

Oh good Lord! I have been reading your blog for some time now, and this is the first time you have seriously turned my stomach! Blach!

I, too, dislike feet. Nothing makes me run faster than seeing a pair of stinky stumps coming my way.

Thanks for the laugh (and the loss of appetite!)

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so laughing! I did only one thing wrong...I read your blog while having my lunch! That's the worst spring roll I ever had in my life! ...burp!...chi

7:20 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

What a pleasant way to wake up this morning...

I'm totally grossed out!

I don't understand why some people don't take care of their feet or any sort of personal grooming or hygiene. I don't know how you stayed in that room!

Have a great day, Joe! I think that I'll be skipping breakfast today.


7:31 AM  
Blogger the Contrary Goddess said...

THAT was hilarious!

8:11 AM  
Anonymous et said...

It was the picture, followed by your description that did it for me. I love extra sharp, provolone cheese! Thanks a lot, Joe! Now, I don't think I'll be able to stomach the odor of my favorite cheese without thinking of Luigi's feet. Ugh! You have relegated yourself to number 5.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Sorry to make Erin Go Blah!

You could have been eating grilled cheese.

We differ in the feet department.

thanks for the footnote.

That is why they call them dogs...

8:22 AM  
Blogger eatmisery said...

The only feet I enjoy are my five-month-old's. I'm with on feet. I can't even stand my own.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

i cringe when someone mentions crow's feet.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Zelda Parker said...

This is one unusual way to keep me away from the cheese which used to be one of my favorite foods. Thanks alot pal!

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

joe, you have a way with your words and your clients! no wonder the other readers could barely get through the story! you have a way of recreating the experience for everyone to share!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

forgive a writer for a cheesey post.

I had to take breaks writing the story.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am totally grossed out. I should have known not to keep reading when I saw the picture first. Yuck Joe. Emily

6:26 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

those weren't even his feet.

7:31 PM  

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