In a Word . . . Shoe

I bought new shoes on Monday, oh boy! They are still training me in

It would appear the first European was also Irish.

It would appear the first European was also Irish.

 

I bought new shoes on Monday, oh boy! They are still training me in. Negotiations have not been going well. They are becoming as prolonged and painful as those between London and Brussels over Brexit.

It happens every time too. I know we’ll get it sorted, in the future. Now, there is just the pinched present.

So bad has been the pinch at the base of my right toe that, eventually, I went into one of the few remaining shoemakers locally. This did not happen on impulse. I had made it clear that if the pinching did not stop, it was exactly what I would do. So I did. Twice.

The shoemaker, a decent man, took the shoe and examined it in detail. “I cannot see anything here,” he said, having investigated the shoe thoroughly. And I felt that I was at the dentist and the toothache had stopped, imagining that he would think I was making it up.

“Well, it pinches me there,” I pointed, determined that my street devil shoe would not get away with this. So he took up his hammer and gave my right shoe a few hearty taps on the inside and out.

“Try that,” he said, “and if it doesn’t work, bring it back to me. I have a machine here that can stretch it further.” I hoped the shoe was listening. And he wouldn’t take a penny.

I tried the shoe on again at home and it was fine around the house but as soon as I stepped outside the door it pinched with a vengeance, once more.

I was livid. Such house angel, street devil carry on!

Back I went to the shoemaker, embarrassed. He asked me to leave the shoe with him, which I did, taking pleasure in the many tortures I imagined he would inflict on the pinching beast.

At his suggestion I went back on Thursday. His machine wasn’t working but he had used the hammer again. “It should be all right now,” he said. Again he wouldn’t take a penny. “Say a prayer for me instead,” he said.

I warned him that might be no use.

Since when my right shoe has been behaving. It seems we have reached an accord. My hope now is that we can live happily together ever after.

Shoe: from Old English scoh.

inaword@irishtimes.com

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