Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lost Soles

"It's not funny the first time you see it, but after 15 times you start laughing."
(My niece Caroline discussing "Napoleon Dynomite.")
Finally taking a break from the pressures of the season How easily a busy work schedule and holiday preparations distract us from the important things: guessing what Michelle Obama is going to wear to the inauguration.

Like everyone, I've seen over and over again that clip of the Iraqi journalist throwing his shoes at Bush. After my initial anger at how they were treating our president - I thought only we could treat our president that way - I started wondering about a couple of things. First and perhaps most obvious is: you're 15 feet away - HOW COULD YOU MISS??? Second, especially after learning that this, apparently, is a traditional means of expressing disrespect in Iraqi culture, I started wondering exactly how many shoes does the average Iraqi own that they can do this? Think about it. If you threw one or two shoes every time you felt dislike for someone, how many times could you do it before you'd run out and have to control your emotions or, failing that, start throwing socks? And does the cost and general condition of the shoe factor in somehow? ("I hate you so much you're not worth me throwing my new Bostonians. Eat these old Payless shower flip-flops, you dog!")

Unrelated Item: Timber!

A couple of nights ago I was up for a bit in the middle of the night, though the crash downstairs probably would have wakened me anyway. Prepared to take on a vicious gang of hoodlums, I walked downstairs and in the living room found the Christmas tree laying on its side with the vacuum cleaner and various other items that were in the tree's fall-path knocked down as well. Also there were two cats staring up from the rubble, their concerned expressions clearly saying, "Don't worry, Daddy. We'll find whoever did this awful thing!"

There is a certain futility that comes with having a Christmas tree and cats in the same house.

It's an artificial tree set in a heavy concrete base that's supposed to be hard to overturn. (Having raised twin sons and, in the process, lost all faith in the word "unbreakable", I probably should have known better.) Although it could have been either of them, I suspect it was Willie whose physics experiment led to the tree incident. He's grown into a muscular and athletic fellow we call "mighty cat." (Motto: why walk when you can leap?) Catch the right spot on the tree with a well timed leap and the concrete base doesn't stand a chance.

Happy Holidays to all!


miss alaineus said...

cats vs. tree. cats 1, tree 0 at the end of the first period.

gotta love it!

i am thoroughly enjoying doing as little as possible for the next 12 days of my vacation.

happy Chrismahanukwanzakah!


Tawnya said...

This entry gave me a laugh that I so needed!!! I know how could that guy miss? I mean, I could h ave hit him from there....LOL. My cat is good with the tree, he doesn't mess with it at all... Happy holidays to you as well!!

Amy said...

the cat jumped into the tree?!? omg. I have a real tree and my cats just hide under it.

LOL @ the shoe thing. I didn't know that, but it IS funny. Although, living in Texas, I did learn that when a Mexican mother is coming at you with a flip flop, you better run....

Cathy said...

A sweet Saturnalia, warm Winter Solstice.

oldhousegal said...

Well, you may not know this about me, but I have been obsessed with shoes since I got my first pair of black patent leather taps in first grade. In my youthful, pre-bunion days, I owned dozens of pairs, and was especially fond of the nose-bleed-high-heel variety, the more outrageous the better. Now that foot surgery has been added to my list of life experiences (and I actually have my very own orthopaedic surgeon!), my shoes tend to be quite sensible and, as I often think in the dark of night, grandmotherly. Now I have to get my thrills from a tricked-out pair of running shoes instead of three-inch cherry-red faux crocodile slingbacks (yes, I had a pair of those). So you can understand that, for me, the idea that anyone would actually throw a pair of shoes away is appalling. It seems an insult to the SHOES, not to Mr. Bush. But then, that's just me.