Tuesday, 10 January 2012


Rarely has a subject divided opinion more during all of time.
Arguments have and will rage forever. The war between the faithful and the unfaithful will continue until judgment day, armageddon, the ends of time, kindergarten cop and twins. The fight never finishes; there
are merely pauses while both sides gather breath and regain strength before resuming the bloodshed.

It was during one of these hiatii where I must have subconsciously changed sides for I have become a fan of the slipper, a slipper-wearer or, to give me my correct title:

I am a Slipperer.

Gather yourself together. I appreciate that the last paragraph will only have been met with two possible reactions:
1. admiration.
2. vomitous.

To slipper or not to slipper; that has been the question for donkeys' aeons. Make no bones about it for I will not be judged; I am a Slipperer and proud.

Those who know me would unanimously nominate me as a leader when it comes to defining, refining, redefining and rerefining fashion. Rarely would I pass any one in the street who would not immediately think, 'my, what a fashion-forward fellow' before doffing their titfer and wishing me a pleasant afternoon. Such is my effect on people.

My departure down the road of comfortable indoor footwear occurred a few years ago. It is a road which is long and winding, with no U-turns permitted and where the destination is entered via a toll booth.

Initially, I was in denial. I would only slipper in the privacy of my own home and only in front of my nearest and dearest. Gradually, my confidence grew and the curtains opened. Visitors were greeted with the beautiful spectacle of my beslippered appendages and would gaze in awe, often with a tear in their eye as I prepared French Onion Soup.

Now, I have some wondrous news to impart: in November, I came out. I crossed the threshold following a quick meteorological verification; underfoot conditions were favourable and Michael Fish Junior promised a minimal chance of precipitation. I was safe to flaunt my footwear and flaunt it I did.

The return journey to the recycling bin (tins and plastics, not 5 litre oil receptacles) passed off without incident. I had ventured from front door to blue bin and back without incident. A few net curtains nudged and a couple of wolves whistled but such is life in suburban Transylvania.

Over the next few weeks, my trips to the recycling bin and sometimes the waste bin (but not the compost bin; I'm not Freddie Mercury, for god's sake) became more and more frequent. However, I fear that I have gone too far. Just last Thursday morning, not long after 7.30am, I found myself merrily skipping up the front path to the black bin (paper, cardboard, no juice cartons) to deposit some unwanted fliers and an empty Shreddies box. Unusual.

Suddenly realising that today was Bin Day, I beslipperedly ventured further than I have ever ventured before. Good god! I was on the path! With bin in hand! In my slippers! That's odd, I thought, why hasn't Lenny got his bins out?

Depositing my own at the top of the path, I ventured a few metres to the top of Lenny's. Odd. Lenny's bins are still in their little hutch. Doesn't he know that today is bin day, in spite of the Bank Holiday on Monday? He's going to be angry when he learns of this faux pas. Taking a false step of my own, I slipped on the drain lid before felinely regaining my balance, gripping my right slipper with the classic Arthritic Toe Clench.

Deciding to be neighbourly, I slowly released the ATC and slippered up Lenny's path. Swinging a practised left just prior to the porch, I arrived at the bin hutch a mere moment later. Steadfastly gripping Lenny's bins in both hands, I admired his handiwork: beautifully arranged paper and cardboard in my left, neatly aligned ale and ketchup bottles in my right. Lenny's good. I've taught him well.

Hearing the porch slide open, I swivelled 270, simultaneously preparing an honest, if slightly mocking smirk as I passed through the half turn. Anticipating a slight blush and gushing gratitude for my neighbourly act, I was stunned to discover Lenny looking low along my legs. Keeping his look lowered, Lenny lamented my foot-attire decision and suddenly it was clear: I had come too far.

There is a fine line between fashion-forwardness and fashion-foolishness. I had breached this line and Lenny will never look at me the same.

It's a question which is plaguing 3.5 billion people in a variety of languages (but not German; there is no translation for 'slipper'). Where is the line? At what point do you go from being the quirky chap from number eight and look! He's got slippers on! Outdoors! To the bag lady from behind the bins? My god! He's got slippers on! In the street! Get your hands off my bins. Children: go inside.

I have since retreated into my shell. I will now only slipper into something more comfortable with curtains drawn, lights extinguished and with the door chain chained. It is time to regroup and reassess my future. The world was not ready for my furry feet.

It is the world's loss.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a slipper convert. Uggs though. Floorboards are too cold. Socks only on carpet though!


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