Poopy Foot Conundrum 

In January this year I decided to hike up Mount Sinai in my favourite red chucks which, needless to say, wore them a bit thin.  I felt this was fair enough given that I had already worn them everyday during winter and done significant amounts of walking in them before I even started wearing them to climb mountains.red chucks

A few months later, after yet another day on my feet at work had left me with not only painful feet, but also aching hips, knees, and a killer lower back, I realised that it was probably time to accept that my beloved converse sneakers were approaching the end of their lifespan.

Given that I currently own no less than 8 pairs of chucks in varying stages of disarray and across multiple continents, I figured it was about time for me to branch out footwear-wise.  After a hearty internal debate over this matter, I promptly dashed into a store moments before closing time and marched out again in possession of a pair of black New Balance 420’s. They’re back with New Balance 420bluish splotches inside and I am quite taken with them. I was pretty darn chuffed with myself and with my new purchase, though as a side note:  these shoes do seem to run a little on the smaller side as I find that my feet are nicely snug in a size larger than I would normally wear, which does a fairly good job of making me feel like I’m marching around with elephant-size clodhoppers. 

The next morning I donned my cushiony new footwear and strode off to work.

Between my house and my place of work lies either a 50 minute walk or a 30 minute bus l ride. On this morning I chose the bus because:

      1. walking long distances in brand new shoes is risky business
      2. I was running late. Again.

Nevertheless, I made it to work just in time – and promptly stood in a steaming pile of dog shit just outside the door.

Now, this is a fairly disastrous circumstance to find oneself in regardless of the age of one’s footwear; but it seemed particularly cruel that it happened the very first time that I’d worn my brand new shoes.

The bell had just rung to signify that school, and consequently my job, was beginning so there was no way I’d make it home in time to change schools before class started.

It was at this point that I wondered what the protocol is on standing in excrement.  Is there a social norm that I should be following?  Should I turn on my heel, head straight back home, and call in sick from work because I have poop on my shoe? Or do I attempt to go through the day, all the while leaving a trail of the dastardly substance along behind me?

I would smell of faeces all day – because for some reason when you stand in dog poop, it somehow miraculously becomes significantly more aromatic than it was when it was intact on the ground.  If anyone would care to offer a scientific explanation for this, then be my guest.

In all seriousness though, what is the protocol on poopy shoes?

Do I run home for new shoes?  Or do I run to the nearest bathroom and wipe it off with a tissue?  The problem with this strategy is that the poop is usually well and truly squished into the tread on the soles of the shoe.  Having owned dogs most of my life, I am no stranger to poopy shoes – but it’s normally a problem that I only ever encounter on the lawn at home and one that I deal with by frantically scrubbing at the shoe with a brush, getting the whole shoe wet and soapy and then throwing both of them into the washing machine and letting the wonders of technology deal with the issue for me.

In the end I dealt with the problem in the following manner:

  • IMG_3547
    A dramatic reenactment of the disaster

    I scrubbed at the sole of my shoe with a Sephora Body Wipe

  • I poured a hearty dollop of hand sanitiser over the affected area, smeared it around then wiped it off with toilet paper
  • I scrubbed again at the sole of my shoe with a Sephora Body Wipe
  • I located and emptied an entire perfume sample by spraying it at the poppy area of my sole (which actually turned out to do a great job of further dissolving the dog poop)
  • I located and emptied a second perfume sample by spraying it around the top of my sock in an attempt to form an scented barrier to envelope my foot

All in all, my left foot ended up being one heck of an assault on the olfactory senses.  Luckily my feet are very far away from my face.  Also luckily, I work in a primary school, so there is always a faint scent of faeces hanging around anyway.  By the time I got home in the afternoon all of the poop had flaked away onto the dry cobblestoned Spanish streets, which was all the more to my advantage – although  I would not say that I was in any way happy with how I dealt with the situation.

If someone hasn’t already written a handy guidebook on matters such as these, then they definitely should.  It could even include pictures and be sold as a children’s books, because children’s books seem to deal with all sort of bizarre topics these days.  I suggest titling it “What to do when you stand in poo”, because it rhymes quite pleasingly.   Maybe it exists already.  A quick google search would resolve this.  But then again, if I do google it and find out that it does already exist I’ll just be upset that I wasn’t the first to think of such a great and original idea so I’d rather just remain blissfully ignorant.

Either way, I really need help adulting…

IMG_1331
Beside the wee chapel at the top of Mount Sinai in Egypt – the adventure that more than likely killed my favourite red chucks.
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