Monday, December 20th, 2010

At our bi-monthly staff meeting last week, I learned two very important things: flesh-eating fish pedicures are banned in Wisconsin, and I’m not the only person who owns a Ped Egg and thinks it’s awesome.

My very own foot-care strategies have evolved quite a bit over the years, in parallel with the evolution of my feet from locomotive appendages into great big stumps of callus. I’m pretty sure this is hereditary. If memory serves, Dad had horrifically callused, claw-like feet just like the ones I have now. Probably not what he wanted to be remembered for, but sometimes those are the cards fate deals you.

I’ve read quite a few things about aboriginal people who have feet as hard as shoe leather, so I have to suppose that callus was once good for something. I’ve also read that the worst thing you can do to your feet is stick them in a pair of shoes where air can’t get to them very easily, if at all, but dammit if I don’t live in a culture where showing up barefoot at work would be one of those things that would end up in a counseling session with the HR department.

Since shoes aren’t optional, I have to put up with feet that get overgrown with microbes, fungus and other parasitic creatures, not to mention that special something weird that happens to callus. It’s transmogrified from becoming shoe leather that would allow you to walk barefoot down gravel roads into something nearly as fragile as dinner plates and just as hard to glue back together when it cracks, metaphorically speaking. Callus really does crack like a dinner plate, but I’ve never tried using glue to close up the cracks in the heels of my feet, although now that I think of it, stashing a tube of Super Glue into my first aid kit might be a good idea.

To keep callus from becoming a painful problem, I’ve spent many long hours trimming it using nothing more than my fingernails. When that didn’t cut it any more, I used the little rasp that’s built into toenail clippers, but that never was any good and for a while I resorted to using the sharp end of the clippers. Effective, but hard to control and occasionally very gory.

One year, My Darling B gave me a pumice stone and some lotion, and I gave that a try but by then the callus had become hard as bullets. The pumice stone was no match for it. The same shop she bought the pumice stone from also sold emery boards as big as soup spoons and for several years I was really very satisfied with them. I probably still would be if I hadn’t discovered the Ped Egg by accident.

A Ped Egg is a palm-sized cheese grater mounted on the inside of a plastic egg-shaped handle, hence the clunky name, and it’s way better than a pumice stone or an emery board because I can chew all the callus I want to off my feet with just a few passes, instead of grinding away at it for fifteen minutes. Swish swish swish, I’m done, and my feet are once again smooth as a baby’s bottom. Okay, not quite, but pretty close.

To judge from the look on my boss’s face, she’d not only never heard of a Ped Egg, she would never have imagined what it was used for if we hadn’t poisoned her mind with the information. Waves of utter disgust swept again and again over her as she involuntarily pictured it and alternately tried to wipe the picture from her memory. This was clearly something she did not want to know, yet the rest of us thought the Ped Egg was so awesome that we couldn’t stop talking about it, and once again she would picture it, and be shaken by revulsion, and struggle to purge it from her mind’s eye again. It was all she could do not to stick her fingers in her ears and shout “I DO NOT HEAR YOU LA LA LA LA!”

Flesh-eating fish | 6:18 am CDT
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