Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Final Countdown


With just a few days to go until I take off around the world, there are lots of important decisions to be made. Namely, what to do about shoes.
There are numerous guides to packing for long trips out there, all of which tend to advise taking somewhere in the region of one pair of underpants, 2 rain-coats, 3 types of anti-diarrhoea medication and 13 types of antiseptic lotion. Clearly, these people are advising for a trip that I do not want to go on.
They all advise 3 pairs of shoes to cover all eventualities; 1 pair of flip-flops (that's thongs to the Antipodeans out there), 1 pair of heels and 1 pair you can walk in.
Two comments. One, if you can not WALK in your heels, get another pair that actually fit or wear flats. No one wants to keep you company in A&E in a foreign city when you do a Bambi on ice after your eighth Mojito. Two, that is not even CLOSE to covering all the eventualities. Here is what you will actually need:
  1. The Indestructible Boots (Doc Martins are good, New Rocks better) - These bastions of sturdy, hardwearing shoeism serve several purposes. The first is keeping my feet wonderfully safe and dry, not matter what the conditions. The second is that they are heavy enough to be used as a weapon, and concuss any aggressors or over-zealous over-orange flight attendants. Get BACK, munchkin. 
  2. Some Strappy Wedges - These delightful chunky wedges, in addition to giving you happy feet, have long multicoloured ankle ties. These ties, obviously, have numerous useful functions; tying notes to carrier pigeons, should the plane crash on a desert island that has the bad grace to be devoid of a local population and/or phones; if there is a local population, you can barter them for food and water, on the grounds that they would go stunningly with a grass skirt. The application of the Indestructible Boots as a weapon (see above) at a later time, would allow you to steal these shoes back, creating an unending and inexhaustible readymade currency. 
  3. Trainers (Fake but Cute) – You will need to sneak up on the locals to hit them with your boots.
  4. Trainers (Real) – you may get caught while sneaking and need to run away.
  5. The Cute Ones with the Small Wooden Heel – These are particularly useful should you crash on an island that is populated by pygmies, who are known to be quite prickly about their height. In the event of a deficit of pygmies, they can be used to float out notes to see if carrier pigeons are unavailable, or burned as firewood, if circumstances are truly dire.
  6. The Flip-Flops with the Cute Sequins - The astute amongst you will have already grasped that these are ideal for working in areas where there is a danger of electrocution, and the sequins can be used to reflect light at passing planes, alerting them to the presence of a large group of people awaiting rescue before it becomes necessary to burn their wooden shoes. Obviously. 
  7. The Heels Of Doom - Six-inch spike stilettos, suitable for stabbing, gouging, digging, poking, permeating and just generally looking hot as all hell. Because you are going to want to look your best when rescue finally shows up.

Think of your shoes as a survival kit, and you can't go far wrong. Think of survival kits as a survival kit and you end up ill AND with bad shoes. Clearly, a no-brainer.