Toes…and How NOT to Use Them

“Blessed are those who have all their toes and know how to properly use them.”  That was said by me this past weekend as I managed, yet again, to use my toes in an improper manner.

You may not often think about your toes (aka foot digits), as something very important, but they truly are.  The “proper” use of your toes is to provide support while you are walking.  “Proper” walking starts off with your heel to floor then you start to roll forward, heel comes off the ground, and the weight gets transferred to your wonderful toes.  Heels to toes.  Repeat.  A very prestigious job for those stubby digits.

Then there is the aesthetic aspect of toes.  The plain, boring nails on your toes can be painted up with polish to give a sophisticated look or maybe you’re feeling frisky and fun so you paint little pictures on them.  How glamourous!

You might have my special talent with toes.  I myself have used my longish toes to pick up items from the floor.   Why bend down and use your fingers when you can pick up a dropped pencil or pen with your foot digits?

I, however, most often use my toes as a guidance system.  As I wander around as a normal human being, I find my Toe-Guidance system sometimes goes into hyper-drive, thus forcing my toes to make harsh contact with various solid objects:  wooden sofa legs, coffee table legs, wall corners.  Oh, you know the feeling?

The magic moment when you stub (what a short word for something that causes remarkable pain and suffering for hours…even days) your toe.  During my teens I managed to stub both baby toes on my left and right foot.  Different years, different days, same pain.  That was the beginning of the arduous life of my toes.  As I grew older and my toes grew longer, almost finger-like, the toe-to-hard-object-ratio increased. Interestingly enough my large toe never suffered any disfigurement.

The main defender of my Toe Family is the second toe (the one next to the big toe). It is longer than all my other toes and prefers to forge unabashedly forward into the unknown. This second toe will invariably find itself in the undeniably defenceless condition of being slammed into a wholly hard object (i.e. bed leg, chair leg, couch leg) thus bowing in a way as if to prostrate itself in defeat to its opponent (i.e. couch leg). The intense toe-to-hard-object impact creates a fantastic world of blinding white light which transforms into a circle of stars before my eyes. After the visual effects subside, there is the introduction of a foreign language. I have used some of these words before, but the way the words are strung together in a sentence would make the devil blush.  My ears cannot believe that it’s my usually cheerful and melodic voice spewing such vulgarities!  After the visual and audible sensations comes the grand finale.  There is a hot, burning sensation in my toes (usually two of them). After that subsides a wee bit, then my toe(s) seem to create a new life force as I can almost feel a heartbeat within my toes as they thump-thump within the searing pain.  Then, to make sure that this theatrical extravaganza cannot be undone…the skin itself decides to join in the grandeur of the show and begins a four to five day progression of metamorphosing into a colourful and motley display similar to a spectacular rainbow. Oh yes! A grand purple bruise progressing to a royal blue one.  How divine!  From that it transforms into a gangrene-ish green then a pallid, sunset orange and on to a vaguely, mouldy yellow. Ahhhh the miracle of pain and punishment.

It is then that I wonder aloud:  HOW THE HECK DO I ALWAYS RUN INTO STUFF!  I know how to walk. I’ve been walking for almost 50 years! Has someone replaced my feet? Has my depth perception changed?  Why don’t I know how to use my feet properly in order to avoid such colourful and painful occurrences?

And so it was that this past weekend, I quickly whipped around from one room to venture into another and my third and fourth toes decided to give their big brother (second toe) a break by forcefully ramming themselves in the corner of a doorway thus giving themselves a break, literally.  WHAM!  The fireworks in my head, the blaspheming from my vocal chords, the rainbow coloured foot.  Once again, I found myself in the abominable position of looking down upon my mangled toes, whimpering and wondering, will this finally be the last time?  Yet, I know in my heart, (and also the second heart throbbing in my injured toes) that, alas, this will not be the end.

“Blessed are those who have all their toes and know how to properly use them.” Obviously, I am NOT part of that enlightened clique.

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