Circling the Drain

I’m screwed. Not literally. Well, sort of.

Many years ago, while waiting for an elevator, I looked down and noticed for the first time that while my feet were pointing due south, my head and shoulders were pointing about 16 degrees to the west. Okay, so at least I’m screwed clockwise. You know, like the same way water swirls down the toilet. I’m drawing no conclusions there. At least that’s in the northern hemisphere. I don’t know about the southern hemisphere, I’ve never been there, so YMMV. I choose to blame the earth and its unfortunate Coriolis force.

It took me a few years to discover that this twist is because my right leg is just a bit shorter than my left leg. So at some point in my dim(bulb) past I decided to stick an extra insert into my right boot only, in addition to my usual Dr. Scholl’s knockoffs, to kind of even things out a little. It almost seemed like a miracle when my nose lined up with my toes!

I felt unscrewed!

Fast forward to last week when I suffered a wet sock emergency every time I went out to feed the birds. (I want to claim our wild birds at dependents, which is literally true, they depend on me—and fear and revile me in equal measure—but my tax adviser advises against it.) I discovered a major crack in the sole of my right boot, so I got new boots. So I swapped my inserts from old boots to new. (This came only two weeks after a treasonous shoelace sabotaged me, which led to its immediate firing and replacement.)

And this led to a mortifying discovery.

For several years—I’d bought the old boots at least four or five years ago—I had apparently been wearing a single corrective insert in the left boot. The wrong side. Huh? I’d actually been worsening the situation. Screwing myself. Which, admittedly, in the long run, is pretty typical for me. Fortunately I’ve been retired for a few years and no longer walk six or seven miles a day on hard concrete. Maybe I would have noticed. But on the other hand, I probably should have—back in 2014 when I was getting paid to do that.

No wonder I was so sore and tired every day.

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