Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sneakers--and why the Grammarphile should avoid them...


No, the reason why the Grammarphile should avoid sneakers is not because sneakers is a word that looks absolutely ridiculous when it's misspelled. (Sneekers? Twice? Which means the writer really didn't know better? Oh, please.) It's because sneakers bring out her inner klutz more than stilettos do.

Now, many of you know that stilettos are my footwear of choice, even if they do get me in trouble with weirdos every once in a while. But on Friday, after work, I changed into--gasp!--sneakers. Mainly because the shoes I had on my feet (really pretty black/gray dip-dyed Nine West peep-toed heels) were killing my little toesies, and I had errands to run. So in a fit of comfort-seeking desperation, I dug my sneakers out of the trunk of my car and put them on. Despite the fact that I loathe closed-toed shoes, I really do like these sneakers, even if they are insanely old (from 1999) and slightly grimy (hence why they live in the trunk of my car).

I had two errands to run:

1) Go to Michael's craft store to buy provisions to make a marabou feather curtain. (At this point, you're like, WTF? Let me explain. I adore marabou feathers. And my front door has no curtain on it. I'm writing a story, and I like to write my story without any sunlight around. Therefore, I needed something to block the sunlight from getting in while writing, and making a curtain out of marabou feather boas seemed much more interesting than actually purchasing an honest-to-goodness curtain.)

2) Go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to buy a garment rack on which to hang the clothes that are spilling out of my closet.

I ran both errands in my comfy, grimy sneakers. Then I came home, tossed the sneakers on the floor, and set to work putting the garment rack together. This turned out to be easier than I expected. Usually nothing like this is easy, since I'm a sorority girl who also happens to be Polish, which is a recipe for disaster. But I put the thing together properly, carted it off to my room, hung up a bunch of clothes, and then reorganized the dresser drawers and closets. This might not seem like a large task to some of you, but please bear in mind that in my room I have 25 drawers, 5 bars on which to hang clothing, and 3 different shoe contraptions to house my 65 (oh yes, I counted!) pairs of shoes.

After the room-reorganization tasks were complete, I then set to work on the makeshift curtain. I hung up the little hooks, chopped the dowel to the proper length, and then measured how long each marabou segment would need to be. I regretted it the instant I started cutting. I cut one freakin' feather boa and it looked like a really big-ass crow had bit it in my kitchen. After cutting up three boas, it looked like a whole flock of crows had met its untimely end in my kitchen. But whatever. The curtain looked good, it was hanging securely at the window, and so what that there's black feathers all over the kitchen? That's what vacuums are for, right?

So I went to the closet and dragged out the vacuum. The vacuum happily sucked up lots and lots of marabou feather fragments. And then I heard a choking sound, like the vacuum was dying. I quickly turned off and unplugged the vac and then looked down to see that the problem was.

Apparently the vac tried to eat one of my sneakers.

Okay, so maybe it was more like "I stupidly ran over the sneaker's shoelace with the vacuum, and so the vacuum sucked up the shoelace because I'm an idiot."

The freakin' vac was growling pitifully as I cursed at it. The vac was also smoking. And the air smelled hooooooorrible. (I think a little bit of the protective plastic coating on the end of the shoelace got burnt, and that's what caused the smell.) I reached down and successfully pulled the shoelace out of the vac (the sneaker is fine), put the sneaker (and its mate) safely on the kitchen chair, crossed my fingers, plugged the vac back in, and proceeded to suck up the rest of the feathers without further incident. I was quite pleased that the vac still worked--although the air in my kitchen still smelled disgusting for the next 20 minutes.

And this is why the Grammarphile should always avoid sneakers in favor of stilettos. Do stilettos have shoelaces? No. What do shoelaces do? They make a Grammarphile do klutzy things. Therefore, to avoid being a klutz, the Grammarphile should only ever wear shoelace-free shoes such as stilettos (or sometimes her tall, knee-high boots). Because inexplicably, somehow 4"- to 5" heels make her less klutzy than shoes with shoelaces do.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, the smell you smelled was the belt on your vacuum burning up because the brush was unable to turn with your sneaker wrapped around the beater bar. Gee, I wonder who you know who makes his living working on vacuum cleaners. Who ever would you go to for help about a vacuum? But, on the flip side, maybe the reason you didn't call me about it is because you apparently lost my phone number... Just saying...

mama grammarphile said...

Oh, dear. Where do I begin? First, I will refrain from commenting on a feather boa curtain for your door. I will never understand your life-long fascination with feather boas. I understand that writers have their little quirks, so I'll try to be supportive on that one. That burning smell was caused by your vacuum cleaner's motor overheating when the shoelace jammed the rotating beater. As you know, I have experience with getting things jammed in the vacuum cleaner. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from this tree, huh? But only you could conclude from this experience that your sneaker was responsible for the whole fiasco. I guess you're lucky that you haven't had any similar goofy experiences while wearing your stilettos.... If you pay me enough money, I promise not to divulge the gory details. :)
I am glad you lived to tell this tale, Sweetie. Love you.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

To "Anonymous": Mr. Exectrolux, don't try to hide behind anonymity; you're not foolin' me! Don't be bitter; I've barely talked to any of my friends lately since right now my life is all baseball (and writing), all the time. Besides, I was suckin' up shoelaces at quite the odd hour of the morning, and you'd have been cranky if I called you then--so *there*. :P I'll give you a call to catch up on things once the Phillies have won the Series!

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Hi, Mom! :) Yes, your Polish daughter was at it again. Sigh. At least the marabou feather curtain looks good, right? And when I cleaned out my closet, I found my marabou-feathered SHOES! Whee! Thanks for not spillin' too many of my Grammarphile-Is-A-Klutz stories. ;) I love you, too!

Connie said...

Just throw away the evil shoelaces.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Hi, Connie! ...I'm thinkin' I might eventually just chuck the entire pair of sneakers--shoelaces and all. Clearly, they're evil and cannot be trusted around vacuums or klutzes...

mandyannemurray said...

65 pairs, huh?

I think I'm getting toward 80. However, most of mine are closed-toe or sneakers. ;)

NotSoccer Mom said...

if this is how you're writing your story, let me know when you're done! you're a wonderful writer--i could almost smell the stench!

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Ooh, Mandy, you've got me beat in the shoe department! I'm jealous! (Well, sorta jealous, anyway... My toesies hate being cooped up inside closed-toed shoes all day, haha!) :)

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Thanks, NotSoccer Mom! I do hope this blog posting wasn't TOO smelly for ya, though! :)

The Poltergeist said...

Another excellently crafted literary blog that highlights the fiascos which may occur when Polish Girls, Marabou Feathers, and Vaccuum Cleaners are in the same room. Good post - As always, I definitely enjoy your writing.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. See, a shoe-related blog post wasn't such a snooze, now was it? :)