I was lucky enough to get my flip flops (“thongs” to some people) signed by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on the red carpet at the Australian premiere of Hot Fuzz in Sydney (actually only Nick Frost agreed – Simon Pegg promised to come back after the film and never did – and when I said I’m sure he’d signed worse he said no, he hadn’t. The whole sorry scene was transmitted live on the big screen inside the theatre to some of my colleagues who attended the premiere and it can be seen on YouTube).
A German man once tutted at me in Wineglass Bay in Tasmania for hiking in them. I wore them to my future father-in-law’s 60th Birthday party with my velvet dress. I circumnavigated the Grand Canyon in a pair. That was of course before I read, saucer-eyed, a paperback entitled Death In Grand Canyon. This is a book that can be found in every gift shop within a 200 kilometre radius of the canyon with a deceptively peaceful cover depicting the haggard gorge lit at dusk by a rainbow that sinks down into the chasm. In one chapter it details, with a certain amount of morbid glee, the sheer number of people who spiral off the edge of the precipice simply because of badly chosen footwear.
I could have ended up a statistic as I seem to find footwear more of a challenge than most. I once ice skated for two hours in a pair of left ice skates without realising. It was only once I’d removed them that the blister the size of a wagon wheel on my inner heel alerted me to my mistake. I went to work once wearing different shoes – and didn’t notice until I was on the tube train on the way home. The most startling thing was not the fact I’d worn two different shoes but that one heel was quite a fair bit higher than the other.
Which is why I love flip flops and sorely miss wearing them for 10 months of the year.