Monday, January 30, 2012

The smoking shoe

"I smell a column," a friend said, as I frantically tried to put out my smoldering shoe.

Yes, you read that correctly. Just when I was wondering what to write about next, lo and behold, my shoe catches on fire.

It started right about the time my son ran out of the woods and said he'd been shot. Granted, it was by a paintball gun, but I was still concerned. Although since he's now an experienced player (this was his third time), I obviously wasn't concerned enough to put my feet down from the fire ring I had them propped on.

I did, however, turn and listen intently to when, where, how and, more importantly, who shot him. You see, I do keep a list. I know it's just a game, but I'm still his mama, and one day I may just give in to his pleas to join him. And when I do, revenge will be sweet. But for now, I'm gathering intelligence.

I looked in horror as he showed me his wounds - right hip and funny bone, a blow that made his arm shake, he said. I was in the midst of chastising him for not putting on more padding like I told him to when I smelled it -- burning rubber.

He was saved by the smell.

"My shoe's on fire!" I shouted, jumping up and yanking it off my foot, to the amusement of those around me. "Honey, do something!"

"It's fine. It's not on fire," my husband said, nonplussed.

"Yes, it is! It's smoking!"

"Try rubbing it in the dirt," my friend said, helpfully.

I rubbed and rubbed, and in the middle of this chaos, my son -- ever the opportunist - got right in my face and asked, "Can I get a Coke?"

"Sure, sure, whatever you want. My shoe is burning!"

"No, it's not," my husband said, which made me want to prove that it was even if I had to throw it in the fire. Instead, I grabbed a nearby bottle of water and poured it on the sole of my shoe.

"Listen to it sizzling!" I said, watching smoke rise as the fire was slowly extinguished.

"I guess it was on fire," he said. "You're right."

Actually, I made up the last part, but that's how I heard it in my head. It was then that I had a major female dilemma. Do I mourn the loss of one of my favorite tennis shoes or bask in the glory of being right? I'll let you guess which one I decided to do. I'll give you a hint: my toes may have been toasty, but there was a great big smile on my face.

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