Dear Champion

Thank you very much for my new shoes. Today I wore them for eleven hours at the engraver with one bathroom break, and my feet feel just fine and dandy. 

Keep up the good work!


Did You Know

That jelly combat boots are an actual thing? 

How freaking cool is that?  

I saw a girl at the mall wearing a pair and had to google them. It made my day. 

A Bad Morning in the Tri-County Area

Francis Bowers was a dangerous man. He held ultimate control over the holiday scheduling at each and every Featherweight Mattress store in the tri-county area.

In prior years, this had not been a real issue, but this year was something else. Francis knew he had a disaster brewing on his hands when Joel Summers, the manager of the second largest store, called him on a Friday morning, bright and early.

“Frank, none of my crew has shown up today. I don’t know what’s going on. The only one who had any reason to act out is Stacy, because her family is holding that reunion this weekend and I told her she still had to work, but I don’t know the first thing about the others. None of them are answering their phones. When I called Steve in Midvale he said that none of his guys would be able to make the trip all the way over here, but you know as well as I do that he only has one kid that drives his mom’s car, and the rest are middle aged champion salesmen. Help me out here.” Joel was practically in a panic, which Francis found mildly unnerving since Joel was the coolest cucumber anyone could ever hope to meet.

“I’ll work it out, Joel, just hang tight for me.” Francis thumbed the phone off and rolled over in bed to have a look at the clock radio that he kept on his Ikea nightstand. 8:30. He relaxed back into his pillows, then started bolt upright. 8:30?? Francis hadn’t slept that late in years. His stores opened at eight on the dot, and he made it a point to be at a different one every single morning the moment the doors unlocked.

Just to make sure his managers were staying on top of things, you know. Got to keep them on their toes.

With a longing glance at the Stairmaster that towered in the corner of his bedroom, Francis resigned himself to having the offest of off days. No protein shake, no Stairmaster, but most painful of all, no leisurely soak in the hot tub downstairs after the workout and before officially starting his day.

Francis rummaged through his walk-in closet for what felt like hours, looking for that one pair of ebony black Louboutins that never failed to bring him out of a funk. He couldn’t even find one. Every other pair of overpriced dress shoes in the closet was neatly shelved in its individual space, but not the fucking Louboutins. He was going to have to fire Shirley and find a new maid. Again.

Francis kicked the closet door and cracked the frame. “Dammit!” he screamed. If Shirley had been in the house, she might have wondered who had broken in, because Francis never cursed. Aloud, anyway. He yanked a pair of Kenneth Coles from the nearest shelf and threw the left one across his bedroom, striking the Frank Auerbach painting he had acquired at great personal expense and knocking it to the floor, where it landed facedown.

He gasped and held a hand to his mouth, horrified at what he had done. “No, no, no,” he muttered to himself as he dropped the right shoe on his way to check on the painting. His hand trembled as he reached out to turn the painting over, but that fell to his side as he saw the irreparable damage that he’d done. The hole went straight through the canvas.

Francis looked up sharply and saw the dark scuff mark that the shoe had made on the wall when it passed through the painting. He stood up and snatched his phone from the Ikea table and furiously dialed Shirley’s number. When the busy signal blared its dah-dah-dah in his ear, he slung the phone even harder than he’d thrown the shoe; the phone fared less well, shattering as it hit the wall across the room.

Fortunately, Francis had missed the second Auerbach that hung opposite the first.



Pointy-Toed Shoes

Today I bought my first-ever pair of pointy-toed shoes. They’re super pointy.


I have wide feet. It’s a character flaw; some may say my one and only. If you also suffer from this condition, you already know that pointy toes and wide feet do not get along. But today was the last day I could use my 25% off coupon, and they were on sale, and they have this wacky print that I would never ever have considered before in my life, and they fit my big ole stompers.

And if there’s anything anyone can learn from the senseless murders of dozens of people who were killed early this morning in Orlando for simply having a good time being who they are, let it be this: there’s never enough time to be yourself.

It doesn’t matter who you are, as long as you’re not too much of an asshole. Someone will care about you just the way you are, even if it’s only because they don’t know any better, and you’re a real jerk sometimes. Or maybe you’re actually really amazing and not enough people have noticed yet; don’t worry, we will.

Shave your eyebrows, and hack your body, and by all that’s holy, buy a pair of pointy-toed shoes one time in your life. Be proud of these things. Be proud of yourself.

Be who you are, and be loved for it.

Truth Be Told

Margaret burst through the door with that wild look in her eyes again. I had no idea what was going to come crawling out of her mouth this time. 

“Can you lend me your shoes til Monday?” She asked, and that was it. She paused, breathlessly, waiting for my answer. I was so taken aback by the succinctness of her question that I worked my face, fishlike, for a moment before finding my vocal cords. 

“Um, sure, Margie, but what for? And which shoes?” That was enough to send her back to la-la land. I should have just nodded and kept my damn mouth shut. I rolled my eyes at her near-catatonia and pricked my ears at her mumblings. 

“It better not be cats. Or pigeons. Or…” And she trailed out of intelligibility again. What on God’s green earth was she talking about this time? I usually resigned myself to not ever knowing, but this time, my Skechers were at stake. I had to get to the bottom of this. 

“Margie.” No response. 

“Hey, Margie.” Still nothing. 

I took her gently by the shoulders and tried to look into her eyes. It wasn’t long before she actually started to come out of it and met my gaze. 

“Margie. Tell me about the shoes. And the critters. And by all that’s holy, stay with me!”

She nodded, swallowing hard. 

I couldn’t believe my luck. My sister had gone off the deep end when she was seven, and she’d never looked back. I hadn’t seen this much lucidity in her expression in the last eight years combined. Since I hadn’t really expected this to work, I was already at the end of my scripted plan. 

Fortunately, Margaret took over, saving me the trouble of thinking any further ahead. 

“Trust me, Susie. Almost everything I’m going to tell you is true, but I can’t tell you what’s what, because I don’t know. You have to figure that out on your own.” She paused as if to give me a moment to consider this before she took me any deeper down the rabbit hole. 

I let her lead me the four steps to my bed, where we sat and she started talking. Most of it made more sense than anything I’d ever heard in my life. 

I only prayed that those were the parts that were true. 

25 minutes writing by hand; 9 minutes transcribing onto my phone. 

 TBP Online Writers’ Guild

He Ain’t No Ferragamo

Fanny never had a problem with her modeling gigs before, but this designer was something He actually thought it was hip to swap out shoelaces for ratty pieces of string.

That’s not hip at all. Pretty darn tacky, if you asked Fanny. But nobody ever asked Fanny. Models weren’t supposed to talk.

The studded heelcaps were a nice touch, though. Fanny could appreciate that.

But gnomes? Seriously, dude, get a clue. You are so far from Louboutin, it’s not even funny.

The gnomes were hell on her hamstrings. The next day she got a massage and laughed about it.

Hey, Laurie, I paid attention to the word limit! One hundred exactly.