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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Note to Self: Get Well Soon

I got some bad news the other day. Perhaps that isn’t the correct way to phrase that. No one actually gave me the news. It’s not like I heard a knock at my door and there stood two guys in dark suits and they said, “Mr. Leftbanker, we have some terrible news.” I just looked down and I could see it for myself. At first I couldn’t tell what the hell it was because this has never happened to me before. Of course, I’ve heard about it. It’s not like I live in a vacuum. I have athlete’s foot.

Not athlete’s feet, athlete’s foot. That’s singular, one afflicted appendage. Let’s set the record straight. I just have a bit of it on the top of the two small toes on my right foot. It’s not like I’m going to die or anything. My god, I’m not going to die, am I? Can you die from athlete’s foot? I can only imagine that succumbing to a foot fungus wouldn’t be a pleasant way to go. The point is that I’m required by law to inform my readers of this condition. If you read this, could you do me a favor and let other people know? It’s pretty embarrassing to have to walk around telling people—many of whom are complete strangers—that you have something growing on your foot.

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “Dude, wash your damn feet once in a while.” That’s not how you get athlete’s foot, or feet (I have athlete’s foot, as I’ve said. How many times do I have to tell you that?). I wash my feet, OK? You wouldn’t make fun of someone in the hospital, would you? How about a guy in a wheelchair? So stop making fun of a guy who has shit growing on his foot.

I don’t really know how you get it. It’s not sexually transmitted, I can tell you that much, and I won’t go into details about how I know that. Let’s just say that the stuff I wrote for the personals ad about how I like romantic dinners and walks along the beach hasn’t panned out. Who cares how you get it. Where is the public outcry? Why aren’t rock stars out there doing benefit concerts to cure this debilitating affliction, and I don’t think that ‘affliction’ is too strong a word, and the affliction I am talking about is athlete’s foot, not lack of sex (although that is a crippling disease, let me tell you). Why can’t the Dave Matthews Band finally be of some use to me? Why must I suffer in silence? I’ll admit that I flew off the handle when I was first diagnosed. I was screaming at the manager for U2, asking how Bono could ignore the millions of people stricken with athlete’s foot (and athlete’s feet, the poor bastards). I was really giving that guy a piece of my mind when he informed me that there are several over-the-counter remedies.

P.S. Here is why I think that I am a better writer than Saul Bellow. It was easy for Saul Bellow to get a Nobel Prize for literature because he never had to write a 500 word essay about a foot fungus, although I think that athlete’s foot is a more compelling issue than those found in a lot of his books.

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