On the danger of wearing flip flops in public.

August 25, 2011

One of the best things about summer is that it gives my feet an opportunity to breath.  For nine months out of the year my feet are held captive by their leathery overlord, Cole Haan, and forced to sweat into a pair of Dockers Athletic Crew socks. My pasty little legs also get a bit of sun, which I’m sure some people find very pleasing.  I could care less, however.

The only time I lace up shoes from June until September is if I’m working out.  And that’s only because those bastards at the gym won’t let me work out in my flip flops.  Apparently the sound of flip flops during a five mile run on the treadmill is tiresome.  But it’s a great calf workout.

You don't like the sound of my flip flops when I run?

As much as I love wearing my flip flops during these dog days of summer, there are inherent risks when one chooses to go with the Jesus-casual look.  Let’s say that to liberate your feet from the bondage of shoes, you decide to slap on a pair of Adidas FitFoam slide sandals (a pair can be yours for $16.00 – $28.00 on amazon.com, ladies).  While walking down the street in Cleveland, you accidentally step on a needle from one of the millions of homeless junkies shooting up heroin behind a dumpster at a McDonalds and contract AIDS.  Well, at that point, you’ll probably be cursing those soft, form-fitting godsends and wishing for the hard rubber soles of your Nine West pumps.

Cleveland is still recovering from The Great Depression.

So contracting AIDS while walking through Cleveland is always a risk.  But there is an even greater risk that all men who wear flip flops must face.  It’s a risk that few people, up until now, have been willing to even acknowledge.  I’m brave enough to tackle this subject.  I won’t shy away from it regardless of who it hurts because it needs to be talked about.  Years from now, people will look at me as leader of social change because I wouldn’t back down from this topic, no matter how controversial or uncomfortable it may be.

Today I’m talking about the danger of wearing flip flops while peeing at a urinal.

While watching the second game of a double header in Pittsburgh the other day, I exercised masterful control of my bladder and managed to sit through the entire second game without having to pee.  By the ninth inning, I was ready to burst like a water balloon at the end of a spigot.  To my dismay, I walked into the bathroom to face a line.  I don’t like lines in public restrooms because they limit your ability to choose which urinal you’re going to use, and as a proxy of who you’re going to pee next to.  Like my energy companies, I like to be able to choose where I’m going to pee, and it’s preferably as far away from anyone else in the restroom as possible.  It’s a public bathroom, not a locker room.  I don’t want to make small talk, listen to drunk people mumble, or have some stranger’s lustful, wandering eyes interrupt my urinating.

After a few moments of waiting, it was my turn to trough and I got stuck in the most dreaded urinal position: next to the short urinal.  I’ll digress for the ladies momentarily, as the short urinal is common knowledge to men.  Every row of urinals are made to accommodate a man of average height, except for one urinal at the end.  This urinal is constructed to accommodate a small child, or the bartender at Casey’s Draft House.

This bar seriously looks amazing.

When it was my turn to saddle up, I was relieved to see that the short urinal was unoccupied; a weight off of my chest as I commenced.  However, to my dismay, a few seconds later, a kid stepped up to the short urinal.  Clearly too old to have his dad help him, but too young to be a seasoned veteran of peeing at a target, this kid started to pee.  Before I knew what was happening, he then started to sway back and forth erratically.

If you have a porcelain sink in your kitchen, I want you to go there, turn on the faucet, and start moving the faucet head left and right.  Everything will get sprayed.  And this is why wearing flip flops in a public restroom is one of the riskiest propositions facing the liberal shoe wearing population today.  Once I noticed the rookie next to me had complete disregard for the collateral damage he caused, I sidled up to the urinal to my right as much as I could while still trying to maintain a calm demeanor.  It may have weirded the guy next to me out, but once the novice pisser decided to give the wall his own personal hose-down, I immediately went into survival mode.  As the kid continued to squirm and spray everywhere, all I could think about was cutting off my flow and running into an empty stall.  But we all know that you can’t stop once you’ve started.  It stings.

One of the risks that all topless footwearing males have to face is how to keep their feet dry while standing rank and file at the urinal bank.  It’s a risky proposition for comfortable feet.  It’s like urinal roulette.

I know that from now on every time I step up to the plate, I’m hoping to be paired with a weak old man who’s got nothing more to offer the public restroom than dribble.

I need to go loofah my feet again.

It's a dangerous world out there for people who like to wear flip flops.