The Un-Mardi Gras

Standard
1988, my last Mardi Gras living in New Orleans. For once I was wearing something that might charitably be called a costume. I had dismembered a baby doll and used its legs on my chest and its arms wired as a headpiece so I could go as a King Cake baby. King Cake baby, look it up. People were actually disturbed by baby doll limbs, which delighted me.

Cancelled and cold. If that doesn’t just describe the saddest Mardi Gras ever.

Repeat offenders of this blog may recall that I love Mardi Gras and the Carnival season that precedes it with an untrammeled passion. Carnival was literally the reason I moved to New Orleans, possibly the best decision I ever made and one that changed my life for the better. I reasoned that since I relished Mardi Gras so much it would just be easier for it to come to me instead of the other way around.

And once I was in place, I was delighted to find out Fat Tuesday is the just the cherry on top of a month of giddy good times, the parades and balls and parties and general whoop-ti-do that fill the city. New Orleans is always ready for a drink and a laugh but never as much as during Carnival.

The whole month before is busy with planning, Planning your costume (or planning to plan it and then never getting around to it was my usual technique,) planning for navigating the traffic nightmare that the parades engendered, planning a lie to get out of work, and planning on how to indulge in a non-stop sexual frenzy, but still have time to be out on the streets enjoying the chaos there.

Oh my, the sexual shenanigans of pre-AIDS queer Mardi Gras. In the debrief following one, my dear friend Webb, god bless his bent little soul, one time reported back that he had spent the entire afternoon up on a pool table getting butt fucked by a roving troupe of sodomites. The crowds are so immense that cops pretty much shrug off misbehavior like that and focus more on the army of drunk college kids out on the sidewalks. After a few hours, Webb decided to shove off, but when he climbed down from the table, he couldn’t find his pants, so he just hopped back upon the table (“I had to push this one queen off to make room”) and rode out the rest of the day. So to speak.

So yeah, hearing that the entire madness has been put on Stop-That-You-Dumb-Bitch makes me sad. I know for the many, many fans of Mardi Gras this is like telling a 6 year old there will be no Christmas this year. I feel for you sweetie, but pull your pants up, if you can find them, and start planning for next time because you know 2022 is going to fierce.

Men who just have to let the good times roll.

There’s always somebody grabbing, come Mardi Gras

53 Days of Enmity

Standard

Rummaging around on Tumblr, prospecting for pictures of cute mens,

when I stumbled on a bunch of posts about how your enemy is born 53 days after your birthday. Even for the internet, that seems odd, both the mathematical precision and the outcome. My enemy? Like I’m a superhero with a sworn nemesis? But I’m always willing to play along with whatever unlikely pronouncement the world wide web drops in my lap, so I dutifully counted up 53 days from my burfday (April 5 in case you need to start shopping now) and then looked up who was born on May 28. Turns out my list of potential enemies is pretty drab. Dammit.

The likeliest suspect would be Rudy Giuliani, but I wouldn’t really think of him as an enemy, more as just someone I think is an idiot. The only other name from that day that popped out at me was Kylie Minogue. Kylie! How could that Australian pixie be anyone’s enemy? That’s like taking a firm stance against kittens. No thanks.

In the midst of flailing around to figure out what my birthday plus 53 equals, I accidentally found out that April 5 is 53 days from February 11, coincidentally, the date I blundered into this diabolical plot. It was like some kind of insipid Twilight Zone episode. So apparently I am the enemy of somebody born yesterday. The list of possible victims was even less impressive than my enemies. February 11 is the birthday to a really tragic gang of forgettable actors and musicians and completely random “celebrities.” Jennifer Aniston and Natalie Dormer were the brightest lights and could there be a more innocuous duo? Being Jennifer Aniston’s enemy seems like it would be more trouble than it’s worth. Maybe I’m just not cut out for this whole enemy gig.

This whole Find Your Enemy is simply another kind of horoscope. Whenever some writer assigns a random block of the population a bunch of personality traits or quirks (Adult Children of Alcoholics; Your Sun Sign Picks New Hats for You; Were Your Parents Emotionally Abusive?; Sourdough Recipes for Burnt Out Baby Boomers; New Careers for Cannibals) they’re just repackaging what charlatans have been passing off as divination forever. You figure out which slice of the chart you fit into and then look up the banal idiosyncrasies they pair you with and you gasp at how insightful it all is. I know that sounds skeptical, but that’s just how we Aries roll.

Still, you’d best believe I will keep a watchful eye out for whatever shenanigans Miss Minogue might try to pull on me. She’s tiny, but I hear she’s wiry.

Guys I really hope are not my enemy

Some men just know how to fill out a thermal shirt

And some guys know how to fill out a pair of handcuffs.

That is exactly the red paint I’ve been looking for for years.

Meaty, big, and bouncy.

These boots are made for walkin’/ and that’s just what they’ll do

Chaturbate Night at the Movies

Standard

When I first started ogling a very cute, muscular Eastern European on as site specializing in allowing customers to watch shenanigans of the nasty variety, I never expected to become friends with him. But that’s just what happened with our dear chum Mikey from Chaturbate. And I certainly never, ever expected to become part of a gang of buds with other fans of his, but I did. Details about this gang life are here: https://mrpeenee.wordpress.com/2019/09/16/mod-squad/

So here we are, well into the 21st Century, the future. I have no flying car or cabana on the moon or sexbot, but I do have good friends I have never physically met with whom I communicate by mysterious internet waves called texts. And part of our camaraderie is our regular gathering every Sunday night to watch movies together and comment on them by text. It is our Chaturbate Movie Night Club. First we observe Mikey choking his very own chicken while we discuss the weather, IT support tips, recipes, celebrity gossip, medical issues. The yoozh. The very same fat my mother’s bridge club chewed 40 years ago. But with an order of porn on the side. Once Mikey has spewed, we move onto the film of the evening and our very insightful discussion of it.

Criteria for selecting that week’s offering is loose to the point of being non-existent. Someone will suggest a title, the rest of us watch the trailer or read up about it on Wikipedia, and then we decide whether or not to screen it. It sounds innocuous, but all this occurs as comments in Mikey’s CB room while Mikey is doing the Dance of No Veils. All of this while his other fans get to watch us hash out the merits of some cinematic masterpiece. God knows what they think about this odd sideline. Most of our debates center on a) how cute the lead is and b) will he flash sufficient skin.

Our selections lean towards sci-fi and action, movies to which 12 year old boys would flock. I really like this whole experience; the boys have exposed me to a lot of films I wouldn’t have considered and which I wound up liking. Man from Uncle, Train from Busan (an excellent Korean zombie train movie,) Hotel Artemis, Atomic Blonde; all great stuff. Of course, they aren’t all hits. Keanu Reeves’ bomb Replicas was so bad I bailed out not even a third of the way into the mess. And Mikey insisted on a Christmas piece of dog doodoo called A Knight Before Christmas. It was a Hallmark torture device so saccharine I blame it for all my dental woes this last year.

Just last Sunday, our resident medical expert, Bobby, requested The Mummy as celebration for his birthday. Although I’ve seen it lots, I hadn’t seen it start to finish in quite a while and I had forgotten how really well made it is, with terrific pacing. So thanks to the gang for that. Are the circumstances of our little club a tiny bit odd perhaps? Yes, but it adds a lot to my quiet little life and I appreciate it. Come join us some Sunday evening, about 10:00 PST, everybody is welcome.

Mikey’s room at Chaturbate: https://chaturbate.com/playwithme55/

Mikey is very much on my mind these days because the poor little thing has a torn rotator cuff (ouchie wow wow) and is going in for surgery on Monday. Even though he is a big, tough guy, he is worrying about the surgery and mainly the recovery, because he is also a little girl. A little girl in pink ruffled Pussy Pants. We have done our best to reassure him that this will all be all right and that the respite from the pain in his shoulder will be worth iy. He understands that, but he’s still sort of fretting. So, any suggestions for our movie on Sunday, the night before he goes under the knife, would be appreciated. Remember, gratuitous boy butt is always welcome.

This week’s naughty pictures will focus on the big, hairy, well-seasoned kind of beef Mikey prefers

Konstantin Kamynin

Mr. Kamynin, again.

And yet again

Nick Pulos

Ted Colunga

Austin Wolf

I don’t know, some hairy old man. Look I had to hunt through so many sites of “Silver Daddies” “Hot, Hairy Hunk” and “Bear This, Bear That, Bear Blablabla” that I think I have pubic hair permanently lodged in the back of my throat. The things I do for my friends.

Various. Also, Sundry

Standard
Been there, done them.

I think the long nightmare of my Bone Hole TM saga may be drawing to a close. If you were lucky enough to miss my whining about this, my Bone Hole TM is an actual hole in my jaw bone that led to an absolutely baroque series of dental procedures up to and including pulling the stupid tooth above it. Since the tooth next to it had been removed years ago for a crown, I wound up with a sizable gap in that neighborhood. Last week, I got a “removable partial” to deal with that and, please baby jeebus, finish up with the whole sorry mess.

I hadn’t realized when discussing this with my dentist that the “partial” in “removable partial” is short for “partial denture.” A denture. Yes, one more entry in our exciting If You Don’t Die, You Get Old sitcom. I also hadn’t realized how massive this bitch would turn out. I lost another tooth 40 years ago on the other side of my mouth. You couldn’t see it, it was the tiny tooth behind the canine so I just ignored it all these years, but my current dentist decided he would include a replacement for it as an anchor for the new partial. That means the structure reaches across my mouth behind my lower incisors and is enormous. Even I, who am fairly casual about sticking big things in my maw, am intimidated by it. When I manage to wrestle it in, it feels a lot like I had taken a whim to swallow a car’s dashboard but gotten stuck on the turn signal.

Of course, it helps a lot in chewing, but comfort is not a big part of its profile. I decided early on I would just put up with it when I’m eating, but I keep forgetting to put it in, so it spends most of the time lurking in the cabinet, silently rebuking me. Since I get enough of that from Saki, I’m considering a life of pudding and cottage cheese.

Changing gears, I’d like to address the plague of the all white room. I spend a fair chunk of time idly scrolling through Tumblr, mostly harvesting pictures of attractive, if scantily clothed young men for these posts. Perhaps you’ve noticed.

Who doesn’t love a good tanline?

Lately though, my Tumblr feed has been choked with image after image of these insipid white-on-white-on-white rooms, a design decision that I loathe. It’s nothing particularly new, this is the at least the fourth big go-round it’s had since the 1980s, but just because something won’t die doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

As far as I can tell, its appeal lies with it being easy to do on the cheap (anyone with access to a bucket of white paint has most of the look nailed down) and that it comforts namby pambies who are afraid of picking colors. I love color in decorating, strong, bright, dramatic hues especially. Here’s a secret: if you don’t like a color, you can change it. I know painting is a hassle, but do you really think trying to live with white floors isn’t?

These rooms are so insipid, so bloodless. I believe their current popularity rises in part from the de-cluttering gospel that writer Marie Kondo has passed on to her cult. Her motto is “Discard anything that doesn’t spark joy” which is fine with me, People cling to too much crap. Got it, and agree with it, but the problem is adhering to passionately to it brings you to these anemic spaces.

This sparks joy for someone? It would be like living in a tidy refrigerator. This type of decorating is committed to an absence of knick knacks, art, books, everything that adds warmth and color and personality to a room. Who would want to live without them?

Speaking of dealing with the gorgeous clutter that a full book case brings:

I’m not sure if they were trying to be ironic, but that image upsets me so much, so fills me with a disturbing rage, I can understand what opponents of pornography must feel when faced with something as beautiful as this

A personal problem, I think.

Lastly:

I loved my garden, but I’m tepid towards house plants. Even if I wasn’t I would still feel strongly against dragging in large, semi-tropical plants like birds of paradise or bananas, such as here to an environment where they will jsut suffer a lingering death. Indoor plants need to be able to tolerate the temperatures we like inside, the arid dryness of our homes and the insufficient light that comes from not being outside, and bananas are not going to do that. Knock it off.

But it’s not all complaints about teeth and bad design decisions around here. California has re-opened from our last round of lockdown, which I honestly expected to last until April, so yay. Because of that, I was able to spend part of this afternoon out on Peet’s cafe’s outside parklette knocking back a latte and a muffin. In these sad times, that’s what constitutes decadence. Also, I have a haircut appointment scheduled whihc is plenty enough to get me in a good mood.

Helping with good moods, our latest selection of mens

My motto. You got a problem with that?

The aptly named Dick Huge.

You know how I love a ginger.

Mike Branson, discovered back in the vaults, from a time when dinosaurs roamed the porn aisle.

Oh, he’s an angel.

Meaty.

I don’t understand how people get their butt do that. And how do you live with it once you do? How do you sit in a chair, or maneuver down the grocery aisle, or pull your fucking pants up? For that matter, how do people behind you in line at Starbucks resist just reaching over and squeezing it to see if it’s real? Anyway, we salute you, Butt Man.

Coup d’Wut?

Standard

I’m trying to regard the astonishing details of the US Capitol riot with the sober attention they deserve. A mob of violent insurrectionists tried to overthrow the results of an election in my country. OK, that’s serious. But how can I keep a straight face when every story about it reveals how closely it resembles Monty Python gone bad? The most important center of our government was easily taken over by, as someone wrote, “Duck Dynasty and some guy in a Chewbacca bikini.” I don’t know where the line between sedition and farce was, but these guys ran right across it long before they smeared shit on the wall.

Republican apologists are now claiming the part of the country that is not actively delusional is over reacting and making too big of deal about “just a protest.” Just a protest where the political leaders of our country had to be evacuated, rioters beat one cop with pole holding an American flag and killed another one with a fire extinguisher, and just coincidentally came to town in vehicles loaded with serious firepower. Some reporters have pointed out how many of the rioters had guns, but I’m from Texas, I understand carrying a gun pretty much everywhere, rolling to the Dairy Queen with your gat. Why else would you have a gun rack in your pickup? This is America, 4% of the world population and 46% of its guns. I’m pretty sure a majority of the attendees at the Houston Garden Show are packing heat. So, yeah, they brought their toys to the party. Idiots.

What is beyond the pale are the yahoos that brought pipe bombs, molotov cocktails, zip ties, and other not-messing-around equipment. These buffoons had plans, as they made abundantly clear on various platforms, and it’s only luck that they didn’t go anywhere. Yes, I understand they were probably the minority of the hooligans, that most of the other morons involved thought they were going to just another MAGA rally and Idiocy Festival. Their numbers don’t matter; their intent was violent insurrection. That the other feckless nitiwits decided to break into the Capitol alongside them and try to invalidate the election just on a whim doesn’t make them less culpable, it just makes them despicable.

I saw a video some airhead posted of herself strolling over to commit trespass and mayhem but stopping on the way to admire a souvenir stand. What was someone like that thinking? “Oh, come on, it’ll be a hoot, like when the sorority trashed that motel in Florida on Spring Break.” Maybe they would just squeeze in a quick afternoon of treason before they had to go pack to fly home the next day. Not. Heeheehee.

So now all that’s left is to watch these buffoons react with indignity when it’s pointed out that what they were involved in, no matter how little they planned it, was a crime. “Look, I didn’t mean to hold up that liquor store. This guy was there with a gun and it just seemed like a good time to demand all the money in the till.” As much as I want Trump punished for his role in inciting these clowns to “… fight much harder….” against their own country (and oh, how I want it, I want it bad) I want these MAGA Barbies and MMA wannabes to have to serve time for their actions. It’s the least the Law and Order party can do.

Guys serving up their very own riot:

A guy who fills out sweatpants is a guy for me.

A cowboy for Amber

Pete Kuzak for Mikey

dmitry averyanov for me

And this guy for fans of butt chops everywhere.

This guy cause of those freaky nipples, but mainly because he seems to be getting packed into a crate.

More butt chops.

In Which We Are Restless

Standard
As a matter of fact, I do. What’s it to you?

The scene: mrpeenee’s tasteful boudoir in the teeny tiny wee hours of the morning. Mrpeenee hangs in that sweet nether just before actual sleep when suddenly his legs start to jerk and shudder. Once again, Restless Leg Syndrome has attacked our hero.

This syndrome is a real thing, not just some huckster medical problem dreamed up to fill late night ads with questionable remedies and modern day snake oil. Oh yeah baby, I am here to testify that is really a real thing. A few years ago it started out as a weird sensation in the soles of my feet and an undeniable urge to jiggle my legs. No amount of jiggling was ever sufficient, eventually I always have to get up and move around. Dr. Google admits there is no effective treatment, but suggests mild exercise, stretches, or soaking in a nice warm bath. I don’t have any particular problem with any of those, and in fact, they usually do help. The problem is the get-out-of-bed portion of the program, As I mentioned, these episodes always occur when I am all tucked in, cozy and sleepy bye bound; leaping to my feet in order to knock out a quick round of yoga is so very not welcome. So I resist, lying there and twitching and trying to talk sense into my feet.

I honestly think the exercise or bath is extraneous, all I really need is to drag myself out of bed and move around some. Often just getting a cookie is enough, and if it isn’t, at least I have a cookie. But usually simply leaving my bed does it. My feet feel victorious, they have once again shown me who is the late night boss. But just to keep things interesting, they have raised the ante of late; now I get the thrill of involuntary muscle movements on top of my feet issuing non-negotiable demands. My legs jerk and shudder and flail, sometimes my shoulders get in on the action and sometimes (my personal favorite) my whole body will lurch and manage to achieve a brief liftoff before crashing back to bed. I don’t know how that is possible. When I’ve tried to recreate it consciously all I manage is to irritate Saki.

I know it’s just one more stop on the down hill journey of aging and I have a long list of complaints that are worse (looking at you, prostate.) At least it’s not constant, I haven’t had any attacks in several days and I’m grateful for it. So my lower limbs have decided to try tap dancing as a new hobby? This is where I’m supposed put in some sappy remark about how it could be worse. Fuck that. I DON’T WANT TO GET OUT OF BED.

Boys who it would be nice to be in bed with:

Mmm, arty.

My, what lovely clear skin. Especially the bit covering those luscious butt chops.

Nice.

Yeah, he’s beautiful and muscley, but I was mostly struck when I ran across this picture on Tumblr by the long list of comments swooning over his black support stockings. Cause you can never be too freaky for Tumblr.

Fat dicks on parade.

“I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay. I sleep all night and I work all day.”

Fast Away the Old Year Passes

Standard

Squeaking in right under the wire, mrpeenee manages to crank out one last post in 2020, and a time related to boot. 2020, while unarguably a craptastic year, was also the 40th anniversary of my landing in New Orleans to start a really beloved spree there. I can see how lucky I am that I cannot pick one single Happiest Time in My Life, and the idea that my New Orleans life is not a hands down winner is amazing, but that’s what you get when you also have an existence in San Francisco with R Man competing against it. The burdens of a happy life.

The author as a youth in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The author was also very cranky about being dragged out of bed after a very long night of carousing, one of oh so many. Oh so very, very many.

And my time there was giddily happy. I was young, homosex was kind of hip and certainly widely available, the food was so incredible, I made wonderful friends (all of whom are dead now. Alas,) I met the love of my life, and the vivid nature of New Orleans, so bawdy and loud and colorful and above all else, happy, embraced me and I embraced it right back.

The old girl (New Orleans, not me) is full of quirks, especially in regards to traditions, and there wasn’t one I turned up my nose at. Voodoo, parades and how to navigate them, MARDI GRAS, poboy sammiches, a drag queen named Blanche whom I learned not to cross, the list goes on. I remember looking around my first French Quarter apartment and marveling at the massive cast iron hooks that latched the shutters close. When the house was built in the 1840s, the pirates those hooks had originally been designed to foil had pretty much gone the way of legend, but New Orleans does not forget easily and those hooks could come in handy. “I’m living in an antique,” I thought, but then learned to appreciate the hardware when I discovered tourists would do just about anything to peek in at my humble flat.

Yeah, it wasn’t all laughs. I was poor as a poor rat and there was that darn old AIDS, I didn’t care. I’m sure at 25 everyone is just forming their personalities and I was just lucky that I was able to develop mine under the tutelage of such exuberant old whore. New Orleans made me the slightly dented man I am today and I’ll always be glad of it.

Let the good times roll.

Dreamy, with glasses no less.

It was wonderful to find myself somewhere that the importance of naps was understood.

Oh, to be young and hedonistic once again.

Tall, dark, handsome strangers in deserted back rooms were an important part of those times.

Adieu, New Orleans, mon amour

Crixmess

Standard

Guess what? I am not going to complain about christmas for once. Nope. Not me, nosirreee. While I annually find the fake sentiment, the whole jolliness-on-demand bit, and ESPECIALLY the music painfully annoying, this year I have escaped all of it, thank you Little Miss Pandemic. Obviously the solution for me is to shut the door on Thanksgiving, burp, and then not open it again until Boxing Day.

I’m in a particularly good mood today because I had a crippling neckache for more than a week that finally settled down this morning, Saturn and Jupiter managed to align without raining down some kind of Aztec apocalypse (which would have been the definitive 2020 xmas present) AND…

From me to me.

So maybe I am jolly. What’s it to you?

Also, I’m afraid we may be putting too much pressure on 2021. All this talk about how “It can’t be as bad as 2020….” Those of us who grew up with a misbehaving older brother (god rest his delinquent little heart) know how annoying the demands that somehow we make up for their criminous behavior can be. So let’s just focus on being glad to have escaped 2020.

Bon voyage

And now, Crixmas presents for all you, naughty or nice, I don’t care. Although I do have a pretty good idea which one is which:

Big beefy christmas.

Cowboy christmas for my dear niece Amber.

While I don’t like random tattoos like this (pick a damn design and stick with it) I am amused by that nipple that looks like it’s been chewed on like old christmas candy.

I always wanted a circular window. I think they’re cool.

Sandy Claus or horny old goat? You decide. A christmas present for Mikey.

I’m going to start including more men not flashing their bits, but who are worthy of admiration nevertheless.

And finishing off with another big ‘n beefy. It’s my xmas theme.

More Dental Drama

Standard

I had to go back to the dentist again today. Readers might remember I have shared with them numerous visits over the last 2 years of varying annoyance, discomfort, and expense. I have now spent more time with my dentist (actually, make that plural, I have two because I am just that special) more time with my dentists than I have with my friends, thank you quarantine. We have shared so much time together I have to assume we qualify for domestic partners benefits.

Today’s trip was the conclusion of two previous adventures. One was a simple little root canal (I am alarmed that I have become so inured to dental torture that I classify root canals as “simple”) that I had last month and for which I got the crown today. The other is just the latest installment in a tooth opera which began in February of 2018. 2 0 1 8. Does anyone else remember 2018? Have unfinished business from then?

To recap for those of you not paying attention, and I know there are plenty of you, I developed a hole in my jaw bone. The tooth above the Bone Hole TM required a root canal (do you see a pattern here?) which then had to be filled and then refilled every other month for a year. Hilarious. Finally, I don’t know, the dentists got bored or something and they pulled the tooth. They also had to pull the tooth and crown next to it because the Bone HoleTM tooth had anchored a bridge. Which brings us to today where I was being fitted for a removable partial bridge to deal with the gaping maw in my lower teeth. Altogether, 3 hours in the chair today, which turns out to outlast the Xanax I started with.

I have not taken up a new sideline in creampie porn. That’s the dried goop from the mould for the bridge. Shut up

Oddly, I was lucky enough to have almost no tooth problems during most of my so-called adult years. I’d go in and get my cleaning, they’d say “Lookin’ good, mrpeenee.” “You too Mr. dentist,” I’d reply as I returned to a life of excessive pastries. All that changed when I crossed the magic barrier of age 50. Fifty, when your prostate swells, your mouth revolts and declares itself the Glorious Independent Republic of Oralslovakia, and those darn kids will not stay off your lawn.

Proving my theory that my dentist and mouth are conspiring against me, while finishing the crown, the serene highness dentist discovered a tooth just rotted away, but which had been hiding it’s decay behind the crowned tooth. “Oh, that’s going to have to go,” the dear little man said. Have my teeth decided to abandon ship? Are things that bad? Fine. See you next time.

Toothsome young mens:

A work of art.

We must have just missed the vampire.

Yet another example of mrpeenee’s love for the Big Lug.

Uptown funk gonna give it to you

Just hangin’ around in the toilet, office.

The disagreement over cut versus uncut will never be solved, but everybody likes great big nuts.

Finally, here’s a cheerful farewell. The vaccine is on its way, lockdown cannot last forever, enjoy the weekend.

New Old Shoes

Standard
Thinkin’ Creamy P.

One of my many charming quirks is that I don’t like to own a lot of clothes. My wardrobe is minimal, to say the least; I’m sure there are homeless people with more outfits. Certainly, snappier ones. I dress every day in the exact same selection: tennis shoes, jeans, tee shirt and hoodie. Since this is chilly old San Francisco, sweaters make an occasional appearance. It is pretty much the same groundbreaking appearance I made in first grade and I assume I will cling to it until I move permanently into an urn.

I have one pair of Converse All Star tennis shoe (as a Southern boy, I do not call them “sneakers.” And I pronounce the word “tennis” as “tennie.”) and one pair of rain shoes, just in case California ever gets around to having another rainy season. The rain shoes are slip-on, shapeless clog affairs, from Lands End. I’ve been wearing them for twenty years and I’m only on my second pair.

Or rather I was on my second pair. Part of my refusal to die young is the resulting indignities of a body slowly falling apart around me. Pertinent to our story today is the neuroma I have developed in my right foot. A neuroma, for those of you who have not thrilled to one (not YET,) is what happens when a nerve in the ball of your foot gets stuck in the sheath that surrounds it. The nerve is constantly irritated, as are the sufferers of neuroma. It’s very difficult to describe any physical sensation, the closest I can come with this one is that it feels like an itch inside your foot instead of on the skin.

The treatment is to wear orthotics, which is a fancy word for shoe insoles. Orthopedists customize them to fit your foot, charge a bazillion dollars to Medicare and everybody has a cookie. The relief mine provided was immediate and amazing. I am convinced. The only problem is shoes come with insoles already. If you’re lucky, you pull the old ones out and shove in the orthotics. The problem arises when the insole is sewn into the shoe, as was the case with my old rain shoes. There is no way to get them out so I had to go shopping (ugh) for shoe replacements.

It’s not that I’m particularly picky about shoe fashions (see above) it’s that finding ANYTHING for feet as big as mine is a challenge. Once one crosses the size 11 boundary, one enters a black hole of box cars, barges and gunboats. Shoe manufactuers might as well erect a sign “Take what you can get and be grateful, freak foot.” So I Googled “men’s shoe size 13 orthotics.” I might as well have skipped all that and just searched for “ugly shoes. Big.” I think it was the “orthotics” bit that pushed us over into Creaky Old Man territory. I finally gave up and picked a pair more or less at random just so I could go back to bed and hoped they were less hideous in person. Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

I’m not going to belabor the point, you can see for yourself. Even with the sad attempt at racy details, they are still the fashion sensation of the season at Shady Pines Retirement Center. They certainly are supportive. As I told Diane von Austinburg, I could faint in them and they would probably hold me upright.

Even with my low threshold for shoe stylin’, I was not feeling these boys. So I went back to trolling for something that made me feel slightly less geriatric. A swipe through Lands End informed me the old pair I liked are called “mocs” for some unknowable reason. With that magic term added to the search, I stumbled on a pair very like my old ones, but with removable insoles. Love them. I can only hope they last me until I shuffle off this mortal coil. Probably wearing them.

Soft shoes and hard guys:

What lovely, satin-y skin

An old favorite of ours, here at the mrpeenee Big Wienie Institute and Snack Bar.

He’s thinking deep thoughts.

You know, rain shoes would work in the shower, too.

Plop