Two weeks ago I had the great fortune to secure a Guest Shoe blog post from Mr Rick Morton (The Most Awesome Shoes in the World). My blog reader stats climbed to hitherto unheard of heights. So naturally I begged him to blog for me again. There may be a trade off in legal services on a quid pro quo basis, but with prose as bright as this, I am prepared to risk it. Whenever I start to read what Rick writes I get a wee thrill expecting thrills, spills, ridiculous concepts and copiously creative swearing. For some reason, Rick’s most recent foray into shoe blogging put me in mind of the poem Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. He has, like Carroll, the gift of inviting us into the “other world” of his imagination.
If you were to hunt down and kill the world’s gayest dragon (and this would be easy, because it would be dancing to show tunes in front of an audience) and then skinned said dragon and turned it into a pair of shoes, this is what they would look like.
But you must understand it is not, in the real world I sometimes call home, that easy to create a pair of shoes like this.
It takes blood, sweat and a disturbingly high number of moments where you think you have inexplicably super-glued your finger to an immobile surface, like your flatmate.
I made these myself.
The plan was to craft a pair of shoes of such reverberating audacity that people would nearly be knocked unconscious by the sight of them.
This is the story of that mission.
The story starts in a Lincraft store where I purchased more reflective purple sequins than I have ever purchased before, including that one time when I tried to make chain mail armour for a poodle.
The lady behind the counter was not particularly supportive of my bling-shoe quest.
So I smote her. After she rang up the sale.
The bottle of superglue that I purchased was very nearly sub-atomic and could only be handled with tweezers and a whole lot of dedication.
So here I am, seated at my kitchen table with a pair of very old shoes and four packets of sequins read to enter the hallowed halls of craft dominion.
Bugger off every TV craft lady ever, I am going to crimp your style (says I, at the time).
Of course, we all know that the devil is in the execution.
Part of my craft impediment came from the fact that I was drunk at the time.
Alcoholism is to craft as bears are to unaware campers, it seems.
Just 90 minutes into what turned out to be a three-and-a-half hour ordeal, I realised my vision had become a little blurred, a headache was creeping in at the edges of my brain and I felt really, genuinely, a little high.
For those of you who have never spent an extended period of time huffing super-glue, and I trust this will be almost none of you because this blog doesn’t quite reach as far as juvenile detention, the effects are severe.
High, still drunk and addled from the surgical oblivion, I completed the sequin husk for my shoes and realised with the placement of the last dot that this was an experiment doomed to fail almost as spectacularly as Queensland’s Smart State number plates.
They were canvas shoes, you see, and when you encase them in a flamboyant exo-skeleton (think Liberace Christmas beetle) then you’re going to have some flexibility issues.
Try putting a Russian gymnast in a chrysalis and see if she can still score a 9.75.
The answer is no.
I decided to let them set overnight and road-test them the next afternoon, just hours before my Christmas party, the costume for which these shoes were a central plank.
I was hoping for a foot miracle. Settling for anything less than the structural integrity of my queer shoes (the sudden and unexplained apparition of Jesus on my heel, for instance) would be unacceptable.
The liberal application of the super-glue, it turns out, had set so hard and fast that the canvas had shrunk marginally – reaching that golden point where your foot is just that little bit too big to fit into.
Forcing the issue would almost certainly risk the oblivion of a few sequins.
An explosion of purple so forceful and direct filled my living room that it looked like a lilac-hued budgie had been shot point blank with a Magnum handgun.
Sequins shot into windows, the hanging light fixture and pooled in purple cliques by a crevice in the door.
They were everywhere.
And they still are.
Yesterday, when I was eating breakfast, I was only slightly surprised (but 100 per cent disturbed) to find a sequin floating in the milk.
I am yet to explain how it travelled there, or why, as all I can so far deduce is that it is very purple and was at home watching TV on the night of the fifth.
I wore my red Converse instead.