Friday, April 30, 2010

Banana Peel Shoes

I'm the type of person that can't make a serious face if I try. Noticing that, one of my coworkers tried to give me a lesson once on doing the "evil eye," a lesson I failed, of course, as the furthest I get is a giggle and maybe a slight eyebrow twitch.

Anyway I have this pair of flats that have a sort of hard plastic sole. They work fine everywhere except gravel, on which they tend to skid. Unfortunately I figured this out through a process of trial and error... the error being multiple wipe-out mishaps of varying degrees of height, distance, and grace.

I'm stubborn, so of course when I finally came to terms with the fact that its the shoes and not just many clumsy cooincidences, I continued to wear them anyway. Until... walking down the road I live on, I pulled the most EPIC of tumbles, landing on my ass, scraping up my arms, and calling the attention of a handful of people nearby. Of course, as has happened nearly every single time something unfortunate happens to me in Chile, everybody stared and did nothing to help. I went to work dripping blood from my palms, and cursed the shoes, later throwing them in the closet for a few months.

But putting clothes in the closet for a long time eventually sparks my curiousity and doubt, figuring "it cant really be that bad, can it?" even though I know better deep down. So I ventured out on Saturday, wearing the same flats again, thinking about my major blooper as I passed down my street. But careful baby steps did nothing to lessen the magnitude of a complete reinactment of the origional fall, right at the exact same spot as before. It happened in slow motion, I swear. First my foot skidded foreward off the step and out from under me, extending higher into the air as my body followed, landing with a huge thud a few steps below.

After one second of shock used to realize I was alive and catch my breath, I burst out laughing, because, well... it was funny. And though I didn't land in any of Valparaiso's trademark canine landmines, the situaiton wasn't much better.

Then something entirely unexpected happened: Someone stopped and asked if I was OK. I was, so, again slightly dripping blood from a few points, I got up and continued on my way,this time smiling for the random act of kindness I have found to be so uncommon.


  1. Interesting to hear that those basic gestures of humanity aren't only void in places such as here! Of course, it does vary, but you're right - it comes up far too often and people just glance and walk away to avoid contact moreso. Frightening thing is that even I have started to slip into this from time to time. Keep up that smile - it's unsettling when it starts to fade!

  2. Time to toss those shoes! Glad you had a sense of humor about it. Years ago I once did a real slapstick-style, feet in the air, banana-peel slip off a curb while carrying a take-out of Japanese noodles. You can imagine the rest... Not much but my pride was hurt as I stood there covered in noodles and wishing someone had been there to laugh it off with me!

  3. Yeh, I agree with Margaret. Those shoes sound like bad news, especially in Valpo. I love how someone actually stopped and asked you if you were okay instead of just gawking. Am I jaded? Yes, probably.