So I go in today to get my Birkenstocks repaired.

Now, I am not good to shoes. I do not love shoes as many women do. Having left Minnesota, I now wear hiking sandals year-round, often with offensively bright and fluffy socks, because…well…I can. I do not oil or waterproof or fireproof or polish or cuddle or do any of the other things that one is supposed to do to one’s shoes to make them happy. I just wear them until they disintegrate off my feet.

But Birks are pretty spendy, and they’re very repairable, so I went in to the shoe repair place locally, sandals in hand.

The gentleman roaming the aisles came up to me, opened his mouth to say something, spotted my shoes, and said, in deeply Southern tones of horror, “Honey, did you take them shoes off a daid person?”

“Uh…”

He took the shoes away–I had obviously proved myself untrustworthy with footwear–and flipped them over to eye what had once, long ago, been tread, and gasped. “One who walked themself to dayth?”

I actually looked at the shoes. Hmm, yeah, in retrospect, they did look pretty beat up…

“Were you in prison and these was the only shoes they gave you?”

“Yes,” I said wearily, resigning myself, “I’ve been doin’ time. In Birkenstocks.”

He shook his head, charged me a lot of money, and handed me a ticket. I left, feeling partly as if I had walked into a cathedral carrying a cruicifed hamster, but mostly just amused.

There’s more wrong with the South than I could enumerate in a month of Sundays, but it does have its moments.

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