February 07, 2007

My Clog: A True Tale That Just Happened To Happen To Me

By Gracie Logan © 2007

It was a late April afternoon in Chicago, and though the weather was truly springish for the first time, I did not heed the call of the Lincoln Park Zoo with my new and overpriced walking shoes to see the bat house. Nor did I take my rollerblades to that delightful stretch of lakefront between the Drake Hotel and North Ave where the boys play football and white girls on a quest for the biggest melanoma lie face-up and unmoving in small groups on the grass.

No, I did none of those things with my aforementioned footwear. Instead, I wore my favorite clogs to a matinee showing of a new film entitled Memento at the Music Box Theatre.

We did some browsing before the film, my clogs and I. We stopped at P.O.S.H. to admire the Jadeite I covet, and wandered leisurely up and down Southport, eagerly planning an after-film trip to Hi Ricky for some Tofu Something Something Woonsen and a little satay (they have the best satay this side of the Patpong district).

When my film's start time drew near, my clogs and I said good-bye to the sunny afternoon. We purchased one ticket (my clogs travel free) and entered the inviting cool darkness that is the lobby of the Music Box Theatre. While I was anticipating some woonsen later, I could not resist a small popcorn with real butter. This particular theatre is the last movie house on the planet earth that uses the real thing on its corn.

"Extra butter, please," I told the attendant. "With some in the middle," I added quickly, not wanting to spend the second half of the bag craving more rich buttery flavor.

So, with calorie-laden corn and a counteracting Diet Coke in hand, we (my clogs and I) entered the viewing area and chose a seat up close to the screen--but not too close--and on the aisle. My clogs and I like aisle seats for not only do you not get claustrophobic there, should you have a heart attack or need some other sort of emergency medical attention, help can reach you quickly.

It was a sensible and well-planned choice.

Or so my clogs and I thought.

Aisle seats afford you a little more freedom than regular seats. One arm rest is all yours with no risk of having to share, and there is a little extra leg room should you wish to cross your legs towards the opened area.

I chose to cross my legs.

As the film (Did I mention the film was Memento?) explored some of the more disturbing areas of the human psyche, I grew uncomfortable and stopped eating the popcorn, placing it on the ground just in front of me in the aisle, hoping to get back to it soon because, gosh, it was tasty.

In my agitated state, I must have, and I say "must have" here as there is no conscious recollection of doing so, been fidgety with my foot. The one that was crossed over, not under.

Misinterpreting my nervousness for the call of freedom, my clog dropped off my foot, landed squarely in my popcorn, tipped it, and sent a wave of kernels down the incline of the aisle.

My clog, aided by gravity and moving corn, rolled away.

The chuckling started behind me and moved forward down the theater as I stumbled from my seat, on all fours, to grab my wayward clog. It was dark and I handled more than one shoe before I found my own, buttery and quiet, three rows down.

I did not stand up and take a bow, I did not make a off the cuff comment to indicate I had a sense of humor about my own foolish predicament. Rather, I skulked back to my seat head down, both mortified and dejected.

I may have embarrassed myself, but more importantly, there was no way I could possibly salvage my corn without the entire left half of the theater knowing I was eating from a bag that had my shoe in it.

Thus endeth the tale of my clog.

Gracie Logan is a writer from Gainesville, FL.

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