Sport 29: Spring 2002
When the podiatrists escaped we immediately set up roadblocks. But they were apparently wise to us and kept to the footpaths. Somewhat unfairly, too, they must have been wearing orthotics with rich crepe soles, which allowed them, well after dark, to ripple right past our defences in a distinctly crepuscular manner and make for the safety of the park.
In this way the podiatrists taught us the meaning of frustration.
There was no way, especially in the darkness, that we could retrieve the podiatrists from the park. The powerful sequoias hid and comforted even the bravest of them in a scent of turpentine, made sharp by the moonlight, whereas the more timid lay pressed into the gaultheria where they were wrapped about with wintergreen.
We could do nothing. We did joke that the iron railings around the park meant that the podiatrists had simply caged themselves in, but we were equally aware that the railings with their fearsome spikes kept us out just as effectively.
In this way the podiatrists taught us the meaning of irony.
All night the podiatrists hid there, out of sight, out of reach, but not out of hearing, and eventually safety page 41 overcame them and they grew cocky and footloose and realising our powerlessness began to cry Yippee! Yippee!
Thus the podiatrists taught us the meaning of scorn.
We could almost have tolerated this had it not been for the uncomfortable realisation that somehow in the night tinea had been set loose. We could feel it burning and insinuating itself all over our feet, between our toes. Burning and burning. Itching fearsomely.
And all the while the podiatrists, behind the iron rails and hidden in the dangling embrace of the redwoods, cried Yippee! Yippee!
As the burning sensation all but overcame us it seemed almost as though we could hear the tinea joining in the chorus: Yippee! Yippee! in tiny subsonic harmonies.
When dawn broke we were in a really bad way, jumping from foot to itchy foot. The light, perversely, had made the podiatrists even cockier, more sure of themselves. They broke free of the shaggy trunks, the perfumed ground cover and sported, gambolled. They flaunted their tubes of fungicide. They played touch rugby with them, flinging the crème of our desire from player to player, coming at times infuriatingly close to the railings. Every so often one would cry Yippee! as if unable to help it. Would leap into the air clapping his crepe soles.
In this way the podiatrists taught us the meaning of hate.