Three Things You May Not Know About Me: #1

Hello, hello! Since today is the last day of 2009, I figure it is time for me to offer my loyal fans a little benefit (Oooh! Fans with benefits! Yay, you! Please form an orderly line to the left…now down a little…back to the right a smidge, will ya…but wait, I have unwillingly been consumed by a Scrubs-like fantasy, ridiculous, over-the-top, and mildly disturbing! Sorry! My bad!) I will now reveal some of my secret secrets, for your eyes only. Here we go!
Haystacks in Provence, by Vincent Van Gogh Early Hay, by Mandy Budan*
*For more of Mandy Budan’s work, please see: or

1.) They Call Me Haystack: So, a while back, a friend of mine gave me some super-fly shoes. They are brown and cream suede Pumas, a brand so cool that they make me feel slightly unworthy, like they will allow me to purchase them, but if I wear them, they will scream that I am pretending to be an at ease hipster, when really I should be wearing the kind of clunky athletic shoes that senior citizens use to speedwalk through the mall. My Pumas are so wicky-woo that I took to calling them ‘my kicks’, and, one casual Friday, I finally screwed up all of my courage and wore them in front of the harshest of all fashion critics, my 3rd period sophomores. Oddly, they didn’t notice my footwear at all, so I decided I was definitely cool enough to sport my hepcat new look, and I wore my kicks proudly all that day and into the night.

The next day I noticed that they had made my right foot roll out, which put pressure on the outside of my little foot, on the meaty part opposite the arch. (My arch is high and aristocratic, much like Cinderella’s, in case you were wondering.) By the end of the week, I could no longer put my heel flat on the ground. Every morning when I awoke, I would hear the Pulp Fiction line, “Bring out the gimp.” Soon my foot hurt even when I was lying down. Fearing I had done some irreparable damage to my little tootsie, I hobbled into the podiatrist.

Dr. Gabriel poked and pushed on my sole. This was not as deep and meaningful as it may have seemed, if you had heard that sentence aloud, as opposed to having read it yourself. I tried to put on a brave face, but yowch! my dogs were barkin’ with his every digital manipulation (his words, not mine, and again, not nearly as intriguing as it sounds.) He nodded a lot and said “MMM-HMMMM”, and then took some x-rays and sent me back into a little cubicle to wait for the results.

“What I believe has happened,” he said as he posted the x-rays up on the light screen, “is that you…Oh my God! Did you know that you have a foreign body lodged inside of you?!”

“I assure you, sir, I do not!” I replied, perhaps somewhat haughtily. I am always the first to know when a foreign, dare I say even a domestic body is lodged inside of me, and I must admit I resent the implication that I would fail to notice; yet that is exactly what happened. According to the x-ray, I have a large sewing needle embedded deeply in my foot.

I wanted to show you the x-ray itself, because I know that this news is as incredible as it is shocking, as it is distressing. However, my state-of-the-art printerscannercopier died this morning. RIP, HP. You were a good and true all-in-one home/business infotainment unit, gone much before your time, but ever so slightly after your warranty. Anyway, even though I have provided you with helpful visual aids, you will have to use your imagination a bit.

Okay, look closely at Fred’s right foot. Imagine that he has an arch to his foot, and five toes instead of three. Now, in the side of the foot that is the closest to you are two almost equal fragments of needle jammed way inside the footmeat (my word, not Dr. Gabriel’s), closer to the bone than the sole. Up in the second metatarsal (ooh, fancy word!) the tip of the needle has migrated to the tip of my toe. In the x-ray, you can see the eye of the needle. As far as I can tell, it is too small for either a camel or a rich man to go through (read yo Bible, peeps!) and there are no angels dancing on the head of it. Dr. Gabriel rubbed and kneaded my little piggie (again, could have been better.) He said he could feel the needle through the thin toe flesh. Gnarly, huh?

So, how did it get there? I don’t know. My grandfather was a tailor, but I don’t think he stuck one in there for safekeeping. I got acupuncture once, but those needles were in my back and look differently. Not being a junkie or a doctor, I don’t hang around hypodermics much. I don’t remember any needle stepping, poking, or stabbing, and it really does seem like I would. It’s a mystery. All I can say is, I see the needle and the damage done, a little part of it in everyone, if, of course, by everyone, one is referring to my foot.

Dr. Gabriel and I have decided to treat my foot problem as a foot problem, with the metal in my pedal a coincidental, but not causal factor. In other words, no needlectomy. Instead, my kicks have brought on Plantar Fasciitis, an irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. I am against fascism of any kind, and am particularly saddened to find that this nut, whom I have loved and supported in the past, has turned on me. Please enlarge and print out this image on your functional and useful HP copierprinterscanner. Then, draw a Hitler or Stalin mustache on him so people will know he is to be feared, and post the pictures up all over your neighborhood as a gesture of support for me and my needle foot. Do it. Don’t be yet another prick in my life. I am tender.