George Bush was recently involved in a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose” during a news conference held in Iraq. One of the members of the Iraqi media (a minivan, with three reporters and two digital cameras) took off his shoes (size 10) and hurled them at the President in an effort to insult him. I am not up on Shoe Insult Theory, but apparently the thinking is if you show a person the bottom of your shoe, they are forever scorned. When the shoe thrown at the person being assaulted conks them in the head, the bruise or lump might be a pretty good reminder they have just been dissed.
I was a salesman at Bakers Shoes in Iverson Mall in 1967. Our patrons were only female and so many times when I was dying fabric pumps in the back room or bringing them to the women, I saw the soles. Not once did I shake or feel insulted. Maybe it was because they were new and had not yet traveled the road of dirty sidewalks or stepped in gum or anything that might make them filthy. My guess is the soiling of the soles of worn shoes is what adds to the insult of showing them to someone. It seems the indignity can only come from a man, since the theory appears to have originated among the not-so-tolerant-of-females men of the Middle East. That’s probably why I never shivered at Bakers. When Dwight Eisenhower was President, I wonder if Buster Browns were used for the gesture, or would it have been Kinney’s or Chucks (possibly the beginning of the term “chucking” shoes)?
Perhaps that explains why some men cross their legs like a girl and some like a man. Typically, men wear pants and have no need to hide their privates. The feminish crosser is most likely just being polite, attempting to avoid showing the sole to innocent observers. It seems to me displaying the bottom of dirty bare feet would be more of a disgusting gesture, but like I said earlier, I’m not a student of the theory. Restaurants do not ban soiled shoe soles, only bare feet. So, the owners of eating establishments must not understand the Shoe Insult Theory, either.
Does the term “shooing” someone or something away have anything to do with the insult? Usually the “shooing” away of them/it is for safety purposes or because of annoyance. When someone says “shoo” are they saying “shoo” or “shoe?” If a salesman gets a “shoe in the door” is the person whose door was entered insulted? A political candidate who is a “shoo-in” could be less than flattering to the “shoo-out.” Is it “shoo-in” or “shoe-in?” And what about Shoofly Pie? The name is thought to have originated from shooing flies away while it was cooling. Is it possible it was derived from shoes being used in the baking process to knead the dough, or is there a subtle insult being extended by the pie? Only the Amish know for sure (but they’re not reading this).
I’m too fat to cross my legs like a girl, so I’ll have to continue the man cross. I never could accomplish the feminine cross, even in my early years, when thin. It was just too uncomfortable and seemed a little sissy-like to me. If someone is insulted by the sole of my shoe as a result of my inability or lack of desire to perform the girly cross, let me apologize in advance for my unintended rudeness.
Shoes should be worn, not thrown.
Bake My Fish
7 thoughts on “Shoe Fly, Don’t Bother Me”
I would never throw one on my shoes at someone…I love them too much. Most are not worth good Italian leather or South American repile shoe!
I can’t say that I haven’t beaten someone with one…they do make good weapons.
Thanks for the momories,
~The Baby Boomer Queen~
Interesting—I’ve always wondered what a “Shoo-Fly Pie” was made of. Anyway, regarding the recent shoe incident, I’m a bit irked over how a lot of Americans are ridiculing our president. It’s obvious that many don’t respect him, and I think that’s awful. If you can’t respect the individual, at least respect the office. I can’t help but wonder if the same thing happened to the Boy Wonder coming into office, that these same people would be very indignant.
I keep wondering where the Secret Service was. “Hey, Murray, looks like somebody’s throwing something at the President. Yawn. “
This was a very thoughtful and well-researched pieced. I’m not a Bush supporter, but he ducks pretty well and I believe he said that that’s a sign of Democracy, which was a pretty good response.
Apparenlty, shoo fly pie is Dutch. I found the recipe here: http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/38/Authentic_Pennsylvania_Dutch_Shoo_Fly_Pie22736.shtml