Chewing Gum Shoes
Angkor Wat. Cambodia. Spending the day at one of the most magnificent wonders of the world. Life had really thrown me a good card. Becky and I tottered around the ancient city, marvelling at the monkeys carrying their babies across the old ruined temple tops. There were so many beautiful sights to see, so many old structures to discover.
The problem was, there was TOO much to see. My shoes were clearly not expecting to do quite so much walking. They chose to display their irritation with me by falling to pieces. Yep, that’s right. Completely fell to tatters. Not even just a little bit. Two seconds after the sole dropped off the left foot; the sole of the right foot did the same. Maybe the right shoe was just too heartbroken to carry on alone? I guess it had just lost its solemate. (Sorry!)
‘Oh no…Becky, HELP!’ I cried in frantic dismay, peering down at the crumpled mess beneath my feet.
She turned to face me, and instead of the sympathy I was hoping for, my situation was greeting with a loud and mischievous laugh.
‘What am I going to do?’ I wailed, ‘I can’t walk barefoot, there’s too many rocks everywhere!’
‘Chewing Gum’ stated Becky in her no-nonsense manner.
‘Yes…stick your shoes together with it!’
Luckily, I am one of those annoying people who carry around old bits of chewing gum with them. Rather than spit it out on the floor for some poor unfortunate soul to pick up on the bottom of their shoes, I wrap my used chewing gum in old receipt or any other piece of paper that’s floating around for no reason in my handbag and store it amongst my phone, purse and keys until I come across the next bin. The problem is, I usually forget. As a result, there are dozens of small pieces of crumpled chewing gum paper in my bag at any one time.
Who ever thought this would come to my rescue in a time of need? Who ever thought I would be willingly adding chewing gum to my shoes instead of desperately trying to avoid standing in it? I reluctantly peeled away from the paper a sticky piece of gum that was probably chewed by myself a year earlier whilst in a completely different country. I carefully placed the gum in several different areas of the sole. To my horror I realised there would only be enough old gum for one shoe!
‘Here’ giggled Becky, tossing me a fresh packet of Wrigley’s. ‘Get chewing!’
It remains to be said that being at one of the biggest tourist attractions of the world, it was impossible to carry out this charade in private. I had little children eyeing my actions suspiciously; posh old women looking down at me in disgust and the great majority of the gathering crowd simply stared in bafflement.
I chewed and chewed piece after piece, methodically transferring gum from mouth to shoe. I was sure to equally distribute the old and new gum between the shoes in case one was a stronger adhesive than the other.
The moment of truth. I anxiously slipped on my shoes, waiting patiently for the paste to set. Against all odds, those amazing chewing gum shoes got me through another five hours of walking. Never underestimate the power of old chewed gum.