One sure sign that I was not raised in the country is that, when outdoors, I wear footwear of some sort. On those occasions when I do find myself outside and barefoot (e.g. on the beach or by the pool), I do a good deal of “oooching and owching” if I walk across anything more lumpy than a piece of slate. I’m a tenderfoot.
I have discovered that there is a dedicated group of people who celebrate barefootedness and practice it regularly. They call themselves “The Society of Barefoot Living,” and, like all good twenty-first century organizations, the group even has a Mission Statement.
Interestingly, the group’s website debunks the notion that it is illegal to drive barefoot. It turns out that, in most states, it is NOT unlawful to drive a car barefoot (some states require footwear for motorcyclists). For you Garden Staters, feel free to doff your shoes this summer (but I suggest that carry a photocopy of the letter from Trenton that appears on the webpage to show the cop). My Jawja friends should also know that they can lawfully drive those big-ass pickup trucks barefoot, but I figure you already knew that, or you don’t much give a shit what the law says about driving barefoot.
Then I got to thinking, Yeah, sure. That barefoot stuff is great in warm weather, but I wanna see some of these barefooters strut their shit in Jersey in the middle of January. Well, it turns out that some of the more dedicated barefooters like walking barefoot in the farookin’ snow, although this winter walker had to concede that deep snow began to present a problem. Yo!! Deep snow? Ice? Slush? No way. Even barefooters can get frostbite and gangrene.
Interesting stuff, this, but I’m sticking with shoesies.