I broke my foot a month ago and, no, there isn’t a cool story to go with the injury. I didn’t drop a motor on it, and I didn’t get it trapped between the boat and the dock. It just started hurting.
So, I’m wearing one boot cast and one Topsider (think Davy Jones when I walk the office halls).
I was at a friend’s house last night and finally had to slip the darned boot off to reveal one stockinged, unbooted left foot and then remove my 5-year-old Topsider off the other foot. (I’m afraid by the time my foot is healed I won’t be able to find my left shoes.) That’s when Murphy, the stocky little Shih Tzu mascot of the house, leapt to attention and made a beeline for me. I thought he was going to jump up in my lap for a friendly ear scrub, but instead he stuffed his snout deep into my Topsider. He rooted around, put in a paw, twisted, sniffed, snorted, licked and — thank God it was all under the table — I don’t think anybody in the house saw the sniff orgy but me.
Somebody needs to tell me where that rule of boating etiquette comes from. The one that says boat mocs are definitely to be worn without socks: Where does that come from? OK, on deck you’re likely to get a Topsider full of water and you want that to run out the eyeleted scuppers so your foot returns to some semblance of comfort. Wear your socks onboard and you’re an unschooled landlubber with feet wrapped in a compress of seawater.
But even on dry land the stigma persists. You’ve done it, I know. You’ve looked around the marina burger grill while sipping your longneck and noticed, maybe even counted, the boat-geeks wearing socks with their Topsiders.
No wonder boat shoes stink. Bare, sweaty feet, steeped in raw water, steamed by the sun and later stuffed in a closet to slowly ferment whatever witch’s brew remains inside.
I’ve tried wearing socks at the mall, but they kill the authenticity of my otherwise boaty-looking persona. So, after using a zillion different shoe deodorizers on my boat mocs, I gave up and, like most “core” boaters, just got used to the smell.
Murphy didn’t get used to it. When the dinner bell rang, I put my foot back inside the shoe and clumped to the table. Murphy’s nose never got more than a foot from my halting stride and usually I was feeling that wet cold nose on my Achilles tendon.
Next morning, the memory flashed back and I raised the Topsider to my nose and...HOLY COW, THAT STINKS!
I remembered a little spray bottle of shoe spray someone sent me to test: Shoe Pourri. I gave the offending shoe a snort and let it dry. Whew, back to almost non-smelling! I’d forgotten that stuff. It works. And even better, whatever chemistry it has, keeps working. I’d used it with success on my other shoes, but the Topsider Murphy romanced had been shuffled to the back of the closet when the Shoe Pourri fairy came around. I’ve tried drugstore sprays before. They work. But not like this stuff. I hope Murphy gets over it. Oh, and the company makes Poo Pourri that’s supposed to make the head smell better too. Fix the feet for $12.95 per 4-ounce bottle. Correct the crapper with 2-ounces of Poo Pourri for $9.95. poopourri.com