Poetry Thursday has called for a poem today from inside someone else's shoes. I once imagined what it would be like to be Andy Rooney, who strikes me as slightly compulsive, not to mention curmudgeonly, if he smoked some pot while on camera. Here is the result:
Andy Rooney Stoned
"What does 'irregular' mean?
Look, here's one trio of socks for 15$
and another labeled 'irregular' for 5$.
See any difference? I certainly can't.
Let me tear off this packaging, there.
I'll put the expensive one on my right foot
and the cheap one on my left foot, OK?
Whoa--my feet look so far away and white.
Are they even alive? Here's one sock,
now the other on. Can you see any difference?
If you look closely at the line of gold
along the toes you might notice
how on the cheap pair the threads
are not as straight, they’re wavier…
they remind me of wheat fields
in the Midwest and sometimes
you'd see an eagle...
But these socks-- which is which?
Who knows? Would you pay
three times as much for the one
on my right? Or is that from the cheap pair?
I don't know anymore. But the threads,
the gold threads on black, are a symbol
of strength, like the lion, the lion
in the savanna hunting, hunting
for the other socks. Where are they?
I had six pair (won’t pay my fare).
Why does everyone say I’m a whiner?
By the way, if your feet are as ugly as mine—
you know, blue-veined on pale marble
with bunions and onychomycosis
(that is, fungal thickening of the toenails),
don't take your socks off in public.
See? You want to look at that?
Jesus! I didn't know my feet
had so many colors, the blue,
the orange-yellow calluses,
the sparse white hairs,
the pale flesh, waxen maybe...hmmmmm....
Look, the sole turns white
when you press down on it, see?
No, not white, more yellow..
while the surrounding sole looks pink,
but yellow on the calluses.
You can tell a lot from people's feet.
Are feet irregular? They say the right one
is usually longer, but they make shoes
the same length. What's that about?
A podiatrists' scam to promote surgery?
Jerry, could you turn those lights down?
They're much too bright.
Where are my tinted glasses? There.
Notice how my ears are irregular?
Give me a mirror, Jerry.
See? One temple must be bent lower
to make them appear level on my nose
because my ears are not equal, are they?
Or are they? I can't tell in this mirror.
Are they irregular? And which one?
Does that mean one is worth less than the other?
Now, do the glasses look level?
Strange sound, that, the rubbing
of plastic over the ear, like, like...
Do you have any gum? My mouth is so dry.
What's with this dark suit I'm wearing?
Everyone knows I'm a pessimist already--
tits on a boar! As I was saying—
Wait, turn the lights down, Jerry! I'm going blind!
And how people look like their dogs.
And this old Olivetti I use. Word processing. Bwah!
Sounds like processed food-- ecch... can't stomach it….
and now, see, the ugly foot-- the sock's off. Is it irregular?
How does all this lint get all over, anyway?
And this a new pair. And why don't they invent shoes
that don't need socks? Is science unable
to solve the odor problem or is there more money in socks?
I hid my money in a sock when I was a kid.
Ching, ching. I can hear the coins even now.
Real silver, not these alloy Oreos you people spend.
Sheesh, I'm not hungry, but I don't want any more coffee.
Is this a slow motion film, Jerry?
I keep seeing my hand trailing through space,
watch-- and my pen, too!
My God! Look at this desk!
Ancient and ink-stained, so many scratches,
they look like Chinese characters.
It's spelling out something: "You are irregular.
You will be assimilated."
Yeah, but who's gonna pay my celery?
I won’t be treated like a vegetable.
Ha ha! Look, I need a new ribbon.
Cut, Jerry, and call my ex,
I have some new insults for her.
Not the yellow phone for God's sake!
Reminds me of sardines in mustard sauce.
See how the plastic glistens with that fishy sheen?
Is the plastic irregular? I see swirls in it…
(Published in M.A.G.)