Funny the stuff you think about. I was working through the first draft of my latest novel and I got to thinking about creepy crawlies and all those nasty critters we used to come across when living abroad. Scorpions in the shower, snakes in the veranda, furry spiders in the bedroom, that kind of thing. (Incidentally, did you know there’s a Brazilian ‘‘Erection Spider’‘? It’s true. Check it out ..)
Anyway, it made me think about how people say you should bang your boots. Well, you should listen to people, whoever they are, because I remember going out to a party in Brazil, feeling cool in my best T-shirt, putting on my Nike air trainers. The footwear felt a little tight, but I was in a hurry, feeling and looking sharp, so I didn’t give it too much thought. I had a good night, learned how to Samba (not too bad at it for a beginner), and when I got home it was a relief to kick off those trainers … except for the weird stain all over the toe of my sock. My white sock. At least, it had been white when I put it into the trainer. Now it was a kind of browny-red and sticky, like bloody snot. Appalled at what I was seeing, I immediately thought there was something wrong with my foot, but when I whipped off my sock, everything was fine and in working order. So there was only one thing left – there had to be something in my trainer. Oh yes. It still makes me shudder when I imagine the alarm the frog must have experienced when it was first pressed up against the inside of my shoe. The poor creature that I had been wearing and dancing on for the last few hours was well and truly flattened – and I had the viscera on my sock to prove it.
Socks and pressed amphibian went into the bin. It was a sad day for frogs everywhere.