Another good idea gone astray

At the time, it seemed like a good idea. After all, it was a little trick picked up from Jimmy the Hammer, renowned Fat Frantic contractor, curler, and golfer.
Jimmy is known to be quite resourceful—particularly when his Scots’ thrift comes to the fore.
Let me explain. Dancing is something I enjoy even if I’m not good at it, but my super grip, non-slip sneakers (a.k.a. old people’s shoes) simply would not slide on the floor and my wife, the Pearl of the Orient, was getting more than a little disgusted with my lack of performance—on the dance floor, that is.
“Elliott, unless you stop stumbling around like a drunken sailor, you can just bet no one, including me, is going to dance with you,” snapped the Pearl after one particularly toe-stompin’ waltz.
But Jimmy the Hammer had showed me a trick.
“Just stick a layer of duct tape on the soles and you’ll glide along smoother than slidin’ down a sanded and waxed oak banister without encounterin’ a single sliver,” explained Jimmy as he warmed to the subject of cutting expenses.
“I’ve used it for years for my curling sliders,” he noted. “Why squander good money on fancy footwear when you can find a bit of good old duct tape in the toolbox you’ve left over from a paying job.
“Besides it will waterproof those soles and plug up any holes, and save on wearing holes in your socks,” he concluded as he plastered on the advice in his whispery, gravelly voice.
So I had the solution and the supply. All that duct tape I had pilfered from Drizzle Creek’s annual Duct Tape and Cardboard Boat Races finally found a use besides holding the front bumper together on my van.
I simply taped up those soles. It was amazing how I could glide and slide. I kept insisting to the Pearl, as I swung her around the ballroom, that it was all the duct tape and had nothing to the lubrication provided by that smallish bottle of red wine (that was just to wash down those salty peanuts and snacks).
Arriving home late, I left the shoes in the centre of the floor. Morning would be soon enough to peel off the tape.
In the fog of early morning, I picked up the first shoe and set to work. I must have gotten a roll of the industrial super sticky grade as the tape removal was difficult, to say the least, and the layer of adhesive left on the soles very apparent.
Every time I ripped a strip off, the cat (apparently excited by the sound) would dash out from under the table and take a swat at my bare toes.
Finally done, I donned my shoes and started across the tile floor of the kitchen. I made exactly two steps before I came to an abrupt halt.
Have you seen those sticky pads you use for catching mice or maybe fly paper? Get the picture? I was glued in place.
A couple of half-hearted tugs simply stuck me down more firmly, so I summoned all my right leg strength and gave a mighty lift.
“Rrrrriiipppp!” My shoe came free and headed straight up. My foot—still firmly attached to shoe—and hence my leg followed the shoe straight up, showing off a move most gymnasts could not copy without risk of serious injury.
The cat, attracted by the sound of the breaking adhesive bond, took that exact opportunity to rush in to investigate—just as my foot propelled by hyper-extended tendons, contracting muscles, and excruciating pain descended back to the floor at Mach II.
Touchdown! The floor, the cat’s tail, and my shoe in that order. The adhesive bond re-formed, now intertwined with the cat’s tail.
“RRREEEOOOOWWRRRR!” (or some reasonable facsimile thereof) was emitted by the cat before its killer instinct kicked in and it turned on my ankle.
Grasping my leg with both hands, I again gave a mighty heave. Up came my leg, foot, shoe, and cat—in that order. Somewhere after the top of the arc, the cat tail broke lose from the shoe, sans a patch of tail hair.
Kitty ricocheted off the fridge and, uttering a final “RREEOOOOWWWWRRR,” headed for safety under the couch.
It only took another few minutes to free my other shoe from the floor—and three bottles of nail polish remover to clean off the adhesive and the cat hair. The floor will have to wait until tomorrow.
Psychiatric treatment has been scheduled for the bald-tailed cat … if only we could catch it.

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