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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Throwing Pasta on the Wall

Because you never know what's going to stick.

I'm not sure what I mean by that; that's the thing with analogies and metaphors. Some readers may read the above statement and nod sagely, uttering "so true, so true." Others ask,"why would you throw pasta on the wall?"

But we (I) love analogies and metaphors all the same, because when they do work they provide a real Eureka! insight into the topic at hand/foot. "The rough surfaces are your vegetables, the smooth are dessert," or "learning how to run with shoes on is like learning how to sing with earplugs." I believe Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton came up with both of those, by the way.

Sometimes, however, the best analogy is an instruction for an entirely different task. Like how to clean your feet without dirtying up your tub.

I used to have little black toe-prints in my tub from day-after-day of cleaning road grime off my feet. I figured that was a small cost of running barefoot; increased frequency of tub-washing. Then Ken Bob posted a how-to guide for foot hygiene that included this advice:
3. When the floor is wet, step gently into the shower/bath. Do NOT twist, or slide your feet around, as this grinds the dirt into the floor (especially plastic showers/tubs).
Sound familiar? Now, between this advice and the use of Charlie's Soap,  my tub is cleaner after I wash my feet than before. But that's not my point. You see, this advice also pertains to running. Imagine your feet were dirty and you had to run across a clean surface. Your objective is to keep that surface as clean as possible, running across without leaving a mark. How would you do this?

You would avoid skidding, twisting, sliding, grinding, etc at all costs. You would step as lightly as possible. You would focus on lifting your feet. You would run smoothly, gently, and efficiently. You would run like a singer on vegetables.

If you know what I mean.


  1. Very interesting. I never thought about it that way. ;)

  2. The running lightly analogies are appreciated. Take it from someone in the middle of a stress fracture rehab of my 2nd metatarsal.
    But let me shed some light on the pasta saying. My Ma taught me that to test pasta to see if it is done, you throw it against the wall (or ceiling). If it sticks, it is done.
    So remember to test your theories, throw them out there and see what sticks. You may be surprised.

  3. Sarah - just remember: singing vegetables.

    Phil - I had heard that, too; it just saddens me to consider the thought of wasting even one strand of delicious pasta. Or is it alright to eat a string of pasta that you had just pulled from the wall/ceiling?

  4. Phil,

    5-second rule. As long as you pull the pasta off the wall before 5 seconds, you can eat it. Unless your wall is really, really gross!

    Have fun,