Jeebus. So, the other day, I saw erstwhile drunk-tweeter Susan Orlean post something self-deprecating that despite the drunk tweets, at least she’s not posting pictures of her gross feet. So instead of smartly allowing the internet to filter what this was about down to my foot-averse brain, my piqued curiosity drove me to take a deep dive into the web to figure out what was going on. That was…. a mistake. I now know this and pledge to never follow a mysterious foot story in the dark ever again. See, I already have a thing against feet. I can never understand people who seem to regularly post their feet pics on social media. Surely there are other ways to show us you are relaxing than a shot of your toes on a dock/gunwhale/ottoman/etc. Feet are to me like the mouth-sounds of the eyes. It’s like someone chewing moistly in your ear, but right into the peepers.
I mostly find them unbearable to look at. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I find them irrationally offensive. Anyway, the spoiler here is Joyce Carol Oates went hiking in sandals and obviously stepped in some giant hogweed and now her foot looks like an effects reel from an early John Carpenter film. The tweet is embedded in the story at the attached article. But you’ve been forewarned. I am off to the hardware store to get some bleach for my eyes.
Oates later tweeted: “thank you for all your suggestions & sympathy. I have subsequently seen a doctor, am taking antibiotics & have steroid cream. doctor doesn’t know what it is, however — venomous weed or insect. (also had a tetanus shot.) pain & itching have subsided. moral is: proper footwear!”
After her foot nearly broke the internet, with headlines including “Joyce Carol Oates’ foot photo is freaking everyone out,” she took again to Twitter to say: “(what is most embarrassing about this incident is that my late husband Charlie Gross was an avid hiker & always stressed proper footwear: always proper hiking boots w/ two pairs of socks, & laces tight; for ordinary woods, hiking shoes, always w/ socks. he would be scandalized.)