Monday, 31 March 2014

What's afoot, Holmes?


People have now stopped asking me why none of the rest of my family ever go to the pub as I do every day, so it was ironic that every one of them turned up at The Bell yesterday afternoon expecting to see me there as usual, when I had decided to go to a different bar for a change, and read this newspaper.

My eye was caught by the photograph of the biblical Dr Irving Finkel who, judging from his name, is precisely twice as Jewish as I am. I read - with horror - that he is actually two years younger than I am as well. What the hell do I look like to all those 23 year-old barmaids?

Fighting back tears, I read on to discover that he is the antiquarian who deciphered the blue-print that Noah must have used to build The Ark. Someone just turned up one day with a piece of dried clay, and Finkel almost shat himself (my words, not his) when he read the cuneiform letters pressed into it.

Every detail about The Ark is contained within the borders of this bit of dry mud (apparently the mud of the Tigris and Euphrates was a superior sort) including materials used and the precise dimensions of the finished boat. For Rachel's benefit, I can tell you that it was pretty much the exact length of a football pitch.

You have to know what each unit of measurement represents in today's system of course, but one of these units is the average length of a human foot - hence our quaint term of 'foot' for twelve inches.

In the UK shoe-size table, a size twelve is usually exactly 12 inches, and it is the only size where the number corresponds to the length in terms of inches. I say 'usually'.

This weekend, I resolved to wear my black Crockett and Jones boots, never having enough excuses aside from weddings and funerals to wear them more often. I had even bought a pair of black trousers to go with them, not wanting to wear a suit.

I tripped up steps FIVE times this weekend, twice spilling some expensive drinks.

Because of the slightly pointed, chiselled toes, these size 12s are more like 13 inches long, and my foot-eye coordination has yet to make an allowance for the extra inch.

Us slaves to fashion suffer more than most.


25 comments:

  1. It is your age Tom - face up to it!

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  2. Plates of meat. . Makes me think of Tony Hancock and Sid James.

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    1. Don't you remember one of them was always going on about his plates of meat?

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    2. Yes of course, but are you telling me that you're too young to remember Coco's size 26s?

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    3. I remember but I never liked clowns.

      Your foot looks very, how can I put it, straight up.

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    4. That's a very good way of putting it, Rachel (I mean the comment, not the foot).

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  3. Sounds like Irving Finkel has funk of a number and is now trying to prove it exists.

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  4. Is this an example of tomfoolery or not !

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    1. Depends what you mean. All I can say with authority is that I have size 12 feet.

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  5. Those boots do not look comfortable.

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    1. You don't spend £400 on a pair of boots which are uncomfortable - at least, I don't.

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  6. My what big "feet" you have grandma....

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  7. It is so difficult to be a connoisseur of shoes. You do have the spectrum available, provided the size is correct. I, on the other hand, must select a pair my shoemaker can insert a 5/8" lift into the sole of the right foot shoe. So far this year I have located one pair of tan sneakers. It's just too awful; there is no getting over shoes.

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    1. It's worse for women, I know. It's more expensive for women too. These would be about £2000 if they had a Ferragamo label on them.

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  8. I think he's lying about his age. He looks more like 91.

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    1. You're not trying to be nice are you, Rachel? (I'm wondering why John is smarting).

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    2. Yes, I am nice. I don't have to try.

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  9. As an eyewitness I can verify that you don't look a jota like Dr. Finkel (I don't add: My dear Watson) - you look - and know it - s(this letter was deleted by the author)xy, and I can say that without being a barmaid (but sorry to say: not 23 either). Dr. Finkel wants to look like Noah - otherwise nobody would believe his story. I think he wears sandals - "Dr. Birkenstock, I presume?"...

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    1. There is something in what you say, Britta....

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