Put on some shoes. I don’t want your AIDS.

August 24, 2009

Regular Renal readers and long-suffering friends of mine will know that I have a visceral disgust of flip-flops (or thongs to our broad international audience).  Turns out that disgust was well-founded.

Turns out flip-flops, on top of being hideously ugly and audibly annoying,  are footwear equivalent of the monkey from the movie Outbreak.  They crawl with an excessive and alarming amount of germs and bacteria, even more so if they’ve been worn into a public restroom. 

From the linked article, Dr. Philip M. Tierno Jr. says:

“These bacteria detected indicate obviously that feces, urine, spit, vomit, animal droppings were all present,” Tierno told TODAY. “That is what’s on the streets of a big city and in public bathrooms … Think about what’s on the ground we walk on in New York City. There’s rat-doo and cockroaches, and they’re harbingers of all sorts of germs.”

I don’t care how good you think your pedicure looks, all you really did was gloss up a nasty germ farm that resides at the bottom of your legs. 

We’ve already proven here at Renal Failure that sandal companies have a vested interest in global warming, but now we have to assume that they’re also in bed with companies that manufacture antibiotics that cure the illnesses caused by the bacteria and germs flip-flops collect. The conspiracy runs deep…

(We also proved that flip-flops and other sandals are what perpetuate female subjugation to patriarchal oppression, but that’s an argument for another day.)

I’m lobbying the Department of Health and Human Services to allow me to napalm Jimmy Buffett concerts, because they are the largest concentration of people wearing flip-flops in a sizable public setting that I can think of.  Germ-wise, Jimmy Buffet concerts are modern-day leper colonies, except with Hawaiian shirts, margaritas, and bland music that does nothing for the soul.  Cheeseburger in Paradise?  More like e.coli in Paradise!  Blew out my flip-flop, stepped on a pop top, then got infected with Staphylococcus aureus and died.

But at least you know you can outrun these Typhoid Marys.  Even if they kick off their bacteria-depository footwear, they’re still not going to catch you.  Unless they’re a Kenyan, because Kenyans used win marathons and Olympic events running barefoot.  And now that they have shoes they win by larger margins. 

Next up on the Confirm My Bias tour:  excessive birkenstock wearing causes AIDS .  Your immune system becomes too lazy to do its damn job because all your T-cells do anymore is listen to Phish and play Ultimate Frisbee.





  1. and when you’re done with the Birkenstock investigation? please tackle “wearing a hat of any kind makes you drive like my dead grandmother”.

  2. This made me laugh. In addition to flipflops, I have a visceral disgust of thongs too (the other kind, the butt floss kind.)

    But you’re so severe RF!! Geez. I wear birkies and I listen to blues, jazz, classical and the Grateful Dead (Phish is just a bunch of Dead wannabes). I play cribbage.

    My preferred footwear is nothing or my or my Red Wing work boots. But at least I wash my feet, I’m not sure flip flops ever get washed. See, if you never exercise your immune system by exposing it to things like dirt and bacteria, it forgets what to do when it comes across a real threat. The real danger in flip flops is the way they make your toes grip to keep them on, which causes tension in your feet and calves and ultimately foot knee hip and back pain. So I guess I should love them since those pains are the source of my bread and butter.

    • My severity is part my charm. You can wear whatever you want in and around your house. I don’t think I have an opinion of cribbage… yet.

      We still have our hands with which to deal with germs, though we wash them a lot more per day than we do our feet.

  3. ‘(We also proved that flip-flops and other sandals are what perpetuate female subjugation to patriarchal oppression, but that’s an argument for another day.)’

    So they aren’t all bad are they…

  4. eliminate the flipflop but for god’s sake save the margarita

  5. We need to discuss this over dinner.

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