Photo by Lisa Fotios on

I can’t find my slippers.  I know that I had them yesterday.  I always wear them in the evening.  They are perpetually conjoined with my slouching, night-time feet.  So, where have they gone?  I have to be honest, I thought that if I sniffed hard enough I might find them: a lifetime coupled with my naked pods – a lifetime for them, obviously, not for me, even I don’t keep footwear that long – has left them a little funky.  If I had a dog, I’m pretty sure it would be very attached to them, but I don’t.  I have flies, but they are too busy with the kitchen window to bother about slippers.  I’m not sure what’s on the glass that is more seductive to a fly than the scent of my feet, but whatever it is, I’m going to clean it off right away…

…I’m back.  The windows are sparkling, but the flies remain.  I hoped that once I’d cleaned the glass, they might schlep off in search of a tasty slipper, but they have not.  Clearly I cannot put my faith in flies.  Anyway, as I’d got the gear out, I thought that I might as well clean the rest of the windows as well.  I thought it would take my mind off my errant mules.  (Although the notion has just flashed across my mind that my wife might deliberately have hidden the slippers, knowing that it might lead to a pan-residence window-cleaning session, but I finally dismissed the idea when I realised that the missing-slipper scenario normally leads only to a brisk session of cushion lifting.  She could not have known.  Could she?)  What it actually took my mind off to was ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ and Clint’s ‘riled up mule’, and further onto the question of ‘what, exactly, is a mule?’* followed by ‘so why are shoes without backs also called mules?’ and thus back to my slippers and the mysterious disappearance thereof.

Now this is a house within which things do, quite routinely, go missing – mobile phones, keys, TV remotes, snatches of conversation, ‘don’t forget’ instructions – but by and large they turn up again, albeit, at times, accompanied by considerable acrimony.  I have now searched everywhere that my slippers might, logically, turn up and I am now preparing to investigate the places where they might just turn up in an illogical universe: the fridge, the oven, the washing machine, the cupboard that houses all of the VHS tapes, the DVD’s, various optical leads, instruction booklets and – so that’s where it got to – the base to the old kettle.  The slippers will, sooner or later, turn up, possibly with secretly bred offspring.  (Have you ever considered that there might be male and female slippers?)  If not, I will have to buy new ones to lose.  Let’s face it, nobody enjoys a new slipper.  Nobody feels fully at home in an unsoiled moccasin.  Slippers only become the thing to wear when they are worn: it is not until they become disreputable that they become desirable.

I’ll go and check the bin…

*It is, apparently, the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse.  The offspring of a female donkey and a male horse is a hinny.  I would not recommend trying to put either of them on your foot.