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Flip-flops

Written by Richard “Sarge” Garwood on .

There’s a particular style of summer footwear goes by many different names: sandals, Japanese Zoris, flip-flops, thongs (a northern appellation having nothing to do with staving off visible panty lines)

, no-heel sandals, chinelos (Brazil), japonkis (Poland), shlapfen (Austria) and slappies or slaps. The look is universal and equally utilitarian as footwear.

But there are some problems with the ubiquitous little “slappers”.

The current design returned with American soldiers homeward bound from Japan. For many the humble “flip-flop” is a quick, easy way to protect the foot (marginally) from stones, glass, hot pavement surfaces and such without the weight and bulk of standard footwear. Just slip the foot onto the exposed sole, with the y-shaped strap inserted between the toes and away you go.

You’d think: no fuss, no muss and no bother but such isn’t always the case.

Flip-flops create a variety of problems when worn. The construction is thin and consists of a synthetic rubber-like compound or leather sole. Its minimal thickness offers some protection against sharp stones and debris. You take shorter steps with a gliding type motion not allowing for full extension of leg muscles; this leads to cramps and muscle fatigue over a long period of time. The foot rolls forward and further toward the body’s center-line than in a normal shoe. This is called over pro-nation and can lead to foot pain, knee pain, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, posterior Tibial tendinitis, flat feet and plantar fasciitis. (Wikipedia 2013)

Ankle sprains and tendonitis are caused by the toes trying to dig into the sole for traction. Cuts, scrapes, and even broken bones can result from the flip-flop losing contact with the foot and the foot’s twisting. Running efficiently in this footwear is virtually impossible.

So; you’re asking: “what the heck is Sarge talking about? The guy’s really slipped a cog.”

Nah! Not really.

I started thinking about the current Louisiana anomaly of formerly staunch Democrats changing party animals in mid-stream. The latest is a local Democratic Party Representative who declared himself a Republican. He touts a “conservative” base which he claims has been in force since he went to Huey Long’s Space Needle. He also announced his candidacy for The U.S. House of Representatives during his first term in the Louisiana State House.

Louisiana has a legislature of schizophrenic quality. No particular Representative or Senator can show when his/her conservative epiphany happened but it’s indicated the “blessed sight” was acquired after reading the writing on the wall people were tired of spend and tax politics. Additionally, if some wanted to ascend to higher office (governor, Federal Office or such) they needed to appear staid and fiscally moderate if not outright penny-pinching.

These people are “Flip-Floppers”. They’ve changed their coats of many colors in favor of political flag-waving, parsimonious appearances. They want to be seen as “with it”. They want to be loved by all.

The problem is; leopards don’t change their spots and snakes are always serpents. Politicians believe they can shed their skins like serpents and nobody will remember them for who they really are and what they always represented. A viper is a viper, is a viper and you’re not going to change that viper to a butterfly by simply re-naming him as such.

We note the people changing party affiliations always seem to do it when political courses shift creating new opportunities to climb higher on the political tower to the modern Olympus in Washington D.C.

They don’t recognize some of us understand the Tower of Babel analogy better than others. We endure the political speak of the newly minted conservatives and fully appreciate their value must be adjusted for the inflation of their egos as they pursue greater monetary gain, influence and power for themselves.

Just to say it, I offer that while Flip-Flops may appear acceptable footwear, they can cause damage because they’re not fully supportive of the foot having to bear the load. The same can be said for Political Flip-Flops; they don’t necessarily support the load they claim to carry.

They just look good while keeping the heat away.

Thanks for listening

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