Bare Foot Pimpin'
Monday, December 7, 2009

The whole Tiger beat-down, 4-skanks-and-counting fiasco was indeed, pretty shocking. But, my biggest shock from the whole mess, came from a little comment sandwiched in some salacious article I read. It was a part of Tiger's driving citation for barreling the Escalade through the neighborhood hedges and jacking up the fire hydrant.

Evidently, it is illegal to drive barefoot in Florida. 

I was all, "For Real?" when I read that informative tidbit. Unbeknownst to me, I've been a child- chauffeur, soccer-mom felon all these years. 

This is the South. We do everything in bare feet. Well, except grocery shop, public restrooms and dining out. Only Britney Spears and the folks who live in the DEEP South go barefoot in public establishments. You know, those cross-eyed folks who marry their siblings, play banjoes and find possum stew to be a fine, culinary treat. I'm talking DEEP south. 

But, for the rest of us, we wear our calloused feet as badges of honor. I can walk across a steaming blacktop without flinching because my feet are just plain bad-ass. 

If I'm chauffeuring kids around which is really what my life has come to, I don't even think about putting on shoes. I just jump into the car, barefoot. And, more often than not, I am barefoot AND in pajamas. Man, I hope there's no law about wearing your sleepwear while driving. Cause if so, they might as well haul me off to jail right now. 

It's kind of a stupid law, really. I don't understand the point. In fact, I can feel the brake and gas better with my bare feet. Besides, if I'm in a pretty pair of heels, I don't want to scuff them up because of some moronic law. Seriously, who thought this law up? Clearly, someone with too much time on their hands. I bet you it was the same person who decreed that sex with a porcupine is a no-no in the state of Florida. A genuine law, for real. 

Who even thinks about sex with a porcupine? I have a feeling that said person is related to some of those deep south banjo players. I'm just sayin'. Facts are facts.

I'm putting it out there right now, Internet, I'm going to continue to break the law and drive barefoot. So, if there are any cops reading this who need to fill their monthly quota, just look for me. I'll be the one with the jammies and crazy hair. 

I'll leave you today with a True Story that has nothing to do with Tiger Woods or driving barefoot, but once again, it's just me proclaiming my dumbassness on the Internet. My little gift to you. 

You are welcome. 

In my early 20's, I used to be the proud owner of a Ford Pinto. That's right. The car that exploded on impact when hit from behind. 

I lived on the wrong side of danger. In my bare feet. 

But, the thing about my Pinto is it was some sort of Limited Edition, Yes, that's right, a Limited Edition Pinto. I also lived a pimpin' lifestyle, along with living on the wrong side of danger. And this Limited Edition had some sort of super turbo engine. I don't know any of the names of the parts in an engine. I just know it went super-fast. 0-60 in 10 seconds, fast. 

And that is EXACTLY what you want when you've got a car that implodes on impact when hit from behind, a super turbo Limited Edition speedmobile. 

I was a high-pimpin', fast-livin', barefoot driving chick in those wild days. 

Anyway, I had just come from the hospital where I'd gone to visit the first baby in the next generation of our family. My brother and his wife had recently had a baby boy and I was over the moon and all juiced up from my hospital visit. My mom was there at the hospital and I told her I'd stop by her house for a little visit before I went back home to my town, in another county, far down the road. 

I drove the few miles back to my parent's house, my radio blasting, my turbo Pinto turboing. 

And right in front of my parent's house, I noticed blue flashing lights in my rear-view mirror. 

Now, I'm going to stop this story right here, to mention two things. 

One: As said here, I grew up in a very, small town. That'll come into play in a sec. 

And Two: Everyone in this town, knew my family and knew our house which was perched on the side of a busy country road. Everyone knew this was our house because A) As teenagers, every time my parents went out of town for the weekend, which was blessedly an awful lot, my team of brothers and I would have keg parties where we would invite the whole school and then some. To this day, anytime we are standing outside our parent's house, there is a constant trail of beeps, waves and shout-outs from passing cars. We just dutifully wave as we always have. And B) My dad found, God knows where, an enormous plastic, neon yellow banner with a gigantic smiley face plastered across it. He took great pleasure in hanging that smiley face from the front of our house anytime we had a visitor from out of town. He also took great pleasure in the mortification it gave his children. 

I hated that smiley face. 

But, later in life, I was thrilled every time I came for a visit and that smiley face was hanging there, welcoming me home. We hung it up the day of my dad's funeral. Out of all the details of that sorrowful, beautiful day, I know he would have loved that dang smiley face the most. 

So, anyway, as a pimp-livin' but good citizen, I immediately pulled over--right in the smack-dab front of my parent's house. As I sat there, waiting for the cops to get out of their car, passing cars were heralding me with a cacophony of beeps.

Now, I will confess that in my turbo charged days, I did get pulled over more than a few times. I will also tell you, I never once got a speeding ticket. I had a few things in my favor: blonde hair, youth and the ability to cry on demand. Men never know what to do with tears, no matter who they are. They just want to make it stop. 

As I sat in my car, I watched the young female policewoman approach and thought, "I'm a goner." Girls know the real deal about tears. 

But, as she approached my window, my spirit soared. I rolled down the window and said, "Mary-Margaret, what's up?"

Small town favors. 

When we had first moved to the small town, we rented a house for several years from a military family. My policewoman was their daughter. 

Mary-Margaret was a bit nervous. She bent down and said, "Hey, didn't you see me? I've been following you for almost a mile. I had my siren on. I'm in training and my training officer had to tell me what to do. I've never had anyone run from me, yet."

I pointed to the radio. "Oh, sorry! I didn't notice. Rock Me Amadeus was on the radio."

Just then, my mother pulled up behind the police car. Because that's what you want, when getting a speeding ticket, your mom to show up. 

She jumped out of the car and walked up, trilling, "Mary-Margaret, how ARE you? How's your mother doing with her hip replacement?"

The training police officer jumped out after my mother and yelled, "Nothing doing Ma'am. I don't care who you know. This driver is getting a speeding ticket. She was eluding the police."

And my mom, standing on the side of the road, began to debate the officer. "Oh, no sir, that's my daughter. She would never do anything of the sort."

The horns were beeping, people were hanging out of their passing car windows yelling my name, my little sisters were peeking out the front window- laughing, my mom was arguing with the training police officer and Mary-Margaret was standing there, writing me out a speeding ticket, whispering, "Sorry. I wouldn't do this, if I wasn't in training."

You never forget your first speeding ticket. I know I won't. 

To top it off, after the ticket was issued, I pulled into my parents' driveway, bummed out. 

I did smile though, at the sign my little sisters had taped to the front door. "No criminals allowed. Love, The Cops."

I went inside. My mom was still fuming. My sisters grabbed the speeding ticket for closer examination, having never seen one before. Just then, the doorbell rang. My mom looked out the window and announced Mary Margaret was at the door. 

Realizing that their note was still taped to the front door, my sisters fled the room, escaping into my parents' bedroom and slamming the door shut behind them. 

My mom ushered Mary-Margaret into the kitchen, asking her if she'd like some Kool-Aid. Yes, Kool-Aid. Mary-Margaret graciously turned down the Kool-Aid and then sheepishly turned to me and asked to see the ticket. She'd forgotten to sign it. 

Being the good citizen I was, I immediately began looking around for the ticket and it was then my parents bedroom door opened up, the ticket was flung out and the door slammed shut with a trail of giggles following behind it. 

Like I said, you never forget your first speeding ticket, although I'd like to obliterate mine from my memory. 

Today's Definite Download: "Do They Know It's Christmas" by the charitable, put-together group of British and Irish rock stars, Band-Aid. 

I love this song. I love the Feed The World message, but I especially love trying to put names to all the rock stars voices. 

I would have posted the youtube video, but it would only be taken down by the capitalist swine. Go take a look at it when you have a sec. It's a visit to the days when I was young and blonde and had a speeding ticket. It's super fun to see Boy George in all his queenly regalia, George Michael sober, Sting with a pageboy, Paul Young when everyone knew who Paul Young was, and of course, a certain, sexy as everything, gorgeous young rock star with a powerhouse voice in all his long hair glory. *Big, lustful sigh.*

My only problem with this song is, why do only the men get the solos? The girls are all relegated to the chorus, well....except for Boy George. They might be feeding the world, but they're trampling on the equal rights. Still and all....a great song. Enjoy a little 80's rock Christmas cheer. 


Anonymous said...

I found out about how driving barefoot was illegal on one of those dumb laws websites! I drive barefoot constantly and agree that you can definitely feel the pedals better without shoes! Plus what if my flip flops got caught on the pedal or something? I think driving with shoes should be illegal!! :]


P.S. As ALWAYS fabulous post!

Barefoot Guy said...

It is NOT illegal to drive barefoot in any of the 50 states. Totally legal.

The reporter in the Tiger story was wrong and didn't fact-check -- so don't believe it for a second!

See for more information. And keep on barefootin'!

ProudSister said...

Driving barefoot, legal or illegal, is not your problem. Its the foot up on the dashboard that freaks me out. Do you know what's going to happen to your hip if you crash?

Very funny post, as usual. I agree with Sarah on all counts!

Anonymous said...

You said:

"This is the South. We do everything in bare feet. Well, except grocery shop, public restrooms and dining out. Only Britney Spears and the folks who live in the DEEP South go barefoot in public establishments."

Do you know what was going on in the late 1960s and early 1970s? Going barefoot in public and even grocery shopping was done by lots of young people, more women than men. And it was not just the so-called "deep south". There were well-off barefoot young women shopping in expensive stores in New York City then. Read the article from the New York Times, Sept. 1, 1970. It's called "Shoelessness on the Rise". The hippie styles and anti-fashion statements had hit the mainstream.
A quote from the article:
"Although bare feet are most commonly found in the city's parks, it is not unusual to see barefoot shoppers like Miss Ross in Bloomingdale's or barefoot couples in line outside Broadway movie theaters."
People who were not around then have no idea how relatively common going barefoot in public was, in most parts of the US back then.

And no, please check with all state motor vehicle agencies, it's not illegal to drive barefoot. And it's not illegal to go barefoot into any public establishment. It's up to the store owner to decide.

ProudSister said...

Get a grip anonymous. Familiar with the expression "tongue in cheek"? Its just for fun, not offense. Also, while being barefoot in stores or in Broadway movie theaters might be legal, it doesn't make it right. Its gross.

Shelley said...

I drove barefoot all the time in AZ, but I always had a pair of flip flops in the car or something I could put on. Because God forbid, if something happened and you had to get out of the car? You could've burned the bottoms of your feet right off.
I also had to laugh about you and your calloused feet and being able to walk across the burning blacktop. I remember doing that as a kid...running across the street barefoot in the middle of summer. Crazy, we were.

Anonymous said...

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