Mike and the Magical Shoes

I blame my friend, Daniel del Cavallo, for this story:

Getting old is a bitch.


First, there was gout.

Then, there was tendonitis.

Now, there’s collapsed arches.

No, I do not mean an abandoned McDonald’s.

So, how does this become a bad food story?

Let me explain.

I was not able to volunteer for the military after high school due to the fact that I have “flat feet” or  a “flat foot” as it were. My left foot is flatter than a pancake but never really bothered me until I started to lift weights.

That is when it became an issue.

Powerlifting is one of the greatest discoveries of man. It turns a shrimp into a blimp. Or a man into a monster. A beast, if you will.

But like all beasts, this one has an Achilles heel.

The more weightlifting I did, the flatter my foot got. The buffer I got, the more pain I was in.

That is when I discovered the joys of Dr. Scholl’s Air Pillow Inserts. And then industrial inserts from the podiatrist. Expensive inserts but boy, did they feel good.

They are better than heroin.

So there I am at a medieval event walking around when something didn’t feel right in my boot. Every time I took a step, something shifted under my foot and moved. Eventually, it started to hurt so I took off my shoe.

My insert had fallen apart. Several hundred dollars worth of junk poured out on the ground. And my foot was hurting.

I needed something to shove in my shoe to keep my foot from hurting but what?

A sock was okay but not big enough and kept moving.

A large stone just plain hurt.

What I really needed was a gelled insert and didn’t have one.

That is when it hit me!

I was standing inside the little convenience store on site checking to see what they might have I could use.


They felt great! Just the right size… shape…texture. I was cured!

Or so I thought…

But, after a few steps they disintegrated. They also left my foot all sticky. So, I had stinky toe-jam marshmallow shoe.

I started to wrap the marshmallows in plastic wrap and walk around. Unfortunately, they smooshed and leaked until my foot was stuck inside my shoe.

Janitor In A Drum really does work on marshmallows.

Grabbing another pair of shoes, I needed a new plan. Something compact that could fit in my shoe and hopefully made of gel. But, unable to smoosh at the same time.

Wandering again into the store, I really wasn’t sure what to look for.

Bars of soap?

Nope – had to be carved.

Aluminum foil?

Tried it and it failed miserably.


Get real! And, who wants to go around smelling like toast all day?


I found it!


Yes, Gummy Bears.

Don’t sneer…I was desperate and in pain and a five ounce bag fits perfectly into my shoe. Hardened gel meant they wouldn’t get smashed. And the plastic bag meant they wouldn’t shift.

“Heaven” does not even begin to describe the feeling.

Maybe “orgasmic” is a better word.

Endorphins flooded my body as the pain subsided.

It truly was the difference between night and day.

I must have walked five miles in those multi-flavored pumps.

Tragedy struck when I ran into my friend, Danny. We had been talking for about ten minutes when he suddenly said, “Micheal, do you know you are oozing?”

Looking down, I noticed that the bag of Gummy Bears must have popped because there was a candy bear coming out of my shoe. Note only that but the was a trail of them leading back for at least 100 yards.

They lead out of the camp and down the street and there was a group of children following them and trying to figure out where they came from.

Hansel and Gretel I am not and those certainly weren’t breadcrumbs.

Grabbing up what little dignity I had left, I squelched back to my camp.


Gummy Bear Shoe Inserts 2.0 will arise from the ashes!


Now Let’s Do It Right!

How to Make Gummy Bears!


2 – 6 ounce packages sugar free unflavored gelatin

1 – 6 ounce package flavored unsweetened gelatin

3 ounces strawberry jelly (but not jam or preserves)

2 1/2 cup water


Mix the gelatins together with the water.

Next, add the jelly.

This should create a thick, gooey -yet tasty gel.

Put this into a small saucepan and heat until thickened.

Immediately, place into a set of small bear molds and chill. Allow to harden overnight.

Now, and for adults only, after thoroughly hardening, take the gummies out of the molds and place them in a small dish. Cover with vodka but not enough to dissolve the gummies.

Immediately chill.

Serve and enjoy! (Oh, and make sure to place inside double-wrapped plastic if you intend on walking on them…)



COPYRIGHT 2016 Micheal J. Hobbs


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