Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Cruel Shoes

By Steve Martin

Anna knew she had to have some new shoes today, and Carlo had helped her try on every pair in the store. Carlo spoke wearily, "Well, that's every pair of shoes in the place."

"Oh, you must have one more pair..."

"No, not one more pair... Well, we have the cruel shoes, but no one would want..."

Anna interrupted, "Oh yes, let me see the cruel shoes!"

Carlo looked incredulous. "No Anna, you don't understand, you see the cruel shoes are..."

"Get them!"

Carlo disappeared into the back room for a moment, then returned with an ordinary shoe box. He opened the lid and removed a hideous pair of black and white pumps. But these were not an ordinary pair of black and white pumps; both were left feet, one had a right angle turn with separate compartments that pointed the toes in impossible directions. The other shoe was six inches long and was curved inward like a rocking chair with a vise and razor blades to hold the foot in place.

Carlo spoke hesitantly, "... Now you see why... they're not fit for humans..."

"Put them on me."


"Put them on me!"

Carlo knew all arguments were useless. He knelt down before her and forced the feet into the shoes.

The screams were incredible.

Anna crawled over to the mirror and held her bloody feet up where she could see.

"I like them."

She paid Carlo and crawled out of the store into the street.

Later that day, Carlo was overheard saying to a new customer, "Well, that's every shoe in the place. Unless, of course, you'd like to try the cruel shoes."



At Tuesday, August 22, 2006 8:16:00 PM, Blogger Eye said...


This is by Steve Martin the actor, yes? I understand he's an author now. I like the vingette... What work did it come from?

At Tuesday, August 22, 2006 10:43:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Yes, this is the actor/comedian Steve Martin.

This came from Steve's first book Cruel Shoes copyright 1977, 1979; a compilation of short pieces.

Hubby has always been a huge Steve Martin fan (I've always enjoyed him myself). He had some of his comedy "albums" (does that term date or what?) growing up and has many of Steve's vignettes memorized. He likes to drive me CRAZY! quoting them in Steve Martin fashion. ;-)

Anyway, they're even funnier when you hear them the way Steve delivers them. If you've ever seen any of his acts, then you know what I'm talking about.

At Saturday, August 26, 2006 6:54:00 AM, Blogger Leo said...

My wife enjoys some of Steve Martin's work as well. I'll have to share this with her.

As for me, I am not a huge fan of his humor but I must confess that he is very talented and certainly has had his moments of brilliance.

Have you and your husband seen the Pink Panther movie with the above mentioned Mr. Martin?

At Wednesday, August 30, 2006 8:55:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...


I admit that I really did not get the humor in this particular vignette when I first heard it quoted by hubby; and everytime hubby would try to quote it I wouldn't let him finish. I'm talkin' 20 years here. Then one day he started quoting it and for some strange reason I was in the mood to hear it and allowed him to quote the whole thing. Well, that day it struck me as hilarious. I mean I could not quit laughing. And now it pops into my mind from time to time and it makes me laugh.

I don't know. I guess I related it to us women and the sometimes ridiculous things we do to ourselves in the name of fashion (i.e., wear uncomfortable shoes, etc.). I could just see Anna determined to wear those shoes even if they were killing her feet and making her crawl out the door. Couple that with the way Steve Martin delivers it (via hubby) and it really makes me laugh.

No, we have not seen the Pink Panther movie with Mr. Martin. Though I think hubby does plan to see it. We can rent movies through our cable service and I see that it is available now. I'll have to let hubby know. Have you seen it?

Are you a Seinfeld fan?

At Friday, September 01, 2006 8:41:00 AM, Blogger Leo said...

I have not seen it yet but probably will.

Dawn: Are you a Seinfeld fan?

Yes and no. I enjoyed it but was not a big fan.


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