Friday, July 1, 2022 Jul 1, 2022
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Why Men Should Never Wear Flip-Flops

A manifesto.
By |

Let me tell you a story about a hero. 

Not long ago, a man ran into a colleague at a work conference held at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center. Since it was early in the morning and the previous night’s revelry had included several adult beverages, it took a few moments for the man to realize—with no small amount of horror—that his colleague was wearing flip-flops. To make matters even worse, he was wearing them with jeans. 

When worn by a man, flip-flops are sandwich boards for your feet that say, “I have completely given up on being a productive member of society.” On top of that, they are just gross. Male feet are the human anatomical equivalent of autopsy photos. Save for bondage suits and ponytails, flip-flops are the most horrifying thing a man could possibly wear outside of the comfort of his own home. (Women take care of their feet, so they can wear whatever they want.)

There is one place where flip-flops are socially acceptable, if not outright encouraged: within direct eyesight of a swimming pool or other body of water. Though no one is exactly sure why, water has a healing power that makes even the most indefensible sartorial choices—a Speedo, a puka shell necklace, those swim shirts helicopter parents make their kids wear—magically drift across the line that separates “okay” from “no way.” There was a pool somewhere on the grounds of the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center, but the man and his colleague were nowhere near it.

The man in our story had previously held his colleague in fairly high esteem. The colleague had lived abroad and could speak knowledgeably on a wide range of subjects. He also had good hair. Up until that moment, the man had considered the colleague a friend. 

But that all changed the second the man looked down. His colleague’s jeans and flip-flops had combined to transform his feet into twin Medusas, ready to turn to stone anyone who looked at them too long. With a heavy heart, the man knew he had to cut all ties. But first, he had to let the world know there was a traitor in its midst, a budding supervillain who wielded his naked feet like weapons of mass destruction. 

Though his faculties were still impaired from the night before, and his mind was reeling from the sight of his now-former friend wearing a flesh-eating virus on his feet, the man knew he couldn’t stand idly by. Not while his colleague committed such a heinous crime—and in broad daylight, no less. Taking great pains not to look directly at the offending footwear, the man surreptitiously took a photo of his colleague from the knees down. Displaying the kind of courage that usually only exists in a Mark Wahlberg film, the man posted the photo on his Instagram account. 

“You’re better than that,” he commented, his brutal evisceration of his colleague complete. Before the day was out, 11 brave souls had added their name below his, signaling with a double-tap that they would no longer stand mute as Uptown bars and Sunday brunches were befouled by the presence of uncovered male feet. No more, they said. No more.

You’ve probably guessed by now that I am the selfless vigilante. I’m still out there, still trying to protect you, armed only with technology and courage. I guess that makes me Batman. I’m not the hero Dallas deserves, but I am the one it needs. Because it’s summer and dudes will wear flip-flops to a funeral if they think they can get away with it. 

As for the colleague I was forced to shame, there is no reason to embarrass him any further. I’ll just say that D Magazine arts editor Peter Simek hasn’t worn flip-flops in two years.  

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