Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Slippery Slope

I have a love affair (of sorts) with the slipper. I walk in the door and the first thing I do (depending on the demands of my bladder) is kick off my shoes (or more accurately flip-flops) and sink my feet into a pair of comfy slippers. It is my belief that the wearing of slippers is a hallmark of an advanced civilisation. Not surprisingly, I come from a long line of slipper-wearers; growing up in a town which actually had slipper manufacturers (note the plural), a Saturday trip to a slipper factory outlet was not unheard of. My mother (who keeps spare pairs of slippers on hand for unexpected guests) and I have long sung the praises of the humble slipper to Mr. Cat in Rabat (code for "after our constant badgering"), and finally last month were able to usher him into the Age of Enlightenment; he too now wears slippers.

In Morocco, you can buy 2 types of slippers: either local babouches or "western" slippers. Not surprisingly, babouches cost significantly less than their imported brethren and, because they are made of leather, are far more durable. Versatile creatures, they can be worn out of doors or utilized as house slippers, and come in a myriad of colours to match every jellaba and kaftan. In addition, it is considered de rigueur to select a size three times too big for your feet. Don't ask me why - perhaps Moroccans, even at the age of 90, possess an optimism that they'll eventually grow into them. The problem is, I don't wear leather (one of the many vagaries of a vegetarian lifestyle) and I'm not a huge fan of footwear that flap flap flaps when you walk. Ever look at the cracked, calloused heels of someone who wears a mule-style slipper for extended lengths of time? Not a pretty sight. My apathy - or rather antipathy - for the babouche has already been well documented on a highly respectable blog so I won't beat that mule horse to death.

That leaves me the western slipper - manufactured God knows where (probably in some country that grinds tigers' testicles into an aphrodisiac so they can add to their already swelling population) - and with an eye to quality that rivals my ability to colour within the lines when I was three. Plus, by Moroccan standards (and since my paycheque is inconveniently not issued in Euros or dollars, this is a concern for me), they are rather expensive. Very expensive when you consider that they last for about 3 months before they are rendered unwearable.

What can you do?

Glad you asked. Just the other day, I received my
Journey Woman newsletter and it seems that a particularly crafty individual has created a renewable slipper resource. Since I cannot do justice to the description, I quote directly:

You need four maxipads to make a pair of slippers. Two of them get laid out flat, one for the right foot, the other for the left. Then the other two pads wrap around the toe area to form the tops. Tape or glue each side of the top pieces to the bottom of each of the foot parts. Decorate the tops with whatever you desire.

P.S. These slippers are not only soft and hygenic (sic), they have non-slip grip strips on the soles.

Now why the hell didn't I think of that? - hygienic and non-grip! Always looking for a supplementary source of income and wanting nothing more than world peace and to become a business tycoon, I'm going to design a co
uple of prototypes but with a marked Moroccan flair: perhaps sew on a few beads & sequins, add a jaunty tassel or two, stencil on a couple of Moroccan arches, maybe even henna on a khamsa hand. This is definitely going to make me rich. This is far more viable than my scheme to market camel milk to impotent Moroccans: for one thing, the start-up costs are far lower and I won't have to regularly lay fresh straw down on my living room floor. These slippers will sell themselves to fashion-conscious Moroccans, tourists (always searching for that quintessential but inexpensive souvenir), menstruating women caught short, and Morocco's six other vegetarians.

Imagine that a guest arrives unexpectantly at your home and the unthinkable has happened: they have forgotten their slippers! How embarrassing for everyone! Out comes one of my fabulous one-of-a-kind (at least until they're mass-produced) creations and your sticky situation is solved! They're self-adjustable so one-size fits all! But make sure that your guests peel back the adhesive strip themselves so they'll have the peace of mind knowing that, although their slippers may be loaners, they have never been used. When they leave, simply flush the slippers away. No mess, no fuss!

I know that a few of you are reading this post with some degree of scepticism but the rest of you – those who possess keen business acumen like myself – recognize my venture as a thing of profound insight and guaranteed through-the-roof profits. To invest in the Maghreb Maxi-Slipper Company, kindly e-mail


Blogger knarf said...

I'm speechless.

I'm without speech.

I have no speech.

4:25 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

BTW, what possible place in the world could you be referring to that: "grinds tigers' testicles into an aphrodisiac so they can add to their already swelling population"?

Could such a place exist?

Do they have iceboxes?

(inside joke, for those among you with raised eyebrows)

4:27 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

bellies ... rats
(sorry another in-joke)

4:43 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...


5:35 p.m.  
Blogger woman wandering said...

Had to blog it ... somehow this exceeded all that went before.

8:01 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Thanks WW! - I'm flattered. I'll let you know when I come up with a new use for tampons.

9:59 p.m.  
Blogger woman wandering said...

Little angels for the Christmas tree maybe ...?

You and Mr CiR could have hours of together-time decorating them and I can only imagine that Knarf would be moved to strong emotion if you sent him a little gift package full of them ...

7:08 a.m.  
Blogger taamarbuuta said...

Those are genius.

1:43 p.m.  
Anonymous Cath said...

Can you go water-skiing or dancing in them, and still feel protected?

3:19 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

They'd be great for those whose feet perspire heavily...

3:52 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Cath, I think you found their one limitation: water.

WW, re: the tampons. I could make angels but I could also make some spooky little ghosts to hang from trees on hallowe'en. Clearly I am only limited by my own imagination.

4:35 p.m.  
Blogger woman wandering said...

Lisen and I were discussing the slippers and she said ... 'so hygenic and great for sweat' while trying to look serious.

Hmmmm the tampons ... 10 little Halloween fingerpuppets for children of friends.

5:28 p.m.  

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