Friday Night Funny – Shoelaces


Editor’s Note:  Tonight begins a regular feature of the Mountain News on Friday nights – a piece of humor:


At first, I thought it was the rain.  My new home of Yelm, Washington receives over sixty inches of rain per year, fifty-percent more than my old abode of Long Island, New York.  So, things are a tad slippery around here.  But whether it’s my Clark’s walkabouts, hiking boots or sneakers, none of my shoelaces stay tied.  Since I’ve arrived in Washington, I’m double-knotting for the first time since I was six years-old.

For the first year or two, I didn’t pay any attention to this odd nuisance – I just re-tied the darn things.

However, at work during therapy sessions in the psychiatric unit at St Peter’s, patients began pointing out that my shoelaces were undone, so I took a closer look at this phenomenon.

I was surprised to learn that none of my colleagues reported their shoes to be persistently untied, and more disturbingly, looked strangely at me when I asked.  They, of course, joined with the patients on a steady surveillance of my shoelaces.

Fortunately though, after a year’s worth of unwanted public scrutiny a cosmic epiphany occurred when I started losing a lot of hair, and it gave me some mental relief.

One day, while viewing myself in a barber’s mirror and seeing the latest amount of hair loss from my pate, an astounding insight roared into my consciousness with flashing brilliance.

I noted that my hair loss is the typical, “pre-mature, male-patterned balding,” which is due, oddly, to an over-production of testosterone.  This increase of the primary male hormone in turn stunts the growth of hair follicles on the top of the head, so, I wondered: Might I be producing great gobs of testosterone, maybe not Superman levels, but sufficient amounts to leak out my finger tips and make everything I touched a little oily?  Was I becoming a middle-aged, hormonal King Midas?

These secretions might be so small that I didn’t notice them in day-to-day encounters like shaking hands or cooking spaghetti.  But could something that I touched daily and never washed, like shoelaces, become supersaturated with testosterone and thus become too slippery to stay tied?

My friends thought I was nuts when I shared my biochemical hypothesis.  But once the boundaries of “common sense” are passed, there is no turning back.

So – if it’s not the testosterone, what could it be?  Could my shoelaces be influenced by something from a more esoteric realm?  Forces more sublime, more subtle than a hormonal oil slick?

Searching for answers my mind wandered in a blissful exploration of the Muse, and in a second epiphany I realized that my laces went south not only when I started losing hair but when I got divorced and moved across country.  In fact, my relocation to Yelm precipitated a great deal of change besides ending a marriage.  I had sold my business as well, and left family and friends to do something quite epic – I came to Yelm to study full-time at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment.

So, since I untied of the knot of marriage and social convention, could my shoelaces have responded with a parallel expression of liberation in some kind of Quantum Resonance Effect?  Can my shoelaces be physically manifesting what my psyche is experiencing?  Are my shoelaces rejoicing with my soul, shouting together – “We are untied and unlimited, open to wondrous possibilities!?”

For years I never told this story because I didn’t enjoy the blank stares or snarls I received from listeners.  But, I have come out of the closet because of a recent experience.  During a performance at my community theater a few years ago, I noticed a fellow cast member triple-knotting his shoes before we went on stage.  I asked him why.

“Damn things won’t stay tied.  Ever since I quit drinking six years ago, none of my shoelaces stay knotted.  None of them – boots, dress shoes; golf shoes, nothing – not even my tennies. It’s the strangest thing.”

Now, whenever I have a dark night of the soul and search for solace, I just look down at my shoelaces and I know that I am not alone.

Triple-knotting gets me through the day.




Editor’s Note:  Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment is a registered trademark of JZK Inc., PO Box 1210 Yelm, Washington 98597, and used with permission.

© 2011  The Mountain News

All Rights Reserved

This entry was posted in Culture, Entertainment, Friday Night Funny. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Friday Night Funny – Shoelaces

  1. Judy Spiers says:

    What a fun piece to end the week on, Bruce. Thanks.

  2. jpethick says:

    There are many of us with that problem apparently. Thanks for the laughs.

  3. Paula Morris says:

    My theory: Since you untied knots in work and marriage you acquired a more vigorous walk. You may be stepping quicker, more exuberantly, and the increased vibration and motion is undoing your laces. Metaphorically, you are no longer tied up in knots! Just sayin.

    • brucesmith49 says:

      I like your theory, Paula. Thanks.

      BTW: A third individual has identified himeslf as a shoelace-challenged guy ever since he moved to Mountain Country from Europe. He’s one of my tech advisors. I wonder, is this a guy-thing? Any women out there with laces untied?

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