Fanfare for the Common Man: The third toe
You can blame this on last week’s time change.
Ever since I’ve had that extra hour in the day I’ve been so productive.
I’m in bed by 9 p.m. and after sleeping my almost eight hours I am awake each morning between 4:30 and 5 a.m.
This morning, during that dead time of night when I’m awake but not sure I want to abandon my efforts at sleep, I’m lying there on the couch with my feet propped on the opposite arm rest sticking out from underneath the throw blanket.
I start counting toes.
Second toe, the one that’s a little taller than the big toe.
And then I get to the third toe.
I almost forgot I even had a third toe. In fact, I skipped over it entirely while I was counting toes.
Though it may be the Dale Senior of toes, what function does the third toe serve other than to divide toes one-and-two from toes four-and-five?
The third toe serves no purpose. It is the Jan Brady of toes, and if you take a closer look at your fourth toe, Jan Brady has a twin.
While there is a companion third toe on the other foot, they never get to see each other because the third toes are stuck in the middle of a crowd. I’m not sure the one third-toe knows the other even exists.
The third toe is the Eeyore of toes. No one knows it’s there unless it’s missing.
Doctors, anxious parents and grandparents notice it when checking out their newborn child.
“One, two, THREE, four five,” all present and accounted for, and the third toe is never seen or heard from again.
It doesn’t even qualify for hangnails.
The third toe doesn’t share the fame and notoriety as the third finger. While the third toe is the middle toe there is no association with the toe like there is with Tall Man. Everybody knows what the middle finger means.
But the third toe?
It suffers in obscurity.
It’s just there.
The Big Toe is the Thor’s hammer of toes, the Jolly Green Giant that shouts out, “Hold on there, table leg. If you intend to stub any of my little buddies here you’re going to have to go through me first.”
The second toe, that tall, skinny fellow will peek around the Big Toe and let the other three know the coast is clear. Of course, the attention here is always on the smallest, Pinky, the Piglet of toes.
Pinky is the last line of defense and the fourth toe, the one that winds up crooked and malformed because most women insist they can still squeeze into that size six shoe when in reality they’d be better off in a size nine, they’re pulling up the rear.
But the third toe, if it gets any attention at all, it’s when the tall, skinny fellow complains, “Third toe, back off; you’re crowding me. You’re getting all up in my space.”
What can we do for this third toe, this Jan Brady surrounded and outshined by Marcia and Cindy?
I thought, “I’ll stub you good. Let you get all purple and swollen, and then you’ll receive that much-needed attention.”
And I thought real hard about giving the coffee table leg a good whack.
I heard my third toes reply in gratitude, “You’ll do that for me?”
I thought a moment and came to the conclusion I needed coffee.
Lots and lots of coffee.