I have this little spot on my right foot that is ever so slightly itchy and burny. Sometimes. Just a twinge every now and then. I reviewed my personal stash of lore and concluded it was Athlete’s Foot, and I got some ointment, and I’m putting it on twice a day, or when I remember to. Dave thinks I’m nuts.

“Athlete’s foot? Really?”

Yeah. Itching and burning? Yeah.

“You? You think you have athlete’s anything? You tip over in a light breeze.”


“You wobble visibly when a thought strikes you.”


“You could twist your ankle on a painted cow grate.”


“I’ve seen you botch the dismount from a recliner.”


“You couldn’t throw a pitch over the plate without a relay man.”

Fair enough.

“Nobody stands behind you in horseshoes.”

All right. All right. Point taken. Nevertheless I am applying athlete’s foot ointment to my foot because it might help and also because it’s only seven dollars. I’m not $100 GlaxoSmithKline sure, but I’m $7 Walgreen’s sure. And I think it’s helping. I think maybe I haven’t had that itching and burning as much, although most of the time I didn’t notice it anyway. It’s hard to notice when something minor stops happening. I’m going to give it another few weeks of occasional random slathering. And if it seems to have more or less gone away by then, I’m going to consider myself a genius, probably, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, which–should any arise–I plan to ignore.

That’s how people think, not just me. Other possibilities with regard to my foot are: I have imagined the whole occasional twinge. And: I have a small splinter that has worked its way out. And: I had sudden-onset Intermittent Foot Leprosy and have been cured as a result of renouncing my sins and recommitting myself to the path of righteousness.

Sure, I could gather data and study it and all, but why get all facty when I can make shit up for free? I’ll just pick a hypothesis that works for me and hang on.

It’s sort of like how we can see all these families trekking across the desert toward our border desperately trying to escape rape and murder in their home villages, or so they claim, and we think: “Those people are vermin infesting our country to take advantage of the taxpayers and get stuff for free, and if we’re super firm with them they’ll realize the errors of their ways,” and then we rip their children from them and send them back across the border, and no one ever hears from them again. Which proves we were right and they were up to no good. Good people don’t abandon their children.