Here's the most counterintuitive idea in the world: a device that you fill with water, put you feet in the water, and plug it into the goddamn wall! Am I the only person in the world who thinks this is crazy? They've been selling these things for years, and each year around Xmastime they hit the shelves again, and each year I'm surprised to see that they're still on the market.
This particular beauty was given to me by a friend as some sort of 'gag gift' or something, maybe about 10 years ago. I never had the courage to try it out until today. You know, it was one of those days. Those days, that is, that sucked. And all I wanted was to either relax in a big way, or end it all. This seemed like a good way to accomplish either or both of those goals.
It's a heavy blue "Foot Fixer by Clairol". It offers "massage", "heat", or "massage and heat". It also features "off". It was probably bought from a thrift store, may or may not be functioning correctly, and the ten years since couldn't have made it any safer. There was no manual, no safety recall information, no instruction at all, aside from a sticker that said "Water Fill Level". I might be safer using a 1940's orgone accumulator than a 1980's Foot Fixer.
Since I was alone at the time, the first thing I figured I should do is leave some sort of suicide note in case things went horribly wrong. I couldn't do something this stupid and have everybody thinking it was an accident, right? How embarrassing that would be! It turns out that my house is the paperless office of the future, so I couldn't find any paper to write on. I typed the suicide note in Windows Notepad instead. I didn't really think about it at the time, but I was plugging it into the same power strip as my computer, and if I had been electrocuted, it might have taken my computer (and the suicide note) out with it. But obviously I wasn't killed, so it didn't end up mattering.
The stereo was playing "The Devil is Dope" by the Dramatics. I filled it with water, plugged it into the power strip, put my feet in, turned it on, and didn't die. I didn't really expect the thing to work at all, but I really didn't expect the "massage" feature to rattle the entire house. I found that if I pressed my feet down on the little massage pads than the deafening rattling would quiet to a tolerable level, and the "massage" effect would be going straight through my entire body. It was incredibly unpleasant, like driving fast on dirt roads, and if it wasn't for my dedication to you wonderful Bosch readers I would have stopped it right then. But I had to keep going, so I could report back to Bosch's HQ whether my feet were 'fixed' or not.
I guess this might be a good time to describe my feet. There's nothing particularly wrong with them, and maybe that's the problem: the didn't need any fixing. They didn't get any more tanned, and that's probably the biggest problem with them. However, after about five minutes of this inconvenience, I couldn't really feel them anymore. Had my feet been covered with scales or extra toes or painful sores, I might consider this numbing action an asset, but I realized before long I'd be more likely to acquire blisters if I kept it up. I shut it off. Before the Foot Fixer, my feet were just feet. Now they were numb, wet feet. Whee.
How old do you have to be to enjoy one of these things? What kind of laboratory did they use to develop it? Was it the attic of a spooky old mansion during a violent rainstorm? Did Clairol team up with Doc Kevorkian to develop a final solution to the octogenarian problem? I don't think I can recommend this device to anyone except extreme sports enthusiasts and very old people.