Friday, September 30, 2005


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.


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Anonymous said...

OH HOW FUNNY! Thanks, I needed that. I'll check the thrift shops to get one for my mother-in-law.
ps- You're a good writer


Anonymous said...

I just found my mom's old Foot Fixer and it is great. Apart from being a little loud (pressing down does help) it helped soothe my tired feet. I added a few bath salts to make the water fragrant. I was actually googling to see if they still existed and came across your blog. I plug it in to a GFI socket to prevent accidental electrocution and find it no more dangerous than slopping water into a coffee maker then turning it on or blow drying over my sink. I carry an I-phone and netbook in my purse and still like my VCR. I guess I can't decide which century I am in but I don't think I will ever use the Epilady I inherited along with the Foot Fixer.

Julie said...

I know the post was written a few years ago, but I was looking up a manual or instructions on how to use it because I was wanting to use my mom's deep blue foot fixer and wanted to add epsom salt. I'm on my feet almost 24/7. Having a daughter and being a CNA, it gets rough on my feet and my knees. Well I wanted to just sit back and relax while my daughter was asleep and I found your blog and I'm glad that I did. My mom has laminate wood flooring so it would have really vibrated the entire house and I don't really care to wake my daughter up, much less have to put MORE pressure on my feet just to relieve pain. However, if there is an electronic foot massage machine that you would recommend, please post about it. I would really like to try something for my tired, sore, aching, and swollen feet. The biggest catch for me though, my feet are very sensitive and extremely ticklish. I want a machine that I can add epsom salt to so that I have that nourishment as well. Thank you so much!!!

Anonymous said...

...another 2.5 years after the original post/blog...I too, was looking for some kind of info.manual on "The Foot Fixer-by Clairol." After seeing or reading about foot massagers over the past 20+ years, I found one at a church 'tail-gate sale' and decided to buy it. I always wanted one, but never found the logic in spending that amount of $$$ on something that seemed so frivolous. Mine was a bargain @ 4 bucks. It works great!...and there's a key to the 'overvibration/numbing of your feet --> put a long sponge under each foot before adding the water...this will minimize the actual 'machine to foot contact' thus, leaving more of a 'mellowing massage'. Now, here's a bit of common sense to you YOUNG ONES that need everything spelled out for you, these days...set it on a padded rug, such as the kind you would use in the bathroom next to the shower/tub. As you said, it was invented during an era when CARPET was in style, so vibration was not an issue...ya think?!

Anonymous said...

HowzTrix is entirely correct. I'm old enough to still be using my original first model Clairol Foot Fixer - how's that for a 'good buy'?! Nearly 30 years later, and it's still working just fine and dandy! Two decades of nursing and working as a Paramedic and it kept my feet happy and comfy. Another decade as a retired homemaker running about the city as a politician, and it still keeps my feet comfy and happy. OK - my arches have fallen some... and my weight's gone up from what it was when I was younger, too. lol But I only need to get pedicures every 8 weeks instead of every 3 or 4 weeks, and I can get relaxation every day I want... right at home, in my favorite chair. :)