The Invention of Shoes, By Bulbus Buggins By Barefoot Jake Once upon a time, a boy named Fredo Buggins lived in the land of Piddle Searth. His people, the Habbits, had been around for hundreds of thousands of years and were quite advanced as a culture. They built sturdy shelters, developed complex tools for hunting and gathering, educated their young Habbits, and lived long lives. They walked and ran everywhere, and they wore nothing on their feet. Fredo was a typical 16 year old Habbit boy. He went to school, did his homework, and played outside until his mom called him in for supper. Fredo's favorite games were throw the log, catch the log, jump over the log, roll the log, and see who could carry the log the farthest and the fastest. Fredo wasn't the best at these games, but he was better than most. And he'd play and play until his mother got tired of calling him and would drag him out of the forest. Fredo's friend, Nudley, didn't like playing log games. His father, Nikeloss, who worked as a bean counter for a different Habbit tribe an hour and a half walk from home, had recently given Nudley the popular indoor game, Them. Them had been invented by a Habbit with Sunitis disease, a debilitating ailment that prevented the afflicted from going outside. Rather than play with the other boys in the forest after school, Nudley would sit inside for hours on end playing his favorite Them game, Dunk-A-Dong. Nudley's mom, Twittlyn, didn't mind Nudley sitting there playing on his Them, as it gave her time to post her favorite recipes on the Habbit Interknoob, a nifty system for sharing information by posting it on doorknobs. She was quite proud of her latest recipe, Sweet Carboroonies with Kream Frosting. One day while walking home from school, Nudley complained to Fredo about his feet. "My feet are so sore from walking to school and back every day." Fredo felt sorry for his friend, but he had noticed Nudley was getting soft. "Maybe you should come play log games with us more often, rather than play on your Them all day. Your feet would be stronger, and you wouldn't be eating so many of your mom's Sweet Carboroonies all afternoon. They're making you fat." The two boys went their separate ways. Later that evening, as Nikeloss came throught the door groaning from his long walk back from counting beans, Nudley approached his dad with an idea. "Hey dad, I've been thinking. My feet hurt from walking to school, and you walk a long way to count beans each day. Why can't you invent something to protect our feet?" Nikeloss dad laughed. "Son, that's an active imagination you've got there. No Habbit in his right mind would ever want to cover his feet. Our feet give us balance. They connect us to Piddle Searth. Just go back to playing your Dunk-A-Dong." The next morning, as Nikeloss walked out of the local Jobucks with his Humongous Angled Burning Squat Frappudilfo, he accidentally tipped the cup and dribbled a few drops of the Frappudilfo on his toes. The burning liquid startled him, and, as he raised his foot to suck on his toe, his other foot found the wet rock and slipped out from under him. Falling down the stairs, Nikeloss elbow hit a step, launching the Frappudilfo into the air, where it hung for only a moment before splashing down all over him. Nikeloss was embarrassed and furious. He thought back to Nudley's idea from the night before. "You know, Nudley's right. If only I had something covering my foot, I wouldn't have burnt my toes with the Frappudilfo, and I wouldn't have fallen down the stairs." That night, Nikeloss locked himself in his workshop. He rummaged for anything that might work to protect the bottom of a Habbit's foot. He carved wood, stitched leaves, and even tried gluing together a few of his wife's Sweet Carberoonies. In the end, the materials were either too hard or just not durable enough. Then he thought of the Snaggletooth Toddlybear that he and the guys had hunted and killed last weekend. He remembered they'd saved the hide to cover the flat rock where they played their favorite rock game, No-Limit Roll'em on Saturday nights. Their wives always complained because they were constantly spilling Budwanker Juice on the rock, and this was the rock where the Habbit women hosted their Frappudilfo-klatch on Tuesdays. "Maybe a piece of that Toddlybear hide could cover my foot", he thought. So he cut a piece large enough to wrap his entire foot, and went up to show his family. Twittlyn was amazed. "Nikeloss, you've created a whole new fashion! Can you make me a pair that are really tight and sexy and are raised at the back so I look taller? Oh, the other women are going to be so jealous!" Nudley thought they were cool, too. "Dad, can you make mine with a cool design on the side, like a swoosh or something? That way I'll look really fast when I run in them!" By the next morning, Nikeloss had completed the shoes for his family. The entire tribe was flabbergasted to see these foot coverings. By the next evening, the news was all over the Interknoob. Nikeloss was asked to make pairs for the neighbors, then for the entire tribe. Within days, every Habbitt in Piddle Searth had to have foot coverings. Everyone that is, except Fredo Buggins. He alone felt these new foot coverings were a bad idea. He couldn't put his Habbit finger on it, but somehow, he knew this was going to end badly. Credits: Thanks to Mark Sisson of marksdailyapple.com and his post on potatoes for giving me the idea to parody the Lord of the Rings.