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I'm Just Glad She Didn't Fancy Steel-Toed Doc Martens

     Muntazer al-Zaidi, the world’s most famous hurler of footwear and an instant hero to disaffected Iraqis, also threw a bit of illumination into my own life.
     All these years, I've been thinking that projectile shoes were a sign of girlish affection. Not always as nimble as the President, I have dodged pumps, leather sandals, slingbacks, flip-flops, sneakers, penny loafers (both with and without coin), earth shoes, cowboy boots of the ostrich-skin variety, fuzzy pink house slippers with flop-eared bunny heads over the toes and Dr. Scholl’s original wood exercise sandals. I have been pummeled with stiletto spikes. And I was quite happy to have survived the era of four-inch wooden platforms, which even when flung by an ersatz hippy girl, could knock a fellow unconscious.
     All the while I assumed shoe bombardment, even when accompanied by bursts of obscenities, threats, recriminations and unkind misinterpretations of my romantic fidelity, was a sign of latent (very latent) affection.
     Thanks to the great outpouring of serious journalism, social commentary, diplomatic analysis and worldwide scholarly examination after the infamous press conference in Baghdad, I have now come to understand that footwear propulsion does not always mean, “I’m a teensy upset but don't worry because I really, really love you.”


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