Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Pangolin Guide to Feet by Prof. P J Whimbrel

I am often asked about the origins of my name. Research suggests that it stems from the early 13th century Glossop whimbrel farms which failed to flourish near the town of my birth.

But I digress and must press on with an outline of the main thrusts of my latest piece of scientific enquiry into certain items most of us possess, despite those items often lacking the balletic and delicate grace of the whimbrel’s. I refer of course to feet. I have been asked by The Pangolin editor to present a brief Users’ Guide to Feet.
  1. Feet tend to occur at the end of the legs [those things which hang down from one’s bottom], unless one or more have been lost due to accident or carelessness. It is rare for humans to have more than two feet.
  2. Foot possession is often taken for granted. Foot care does not rank highly in many owners’ priorities. For example, in normal social intercourse, many feet are placed in mouths. Others are used by highly paid alleged athletes to kick balls around large fields, whilst many drivers abuse their right foot by exerting undue pressure upon the accelerator pedal.
  3. Addressing foot issues is complex. Some owners have smelly feet, a condition which is embarrassing and potentially dangerous. Research shows that on more than one occasion since records began, the complex odours emanating from smelly feet are in fact volatile, and have caused explosions in closed environments such as conference rooms. A traditional remedy has for the owners always been to sit in conference with smelly feet, or foot, poking out of the window, though this solution can make for chilly conference conditions, and alarm for passers-by. Recent tests have shown that smelly feet respond well to a brisk scrubbing with industrial strength bleach before donning a pair of PooBegone sealable, reinforced canvas socks (readily available from Amazon).
  4. Footwear. This is an extremely contentious and expensive area dominated by ruthless designers like the conveniently named Jimmy Choo. Mr Choo’s products are undoubtedly beautiful works of art, but have as much to do with the human foot as a Ming vase. But Mr Choo doesn’t care. As long as people [often women] feel the need to totter about on/in his creations, he doesn’t care.
Our carefully monitored experiments have shown that flat sandals, as worn by Jesus, are by far the most comfortable footwear. Worn with heavy woolen socks, they mark out the wearer as a rather boring person, but a COMFORTABLE boring person nonetheless. Napoleon Bonapart, Jack the Ripper and Ursula Andress were all of the sock ‘n’ sandal persuasion in private, and no-one would call them boring.

For more information, please contact Pangolin Science at the usual address.


  1. I feel I must take issue with the learned professor's first point. I have three of the aforementioned feet, not two, which I keep on a stick. But I don't use them as a rule.

  2. There would be little point in using feet as rules. They're way too lumpy


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