There is something strange on the top of my foot.
“It’s a wart,” my mother says.
“I don’t think so. I looked it up. Warts are generally on the sole or on your hands.” She looks at me like I’m an idiot for believing the internet over my own mother. It’s not that I don’t trust the wisdom of mothers, mine has sometimes been right, but after twenty minutes of Google image searches on warts, I feel as if I know more than I ever wanted to.
“There’s a Freeze Away medication you can buy. Takes one treatment.”
“It’s not a wart.”
“What is it if it’s not a wart?” she says. Maybe she’s right. Maybe my half-assed research was inadequate.
“It’s been there for months,” I say, as if that explains it.
My feet, like everyone’s feet, are naturally disgusting. Adding a weird little bump certainly doesn’t help matters. I’ve seen people try to jazz up their feet with jewelry or tattoos. Put a ring on your pinky toe if you like, it still just looks like a malformed finger.
My concern wasn’t aesthetics. Whether or not I was going to be flashing these hooves in public wasn’t really the point. There was something on my foot that didn’t belong there.
“Try the medication,” she says.
I pick up the off-brand version of Freeze Away because it’s cheaper. Add to that the incentive that if I had a member card I could receive 20 bonus points. Now, had the wart been on my hand I would spare no expense. It’s not that I don’t value the work my feet do, but like I explained, they’re fucking feet. So what if this cheaper brand requires two treatments? The box says it’s good for up to ten treatments. I figure I’m still coming out way ahead of the game.
I’ll admit I’m pretty excited to get home and try this stuff out. However, I don’t want to be that guy going through the checkout line with just a box of foot medicine. I grab a few normal-looking items and the clerk rings me up: Doritos, Wart Blast, another kind of Doritos, spearmint gum. Of course she has to ask me if I have my member card on me. When I tell her I don’t have a member card she asks if I’d like to get one, to which (as is my instinctive reaction) I say, “No, thank you.”
At home I wash my ugly foot in the tub and pat it dry. I take care to read the instructions in the box and follow them to the letter. The spray is cold, the idea being to freeze the wart off. My wife, hovering over me, cringes at the sight of my self-surgery (or is it purely the sight of my naked foot?). Two days later I repeat this procedure. I note no change. I call my mother.
“I don’t think it’s a wart.”
“Did you buy Freeze Away?” my mother says.
“Well, make sure you keep it, it expires after a year but you can stretch that. That stuff isn’t cheap.” If nothing else, she’s right about that. I tuck the box of Wart Blast away in the bathroom cabinet. I look at my flat foot and a part of me kind of hopes I get a real wart before the expiry date runs out, if only to get my money’s worth.