Obituary: In Loving Memory of Herman the Flip-Flop (2009-2017)

Mohon, France
July 9, 2017

Herman the Flip-Flop died last Thursday evening of natural causes next to a private swimming pool in Mohon, France.

Dave Fox (top) attempted to resuscitate Herman the Flip-Flop, but his beloved footwear could not be saved.

Herman the Flip-Flop’s caretaker, travel writer Dave Fox, was present at the time of Herman’s death. Fox was housesitting in Mohon and had brought Herman the Flip-Flop with him, as he did on many of his travels.

“I was cleaning the pool when I felt a sudden snap between my toes,” Fox said at a press conference following the flip-flop’s death. “After eight years of global exploration, Herman’s primary toe-web artery snapped out of place and could not be put back.”

Fox administered first aid and attempted to poke the artery back down through the sole of the sandal.

“Unfortunately,” he said, “the rubber knobby thingy that holds the toe-web artery in place through the flip-flop’s frontal thong insertion hole was severed from the artery and could not be repaired.”

Herman the Flip-Flop first entered Fox’s life in March, 2009, when Fox was on his second trip to Vietnam.

“I was staying at a 17-dollar-a-night hotel in Saigon’s backpacker district,” Fox said. “It was the Quyen Thanh Hotel, where the Crazy Buffalo Bar now stands. I had a perfectly fine room at the Quyen Thanh, with air conditioning and a minibar, but the green shower-tub floor was a bit grody so I wandered across the street in search of some cheap flip-flops.

“The shop I went to only had expensive ones. I was charged eight dollars for Herman and his right-foot partner, Hector the Flip-Flop. At the time, I felt the shop was overcharging me but I was desperate to defend myself against Athlete’s Foot so I paid the high price.”

What Fox did not anticipate was how closely he would bond with Herman and Hector over the next eight years.

Fox says a final goodbye to Herman the Flip-Flop, shortly before Herman’s burial in France last Thursday.

“Most flip-flops last a year or two,” Fox said, “but these guys were utter powerhouses. After I moved to Southeast Asia in 2011, I wore them, like, every day. I knew they’d eventually wear out. Their soles were looking aged. But Herman and Hector were like the Energizer Bunnies of the flip-flop world. They just kept going and going.”

“Herman’s death is by no means a tragedy,” Fox added. “He lived an extraordinarily long and full life. He loved to travel with me and he was a phenomenal foot protector. We should celebrate his life, not mourn his death.”

Herman was buried in a private ceremony Friday morning. Hector has since also retired from service.

In lieu of sending flowers, well-wishers are encouraged to make a contribution in Herman’s name to the podiatry division of Doctors Without Borders.

Published on Sunday, July 9, 2017

One Response to “Obituary: In Loving Memory of Herman the Flip-Flop (2009-2017)”

  1. September 20, 2017 at 2:51 AM

    I love the formula. Take a common writing structure (obituary) and turn it around and into an uncommon perspective (the shoe is dead). Other formulas could be a customer service call, a help wanted add, checking into a hotel, or giving directions to a Taxi driver – then turn it upside-down with a completely unrelated twist. Thank you for the new writing prompt.

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