Behold the high heel.
In downtown Tampa these days, it's hard not to. They're everywhere.
And in the past few months we have noticed an explosion of these zippy pairs of fashionable and dangerous footwear all over the downtown area.
Scurrying through Lykes Gaslight Square Park, up and down Ashley Drive, and on all the side streets surrounding downtown Tampa, they dash in and out of traffic, across busy intersections, and click click click their way through the busy lunch time crowds.
Yes, they do give the illusion of a longer, slender, shapely leg, and they are usually accessorized by a garment which is the height of fashion.
The whole purpose of the higher heel -and we're talking now about the five-inch numbers - in addition to giving that illusion of the very shapely leg, is to give added height and stature, and to alter the posture and gait of the body by jutting out the chest area, and accenting the buttocks area, in other words, making the wearer appear to be a femme fatale in business clothing.
But there's a price to be paid for all of that vanity.
The stress on the body of basically walking around on your toes all the day causes extreme damage to the skeletal and muscular structure of the body, and can make just the act of walking very painful.
Put it this way, every owner of these shoes should have the number of a really good orthopedic surgeon on speed-dial.
And a really good pharmacist who can suggest a good pain killer and anti-inflammatory pill to soothe the aches and pains at the end of the day when you can finally tear the darling little things off your aching feet.
And you don't want to get in the way of any of the women who are wearing these things. Many of them really haven't mastered the art of actually walking in them, and none of these shoes come with training wheels.
Heaven forbid you should try to get on or off a bus either while wearing them, or in the way of somebody who is wearing them.
Even worse, you really don't want to be walking in front of or behind one of these fashionistas if she is texting while walking.
Maybe the state legislature, which is supposed to be taking up the matter of 'distracted driving' i.e. texting while driving in their next session should look into this increasingly dangerous practice of texting while prancing.
And think of this, it's mostly men who design these shoes. Men who do not have to wear them.
Over in the Philippines, in Marikina City, one of the several cities which make up the Manila metropolitan area, every year they hold what is called the 'Tour De Tatong' or stiletto race.
And during that race, hundreds of women...and men, all wearing high heels run 500 meters down the city's main drag. They wear other things too, mostly weird dresses and head gear and the like.
We don't really know the purpose of the race, except that the city is known as a site of many shoe manufacturers.
For instance, during his Mayor's Food Truck Fiesta on the first Wednesday of the month, instead of having live entertainment, we could have a laugh riot watching all of those office workers who spill out of the downtown offices - men and women - running all the way around Lykes Gaslight Square Park in business garb and high heels.
First prize would be one fusion fish taco. Second prize would be two fushion fish tacos.