Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy Foot, Sad Foot

From From Salon: How a podiatrist sign became a literary icon.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's generation had its green light at the end of the dock in "The Great Gatsby," that symbol of unattainable dreams, and today's young literati have -- a podiatrist's sign?

The sign for the Sunset Foot Clinic on West Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles is known to some locals as a kind of fortuneteller. On one side is depicted a foot with a woeful face, a bandaged big toe and crutches, while the other side shows an ecstatic foot in gloves and sneakers giving the thumbs-up sign. (Yes, these feet have both arms and legs.) When the sign is working, it rotates, and several residents of the nearby Silver Lake and Echo Park neighborhoods believe that whichever side they see first indicates what sort of day awaits them. Others use the sign as a guide: If they see the Happy Foot, they get to do something fun, while the Sad Foot condemns them to an afternoon of chores.

Just kind of funny. Though thinking of The Great Gatsby and signs, I make an mental link to the blue and gigantic eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleberg and their yard-high retinas and of some mistake involving use of the word 'retinas' I read about when I was studying the book in high school, which was over a decade ago. I imagine I can be excused for my memory lapse. Fun fact.


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