Pick Some Toes

For reasons I can’t explain at the moment, you must choose between these two feet:

Take your time. This is important stuff. BUT YOU MUST CHOOSE. That is all.

180 Comments on “Pick Some Toes”

  1. um, neither. both are hiding something — one with clothing, one with paint. plus, what’s on that sign concealed behind foot #1? “no diving”? the thick plottens.

  2. Neither. Neither foot appears to have functioning ankles, although the left foot may have one hidden. Or more to the point, the one on the right shows evidence of retained fluid around the ankle, and the one on the left is small and the nails have been trimmed FAR TOO CLOSE. Further it has a corn on the little toe indicating far too much time spent in incorrectly fitted “fashionable” shoes.

    (And may Stacey London and Clinton Kelly be haunted in their dreams by the crippled feet of all the women they have forced into pointed-toed high heels.)

  3. I know the one on the left. Looks like this one. I spent a week next to that foot. Enraptured by that foot. It is a barefoot. A Scalzi foot.

    The one on the right seems nice enough.

  4. I’m always a fan of feet where the second toe is longer than the first. Therefore I choose the one on the left.

  5. I pick the one on the left in the photo. People who take the time to paint toeparts make me wonder about their priorities.

  6. The one on the right side of the picture with the painted toenails. Less hair.

    Hairy feet, argh.

  7. I find feet to be so far ahead of other body parts on the ANS (Aesthetically Nasty Scale) that this post has given me the fantods and left me not a little ill. (I have this reaction so badly I would support making the wearing of flip flops and sandals in public a misdemeanor. I realize I am nearly alone in this.)

    On that note, I choose: The left one has, inexplicably, toes like monkey fingers, which just ain’t right. So, Right.

  8. Choose between the feet or between the feet. I’d choose between the feet if that was the case. Sort of like “What’s that between your toes?”. If not… er… right.
    Not a foot man myself. That’s why I like ’em covered up. If I ever go to a nudist camp I just hope they’re wearing shoes is all I’m saying.

  9. Hm. The foot on the right has a more refined shape to it, and less hair, but loses points on a rather chunky ankle. The one on the left may have a slimmer ankle, but it’s impossible to tell. I’m going to go with the one on the right, probably because of the nail polish.

    Interesting fact; if the middle toe is longer than the second toe, the possessor of the toe is supposedly a lycanthrope. Neither of the feet in this photograph qualify, so I needn’t call Animal Control.

  10. While I concur with the very observant Steve H re: fluid and corns, and insofar as I have a thing for feet at all (not much), if I have to choose…

    The right foot on the left. The one without paint.

    I like little feet and long toes.

    To be fair, they should either both show their ankles or both have them covered.

  11. Choose between the feet? Ok, I like the #CABDAD colored pebble located 167px from the left and 304px from the top.

    If you mean which foot I prefer that’s a tough choice. On the one foot you’ve got hair (go, go Hobbit Feet!) and on the other you’ve a lovely shade of red nail polish. Hmm…. I guess I’m a visual person and will go with the painted toes for the color.

    Will the reasoning behind why we must choose ever be explained or will it remain one of the mysteries of the universe?

  12. The one without paint – because I like longer toes and because at first I thought that foot was like mine, but my THIRD toe is the longest, so it’s not actually the same.

    Feet are goofy looking.

  13. Left. Hobbit feet make me happy =)

    I find it interesting that the feminine-looking foot appears to be larger than the masculine-looking one :-)

  14. I would go with Mark@28’s answer, but assuming a less literal intent (which is a big step, given that you are a renowned writer) I choose the left foot on the right side of the picture. No offense intended, but I think the hairy foot has a mutant hallux.

  15. John – you don’t have the best balance in the world, do you? The big toe is one of the most important levers in the body in terms of keeping balance, and a big toe shorter than the second toe is a poor lever for this purpose.

    I suppose that means your ancestors got by on whits instead of agility – which you’ll probably take as a compliment, knowing you.

  16. Frank Zappa: “What’s the ugliest / Part of your body? / Some say your nose / Some say your toes / (I think it’s your mind)”

    The foot on the left seems more capable of picking up objects. The foot on the right seems more capable of picking up men. Hmmm…tough choice.

    I choose the one with the lengthier toes. Why? Because my random number generator told me to. Never argue with random numbers.

  17. Hard to judge on an equal footing… perhaps if we had some footage… Hmmm… I’ll go with the left, jeans-less, painted one on the right. I’m pretty sure that’s not the right foot.

  18. The one with paint. The one without paint has a toe longer than the big toe. Not cool, man!

  19. Right…that’s a foot made for for kickin’…
    Left…that’s a foot attached to a kickee… plus it looks vaguely hobbit-y, and I don’ts like the nasty hobbitses…
    So I will go for the one on the right, plus the painted nails look better.

    Definitely the painted nails, kickin’ foot on the right. Plus, I like strong ankles… now that might be a little TMI… so I’ll stop now…

  20. Hm, the one with the painted toenails scares me a little. I’m going to go with the non-painted foot–the one with the monkey toe. You can just ship it to my street adress. I don’t have time to pick it up.

  21. As an uncle who has let my niece paint my fingernails, and have photographs to prove it, I would never assume a set of painted toenails belonged to a woman.

    Which leaves me in a quandary. If I pick the foot on the right, with painted nails, because I say I am sort of aroused by it, and then Scalzi tells me that’s his foot, where does that leave me?

    It’s a good thing that that was purely hypothetical, and I’m not aroused by feet in any manner – painted, or unpainted.

    Also, I need to say it, but you can pick your toes, and you can pick your friends, and you can pick your authors, but you can’t pick your friend’s or your author’s toes.

    Oh, yeah, I haven’t picked some toes yet, have I?

    I’ll pick the first and second toes of the foot on the left, and the first and second toes of the foot on the right. (Going from left to right both times, so that I am only missing a middle-toe. I figure picking a middle-toe would be almost as bad as picking a middle-finger.)

  22. I choose the foot with the toenail polish.

    And now I know Chang has a photo of your feet. That’s … interesting.

  23. WHAT I FIND DEEPLY DISTURBING IS THAT BOTH OF THESE FEET BELONG TO THE SAME PERSON, THE ONE HOLDING THE CAMERA. LIKE A SCENE FROM THE MOVIE “FREAKS”. AAAAAaaaaaaahhhh (runs screaming toward the horizon, leaving little dust puffs in his wake).

  24. The left foot, pictured on the right. The other foot is a bit too fuzzy for my taste.

  25. The right foot. That is, the anatomically right, which happens to be on the left in the picture. The one with pants and no paint.

  26. The foot on the left is Scalzi’s. I pick it because I’m glad to know I’m not the only person with hairy feet.

  27. I am left handed, left footed, and politically left leaning therefore I choose the left foot.

  28. Poot. I’d generally go for the longer-toed foot, but the hair means I pick the right foot. That is, the left foot on the right of the picture.

  29. Wait, is this one of those “my big toe hurts” kind of things again? Okay, well, I’m going to have to go with the painted toes. You know, if I’m going to have to pick toes, I’d rather pick ones that it at least appears that the own has spent time cleaning and taking care of, cause dude, really, if you want us to pick your toes you need to take a bath more often. Toe jam is just so not sexy, know what I’m saying.

  30. The left. Its second toe is longer than the so-called “big” toe, an affliction I happen to share.

    Weirdos unite!

  31. Fletcher @21: …now I have an explanation for why I lose my memory once a month! My second toe is like, a full centimetre longer than my big toe, on both feet.

    Joel @39: Hey now! I had great balance up until the age of about 18. But the switch has nothing to do with my toes and everything to do with the fact that my inner ears stopped doing their job around that time. :P

  32. Given that one foot is apparently more masculine (hair, jeans, pallor), and the other more feminine (nail polish, shaven leg, light tan), I have to speculate that this began as a, erm, discussion about which adult member of the Scalzi household had prettier feet – or maybe who had uglier feet, which is just the same discussion in disguise.

    Therefore, I vote for the one most like my own – the one with hair.

  33. I prefer fearless feet. The one closer to the water seems less afraid. Therefore I am emboldened by it. The shy hairy one cloaked in thick denim has inspired no confidence in me.

    The flair of daring red adds to the mystery of the superior foot. The other one seems only outwardly timid. The flaccid muscle tone is hiding a treacherous and wickedly sharp nail. In moments after this photo, I can easily see the wormy flesh slide that toenail into the empowered feminine arch over him. Bastard.

  34. This is possibly the most disturbing Whatever entry I have yet seen.

    But…if forced to choose, I go with the left foot on the right.

  35. Left. Not really close at all, once I looked at them closely. Looks like a small man on the left and a very large woman (hard to be sure of course, but going by appearances) on the right. When it comes to aesthetic appreciation of human bodies, I prefer small to large and men to women, so this was an easy choice.

    Posting without reading the thread, to avoid biasing my choice. Now I will go and read it though.

  36. Hmm… I’m voting for the one on the right. The one on the left looks too much like my foot.

  37. Left foot, left foot, right foot, right. Feet in the morning, feet at night. :)

    (I don’t have any clue why I have a Dr. Seuss book about feet.)

  38. I’m not sure that nail polish color is good for you. Something paler would match your complexion better.

  39. The one with painted nails, despite the fact that if you look closely, there’s something odd about the two toes next to the big toe. (Didn’t notice the first time I looked….)

  40. I already have a hairy foot with shorter big toe – a pair of them actually. Not as short big toes, but hairier. And I can indeed be suspected of being a lycanthrope.

    So I pick the painted left foot to the right.

  41. No. This is a trap!! I had this dream last night!! And in that dream … both were connected, as shown, to the same person!!

  42. I’ll pick the one on the right.

    My feet look more like the one on the left, except that also a couple of the toes are partly joined. It’s inherited.

  43. Well, despite having girl toes myself, I definitely also prefer girl toes … well, at least I tend to prefer the toes to be connected to a girl (given how many guys friends I have that also wear polish, I’ve kinda got to include this).

    So, with the proviso that it’s also connected to a girl/woman, I personally prefer the foot on the right.

  44. (Actually, taking a second look, I see that there’s a little bit of the same toe-joining on the foot on the right! Mine looks about like that on my left foot, and goes almost up to the last knuckle on my right foot. So, noticing that, I definitely pick the foot on the right.)

  45. Oh sure, I pick a foot and then the next thing you know Chris Hansen is asking me pointed questions.

    Not going to fall for that one again.

  46. The one with the painted nails. Not because they’re painted, but because super-long second toes creep me out.

    No, I don’t know why.

  47. @ brooks – The right foot is from Australia, which is populated by criminals, so I clearly cannot choose the foot to the left….

  48. I pick the hobbit toes to the left. (I have hobbit toes myself. Why all the hobbit-phobia? For shame.)

    (The other toes are perfectly adequate toes, and have nice shiny nail polish, but they aren’t hobbit toes.)

  49. The toes on the right have an air of world-weariness, a type of life experience the likes of which most of us will never have. I see triumph and tragedy in those toes, a story of a life well-lived.

    Whereas the toes on the left project a hidden inner life, a shyness of expectation and carefully guarded hopes. They seem humbled – nay, AWED by the toes on the right, yet they know that, in the end, they will surpass them.

    So I choose the toes on the left, and cannot wait to see what they become….

  50. …it was the one with the blue tie…

    If you don’t get it, its an American Gothic reference, got to say it with a heavy southern accent.

  51. My son, Liam, already voted for the left foot and I’m inclined to agree with him. The photo does not do the nail polish on the right foot justice, its all sparkly in person.

  52. You can choose a ready guide
    In some celestial voice
    If you choose not to decide
    You still have made a choice

    You can choose from phantom fears
    And kindness that can kill
    I will choose a path thats clear
    I will choose free will

    -Rush, Freewill

  53. As instructed, I will choose between the two feet, which appreas to be air between them.

  54. Aha! A post of real meaning on Whatever. No matter about Hugo awards and other such trifling matters when feet must be chosen! A real question that asks as us in the deepest parts of our souls to make such an important question.

    After much deliberation, I choose Left

  55. The one on the right for the sparkely polish and a better proportioned big toe.

    Yes your readers will dance for your amusement. What sort of dance do you prefer?

  56. My choice is that they be installed on opposite sides. Big toes should be nearest to the line of bilateral symmetry.

    *arch look*

  57. feet are yucky. flip flops and sandals should be outlawed. Both have 2nd toes that are longer than the big toe, which is a sign of weirdness and possible insanity. The foot on the right worries me, not because of the foot but because the ankle looks pretty swollen. So I guess I choose left, but under duress.

  58. The one with nail polish and no hair. I’m not a fan of hairy feet. I generally like a bit of hair elsewhere (especially nice smooth belly fur for some reason) but hairy feet kinda wig me out. Also, nail polish seems like fun. If I didn’t have the world’s worst toenails (most of them are seriously about 1/2 the size of a normal person’s, they look really weird) I’d have my toenails painted all the time. Generally bright shades. Heck, I might do that this summer anyway.

  59. Look, Scalzi, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your feet, but I really don’t think you should pick your friend’s feet.

  60. Not sure if its on the left or the right, or if its the left foot or the right foot but I’ll take the write one.

  61. Foot on the right. Her toes match mine closely, so they’re obviously superior, although the shade of polish is rather vampy.

  62. They appear to be neither of them webbed, and so I choose none of the above. (Clearly, with the body of water in the background, webbed feet would be in order. What were you thinking?)

  63. The one on the left. I’ve never understood the purpose of putting polish on one’s toenails.

  64. Left – the paint-less one. It is intriguing, though, how the right, painted one has slight webbing between the second and third toes. I have that, too. My dad told me it was due to our genetic link to The Man From Atlantis. I still prefer the primitive and hairy, but long and well-defined toes.

  65. Have to go with the one on the left. I didn’t know other people had a longer 2nd toe like mine.

  66. John – you don’t have the best balance in the world, do you? The big toe is one of the most important levers in the body in terms of keeping balance, and a big toe shorter than the second toe is a poor lever for this purpose.

    I can attest that Herr Scalzi has no balance problems, and that he can, in fact, do the prettiest Grand jeté I’ve ever seen outside of a ballet class.

  67. definitely the lovely foot on the right… mmm mmm, toenail polish! the foot on the left should get some.

  68. The foot so the left, which looks almost exactly like mine only hairier and smaller. At least I hope it’s smaller, or someone’s hanging out with a giant!

    Nothing against the polished foot, which is also lovely.

  69. I like the long toes on the left and the dark polish on the right. Can I split the difference?

  70. Foot with the painted toes.

    Why are we choosing feet?

    If you’ve been siezed by the murderous impulse to chop a foot off, then I’m changing my vote to the unpainted toes.


  71. The one with the nail polish because I assume it’s a woman’s foot, due to the shape, lack of hair and general smoothness. Ummm feeeeettttss!!!! Okay not into the foot fetish thing but for amusements sake let’s still go with nail polish foot.

  72. Difficult choice. The foot on the right has lovely painted nails of a color I use the few times I do paint my toenails, but the foot on the left has long prehensile toes like my own. Those are toes that can pick up a pencil. I identify with that foot.

    I choose the foot on the left.

  73. The left. Its second toe is longer than the so-called “big” toe, an affliction I happen to share.

    Weirdos unite!

    What she (Nicole TWN) said.



    I love all you guys. You sure do know how to make a girl feel like a real princess. xox

  75. Hmmm. Neither is particularly objectionable, nor particularly compelling.

    In the interest of solidarity with my long-toed brethren, I choose the foot on the left.

  76. I prefer the toes on the left, because they are rarer toes, in that the 2nd toe is longer than the big toe..just like mine. I have never seen anyone with toes like mine except my mom, and on ancient statues.

    Apparently, this type of toe configuration was a sign of beauty in ancient Rome.

    Also, according to the Weekly World News, it means you are descended from aliens. Congratulations!

  77. The one with the jeans-clad leg. The other one, well, the spaces between the toes don’t seem to go all the way down to where the foot starts. Must be an alien being, waiting for their chance to say, “anna nathrak oosvas bethood dulce deannvay”.

  78. I would like to quote one of the unpublished poems of my late Mother (Patricia Post):

    Sweet, sweet,
    there’s nothing so sweet
    as lying in bed
    picking the dead
    skin off your feet.

  79. RebekahD at 145: I find it rather entertaining that the only ones of us who noticed (or at least commented on) the slight webbing on the foot on the right have it ourselves.

  80. [Deleted for obnoxiousness regarding my friend painting her toenails – JS]