The Milky Way Galaxy

There's nothing like the feeling of taking your shoes off at the end of the workday.

I have a friend named Willard who goes so far as to wait until he's completely alone to release his barking dogs, sometimes hours after he punches out for the night. If someone wants to meet up after work for a beer or to go bowling, he stays in his foot hats, which is a very famous and popular term for shoes as of right now. One time I even saw Lard--that's his name for short, you'd think it would be Will but the world is Pandora's box of hell so the moment you think you're going to pull out an apple bam it happens, you're elbow deep in the box and never come out, that or you get two apples which is hardly anything to complain about!--take a shower in his boots, just because I was still there and he was saving it for when he's alone.

"Why don't you just take them off?" I asked.

"Not time yet. Please pass the luffa," said Lard.

"I'll do ya one better," I said. I stood up on the shower stool, reached as high as I could, and gave Willard the back scrubbing of a lifetime. It's incredible how much people neglect to exfoliate their pores, but hey that's what friends are for. Friends and dogs.

"Speaking of which," said Lard, "Pitbull, I think we're all set for the night, you can go whenever you want."

"The bigger they are the harder they fall," said Pitbull.

He then gave me a flick and I fell onto the stool. It wasn't that hard, though, because I'm as small as they come. It was as if someone had tipped over a Kraft Jet-Puffed Miniature Marshmallow.

"OK, that's enough you only-speaks-lyrics-exciting-Miami-son-of-a-bitch," said Lard.

And with that, Pitbull pressed all three buttons on his Casio F91W digital sports watch at once. His suit coat became slicker, his collar popped, and his head became freshly shaved. "This is the last twenty dollars I got, but I'mma have a good time ballin' or out," said Pitbull. I'm only 95% confident the last bit was 'ballin' or out,' to be honest. He always sings that part in a fast Miami way so even though I don't really know what he's saying I'm definitely having a good time. Pitbull then pulled out a twenty dollar bill, fed it into the breast pocket of his jacket, which was one of those dollar slots from a vending machine, and turned into a rocket ship. He flew into space and ripped a hole in Willard's bathroom wall.

But Lard still didn't take off his boots. That's how good it feels to take off your shoes at the end of the day.


This is a universal feeling known to all of man throughout all of time.

The earliest primal cavemen used to sit on a cold rock at the end of the day, all hunched over and whatnot, look around with their crow-magnum brow, shrug, and say, "Wow now that was a long day my fellow cavemen I'm beat let's eat!"

Then all of the cavemen would get up, do a fifteen minute cavemen secret handshake, and play pickup baseball for hours, well into the wee hours of the night. That's why so many of the early New York Yankees back in the '40s, '50s, and '60s were so good at baseball, it's because they grew up together playing baseball in the same neighborhoods. That and they were pretty thickly Italian, just like the God damned cavemen. Also, I'm talking he NINETEEN '40s, '50s, and '60s as a comparison. Back when cavemen were playing baseball after work in the EIGHTEEN '40s, '50s, and '60s, the Yankees were only OK. The Mets were much better back then. I wonder what the cavemen playing baseball would have thought about Darryl Strawberry if they could have seen him? Not only was he a tremendous threat at the plate, but he was also a Met AND a Yankee. Johnny Damon didn't even do that and he was arguably the last great caveman baseball player. Not to say that some young Italian isn't out there right now, killing the ball like it's a bee in a breadbox, just that until I'm proven otherwise and for all in tents' sixth purposes, Johnny Damon is the last great caveman baseball player.

After they'd play baseball, the cavemen would finally sit down and have a few Schlitz beers. Then they'd down some Yuenglings. Then, and only then, the cavemen would shave the tops of and pumice stone the bottoms of their feet. Cavemen didn't wear shoes everyone knows that.

But why is this a universal feeling known to all man throughout all of time?

Did God put it in us?

Go ahead and ask yourself that question. Did God put it in us? It sounds so hilarious. I'm going to say that sentence exactly like that at a party sometime. It's not that naughty but I'm always hungry for a little trouble tehehe.

Did our parents teach it to us when we were little babies breastfeeding?


And if you didn't breastfeed you're a monster.

To answer this question, one must travel to the center of it all.


"Hey Will, when does Pitbull usually come back from space?" I asked.

Willard was cleaning his ears. "Don't call me Will, that's not my name. It's Lard." Willard then put his button up shirt, chaps, pistol holster, and spurs back on. Willard is a full time cowboy out in the old west. So you know he cherishes taking his boots off at the end of the day that much more, because cowboy boots are the coolest of boots when not worn by wealthy white girls or suburban Nashville country singers. "Usually in a day or two," said Lard.

("There I got it right, are you happy now, you rootin' tootin' son of a bitch?")

("Yes, and I acknowledge that your anger is coming from a different place not meant to be aimed at our friendship.")

("Man, you're a really good dude, Lard. Can we hug?")

(-We hugged-)

"Poop dee loop," I said. "I need to get to space like now."

"Trying to figure out the origin of why it's so excellent and almost orgasmic to take off your shoes at the end of the workday?" asked Lard.

"Yes! Wait do you know? Just tell me."

"Nope," said Lard. "You might be the smallest man in the world, but that doesn't mean you can't take a big journey into space to find out for yourself."

"Man, you're so wise. Stoic? Is that the word?"

"Not quite," said Willard. He then pivoted, drew his pistol, and shot Black Bart dead right there. Yes, thee Black Bart, the most feared villain in all the old west.

"I'll use it in the right context one of these days," I said. "I'm off to space."

NASA doesn't hire that much anymore and all of the spaceships from Space Jam are out on rental, so I had to go to my next best option...

"The all new Ford Galaxy," said the slimeball car salesman. He made a whistling noise between his teeth whenever he pronounced an S, which was disappointing because he hadn't said any S's yet. "It am a great car, beautiful." Still no S's, that sucks. So I got out of there, no more car lot. It's like he was trying to screw me out of an S.

That's it! I thought. The old pinewood derby car kit I had back at my house!

I had the plastic wheels, the little plastic cage, and all of the tools, but I was missing one thing. Wood! I thought long and hard. Wood, where can I get some wood in a pinch?

My pillow winked at me from my bed. She was horned up good.

"Not right now, pillow!"

No, not wood, I need... I visualized Pitbull putting the twenty dollar bill into his jacket pocket vending machine slot. A vending machine, that's it! So I went over to the vending machine in my room--which I have because I'm awesome being the smallest man in the world doesn't mean I can't be awesome--put in a dollar, and got my favorite candy in the whole wide world.

No, the whole wide galaxy.

A Milky Way.

I ripped off the wrapper, which was exhausting because it's like taking the sheets off a bed for me, man, threw my pinewood derby kit on it's chocolate covered caramel nougat goodness, and was good to go. My own custom Milky Way Galaxy.


Lights on earth do not glow or shine like they do in space. Everything is so surreal, so different, so cold, so there's-no-noise, so you've seen movies you get it. I turned the key, shutting off my car. There's no idling in space that's why the air is so clean. As I floated closer and closer to the actual center, it appeared before me.

The monolith.

As dark as night and as enticing as a Bond girl during the movie, not after, Bond girls usually have sadly downward careers after that, this was the most God-like sight I'd ever seen. It was perfect.

At the center of our galaxy is a custom black Air Jordan baseball cleat. Michael Jordan is wearing it, beautifully garbed in a Chicago White Sox uniform that's Bulls colors and sleeveless.

I rolled down my window and leaned out. "Michael?"

"There are many names for who I am. What I am. Most call me God, others call me Dad. What it is doesn't matter, for a name is just a name."

"MJ I have to ask you why--"

"Is taking your shoes off at the end of the day a universal, transcendental, timeless feeling of euphoria and pleasure?" said Michael Jordan.

I nodded. That's a physical sign for yes, baby!

Michael smiled. He took a drink of what I thought was a magic bottle but just turned out to be water all along.

"The reason why, which is also the meaning of life, is--"

Pitbull thudded into the side of my candy bar car spaceship. His rocket boosters were all out of juice. He clutched his arm. It was broken and stabbed. Yes, both.

"What the hell--"

"You have to get me out of here!" Pitbull was gasping for air, duh, obviously you can't breathe in space because the air is so clean--you'd know that if you turned your rocket boosters off every once in a while, Pitbull. Sheesh!

"Why?" I asked.

"I ran into the real king of Miami out here in space."

"LeBron?" I asked.

"Lol," said Michael Jordan. Michael gets it.

"No, Will Smith!" said Pitbull.

I thought about it for a second. "Yeah, I can totally see that."

"We gotta go now!" said Pitbull.

"Hey, don't you only talk in lyrics, Pitbull?" I asked.

Michael Jordan agreed.

"I'll write it later! We have to go now!" Pitbull reached into my car and started it up.

"Michael, I have to know!" I said, trying to resist Pitbull's unbelievable swag. But it was too strong. We were headed back out of the center of the Milky Way before I knew it. I looked into the rearview mirror, sad. Michael was practicing free throws. It was breathtaking.

"I hate you, Pitbull," I said.

"No you don't," said Pitbull.

"I know."


Why does it feel so damn good to take your shoes off at the end of the workday?

Somewhere, far, far from here, Michael Jordan is shooting free throws. He's on an incredible streak of consecutive shots made, probably like a billion, but he doesn't even know it, because each shot is such a joy for Michael. His workday might be over, but he's still wearing his Air Jordans, hard at work, yet hard at pleasure.

Taking your shoes off at the end of the workday feels so good because you're finally done for a bit, able to let down your hair and be yourself. The key is to never have to really take your shoes off, because what you wear should be so comfortable and so you that it's like you're not even wearing shoes at all.

Michael Jordan knows all the secrets to life and is the master of the universe.