Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.


Tue 03

Love your work

Max Today I got some orthotic inserts for my sneakers, because I’d like to be able to keep running without having my feet collapse, or my knees implode, or whatever else is meant to happen to long-time runners. My podiatrist was an energetic young woman named Allison, and pretty soon she had my feet wrapped up in warm, wet bandages—which was really pleasant, although it was hard to relax due to the threat of tickling. Apparently Allison was making a mold, from which a plaster cast of my feet could be formed, and used to shape the orthotics.

“What happens to the casts afterward?” I asked.

“Oh, we keep them,” Allison said. “We have to. They’re considered medical records.”

I found the idea of a big warehouse somewhere full of white plaster feet a bit disconcerting. But Allison was enthusiastic. She was, in fact, remarkably perky for someone who had to smell other people’s feet all day. I quizzed her about this: “Don’t you get sick of dealing with feet all the time?”

“Oh no,” Allison said, as if I had said something deeply shocking. “Two people walk in, and they’ll be totally different. With feet, you never know what you’re going to get.”


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Aaron Doucet (#733)

Location: Canada (Sorry)
Quote: "He'd never seen so many expensive pairs of shoes in one place."
Posted: 5223 days ago

It's times like that I'd be worried about a fetish.

Machine Man subscriber Kramy (#818)

Quote: ""it's the way of the future""
Posted: 5223 days ago

Mmmm, I kept thinking of that Zoe girl from Home & Away ... weird!

Rod McBride (#688)

Location: Gardner, KS
Quote: ""
Posted: 5223 days ago

No offense to you, Max, I'm an aspiring author myself...

Compared to the solitary act of moving words around on a word processor, telling the same story over and over until you get it just right, etc., a podiatrist has a relatively interesting job.

It's not as thrilling (to an outside observer) as being the goalie for Manchester United. Or as dangerous as being a coal miner or steel worker. But podiatry is potentially almost as interesting as mortuary work.

That's why you have to have a Kilgore Trout or T.S. Garp & Jenny Fields in order to include 'writers' in a book (without anesthetizing your readers).

Matt (#808)

Location: AZ
Quote: "The only 3 books I've read in the last few years have been from the Barry Collection"
Posted: 5223 days ago

Hrm....very interesting. I agree with Rod in that a podiatrist's day would be interesting actually carrying out the day-to-day tasks that seem repetitive to outsiders. Working with different people and trying to compare traits and characteristics are probably a method of getting by the monotony of many other jobs.

Justin Holt (#147)

Location: Rochester, NY
Quote: ""
Posted: 5223 days ago

I can also see a possible foot fetish nightmare coming to fruition. (Let it be know, why people have foot fetishes, I'll never understand)

But I can see some sick bastard, finding that warehouse full of plastic feet, and hijacking the place, sizes eight through ten in one arm, six through eight in the other, while he runs off, clutching a mold of elevens with his teeth.

It's scary.

shabooty (#637)

Location: D.C./V.A/M.D.
Quote: "I will shake your foundation. I will shake the f**cking rafters. Nobody'll be the same -Danny Bonaduce ....& go visit my blog @:"
Posted: 5223 days ago

did she know she was dealing with theeee max barry's piglets? :)

Machine Man subscriber Dave (#29)

Location: Seattle
Posted: 5223 days ago


Kevin Gamin (#762)

Location: Medina, Ohio, USA
Quote: ""Give me all you've got then crescendo!!!""
Posted: 5223 days ago

Yes, that's right. Your feet are like a box of chocolates to this woman, the Forrest Gump of podiatry.

Pete (#1273)

Location: Variable
Quote: ""One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings""
Posted: 5223 days ago

Sorry, I cant help it.

"With feet, you never know what you’re going to get."


OverlordBill (#1197)

Location: ~2B, -4B
Posted: 5223 days ago

I have a friend whose parents are podiatrists. She tells stories of when she's had to help out and people come in with all sorts of strange things in and on their feet. Oddly shaped scars and boils. That sort of thing.

The best story was when she apparently got dizzy from the stench one time and stumbled into a cart which went flying across the room and smacked into her father's groin. That story is pretty much the only reason I don't call her foot girl and throw apples at her. Just too classy to pass up.

Matthew (#16)

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Quote: "Unicorn on mountain top. Wind blowing through mane."
Posted: 5223 days ago

Probably not as exciting as writing a hollywood screenplay.

Hey. Speaking of which...*is swiftly tackled and thrown in an unmarked van by men in very dark suits*

Coolet (#37)

Location: Goshen, Indiana
Quote: "Man who goes to bed with itchy bum, wakes up with smelly finger."
Posted: 5222 days ago

buh....why are we Hoosiers persecuted....*sigh*

Narain (#824)

Location: Los Angeles, right between civilization and a desert
Quote: "NI!"
Posted: 5222 days ago

Because you call yourselves Hoosiers. Come on, any state that calls themselves the Hoosiers is just begging to be laughed at.

About this foot girl, she sounds a bit like that girl in syrup who marries brad pitt, what's her name, cindy, bootiliscous, something like that?

Heh, hoosiers

Cogitation (#836)

Location: New York City
Quote: "Think about it for a moment."
Posted: 5221 days ago

"It's times like that I'd be worried about a fetish." --Aaron Doucet (#733)

...or hoping for a fetish, depending upon ones point-of-view. ;)

Fetishes aside, I have heard that the feet can be quite sensitive if given the right treatment.

Machine Man subscriber Mapuche (#1184)

Location: Darwin, Australia
Quote: "Inconceivable!"
Posted: 5220 days ago

You know you are upside down when your nose runs and your feet smell...

Dinko Hristov (#1065)

Location: Darwin, Australia
Quote: """No one is fool enough to choose War over Peace. In Peace sons bury fathers, but in War fathers bury sons."- Herodotus"
Posted: 5216 days ago

Some people love feet, other people love other things. I, personally, prefer ancient history and archaeology. So much so, that i want to go to uni (college to all of you in the USA and Canada) to study those 2 subjects. The thing is not to get addicted to what you love. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), it's too late for me. I've already become pretty much addicted to the aforementioned subjects of ancient history and archaeology.

There was a point to this post....I seem to have forgotten it...........................

Pete (#1273)

Location: Variable
Quote: ""One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings""
Posted: 5213 days ago

What is a hoosier, anyway?

Stuart Lamble (#1321)

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional."
Posted: 5208 days ago

Heh. Orthotics are great. I'd probably be in a wheelchair without mine.

How're things going, Max, anyway? Long time since we last caught up on SW (and I've left permanently since, so no chance of finding me there now.)

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