Right Shoe was pissed. Left Shoe had promised to stop smoking, but here it was, lighting up while they were on a tour of historic buildings in Montreal. They’d just entered the Robillard building in Chinatown, which was famous for hosting the first film screening in Canada, in 1896. Pretty impressive, thought Right Shoe, as it hopped along through the building, admiring the 19th century architecture. Left Shoe couldn’t care less. Left Shoe didn’t care about films, or historic buildings, or much of anything really. It was only on this tour because Right Shoe had insisted.

“Put out that cigarette!” insisted Right Shoe, while Left Shoe scoffed with indifference.

“Make me.”

They were indoors for goodness’ sake! It wasn’t only illegal to smoke indoors, it was immoral too! Right Shoe was done. So done! It hopped away, out of the building, determined to finish the historic building tour on its own. Left Shoe could rot away from lung cancer all alone, for all Right Shoe cared. It was sick and tired of putting up with Left Shoe’s nonsense. Left Shoe was always making trouble, always refusing to cooperate, rebelling not to make a statement, but to be an irritation, simply for the pleasure of being disagreeable. Left Shoe was a constant spoiled sport, even though they were athletic shoes!

It was only ten minutes later, as it was hopping up Saint-Laurent street, that Right Shoe heard the sirens. It turned to see what was going on, and saw the smoke. Suddenly it could smell the smoke as well. It hopped back, trying to get as close as possible to the scene, but firefighters and police were keeping people and shoes back for their own protection.

All Right Shoe could do was wait. And wait it did. It took the rest of the day and night for the flames to be extinguished, and Right Shoe waited the entire time, hoping that Left Shoe had emerged safely. It was a pain in the backside, no question, but Left Shoe was Right Shoe’s mate, and they belonged together, no matter what.

As dawn arose over the horizon, Right Shoe peered at the gutted remains of the building, trying to see its other half. And there was Left Shoe, sitting among the ruins, utterly unscathed, no sign of the cigarette that had undoubtedly started the fire.

Typical, thought Right Shoe. Left Shoe always decimates everything in its path and yet gets away with everything.



The true story

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