Friday, November 27, 2009

Some Serious Theology: Are you a Tramplian or an Offalist?


If you are an Evangelical Christian, you may be sick of the Calvinist/ Arminian debate, so let me introduce you to some new theological terms; Tramplian and Offalist.

Tramplians like to trample the carpets or flooring of their homes with their shoes on. They find it rather objectionable to be asked to remove their shoes when visiting somebody else's home.

The central principle in Tramplian theology is the freedom of the will. They believe that they should be the ones to decide whether they take their shoes off at a dinner party. Their attitude is "I decided what outfit to wear. I decided what shoes to wear. I should be able to keep them on if I like". They do not believe that a hostess should impose shoelessness on them.

Tramplians have a strong belief in the goodness of hosts. They consider that a hostess should be above all concerned for her guests wishes and convenience above keeping her home clean. They believe that if a hostess likes them enougth to invite them into her home, she will accept them with their shoes on.

Tramplians believe in the power of their own ability to keep their shoes clean. They consider themselves to be grown-up and to be careful about what they tread on. They do acknowledge that their shoes can be tainted by the corruption of dirty streets, however they hold that this can easily be dealt with by wiping their feet on their hostess' doormat. Their shoes can be restored to cleanliness by the exercise of their will.

Offalists in contrast, always remove their shoes at the door. Offalists believe in the Total Depravity of the soles of their shoes. The corruption of city streets has completely ruined the condition of their shoes, they argue, and the only hope is a change of nature for their feet, namely into slippers or clean socks. The Offalist pays heed to warnings about the health risks of pesticide, lead paint and animal excrement.

The Offalist upholds the sovereignty of the host. The hostess has been very generous in inviting her guests, however, she is sovereign over her own home and has the authority to set the rules. She will not allow anything corrupt to defile her home. Those who would enter her home must not come in their own shoes, but must meet her condition of a change into slippers or stocking feet.

The Offalist holds that the root problem of the Tramplian's theology is human pride. The Tramplian is proud of her ability to make decisions about her outfit. She is proud of her Manolos, her Prada heels or her Jimmy Choo boots. She is too proud to combine her outfit with stocking feet. She resents the idea that her hostess would not accept her in her own shoes.

The Offalist argues that if the Tramplian would only forsake her pride, she would actually find that she was far more comfortable in slippers, socks or bare feet. Her determination to remain in her stilettos will in the end hurt her feet and drag her to destruction. She may well remain outside the dinner party in the outer darkness.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dear person from Romania

Dear Romanian person, you keep visiting this blog. Have you ever commented before? It would be nice to hear from you.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Russian National Anthem

Quite a nice anthem, I think.

If you ever visit a Russian home, you will be expected to remove your shoes and you will probably be given some slippers to wear.

Monday, November 16, 2009


You will have noticed that there is lots of dust on the streets, unless you live in Finland, where the streets are immaculate.

You will also have noticed that on dry days soily ground is dusty. It is estimated that 35% of household dust originates in outdoor soil.

Naturally, as much of it originates from the ground, dust contains all the sort of things that are on the ground, such as pesticides, weed killer and lead. Things which are not good for your health. Keeping as much of this dust out of the home is a really sensible idea and this means taking off your shoes at the door and asking visitors to do the same.

Even if the dust that gets in is not full of toxins, it is good to reduce it. It reduces the quality of indoor air and can be a source of allergies.

A fashionable strategy is to remove carpets, as they absorb dust. However, this may be counterproductive as without the carpet, the dust is exposed. If you are going to go carpetless, you either need to sweep very often. Hence, whether you choose to opt for carpet or sans carpet, a shoes-off policy is totally adviseable.

Making This Home: A Poem To Ask People To Remove Their Shoes At The Door

Making This Home: A Poem To Ask People To Remove Their Shoes At The Door

Tuesday, November 10, 2009



Some people in Britain and the USA have an interesting perspective on this subject. They feel happy taking off their shoes at the home of an Asian person whose culture demands removal of shoes, but consider it deeply rude for a British or American person to insist on visitors to her home removing their shoes.

There are two problems with this attitude. Firstly, there is a touch of cultural arrogance about it. It implies that the Asian custom of removing shoes is purely of spiritual or cultural significance with no practical value. Maybe Asian people are primarily concerned about keeping their homes clean! Behind the pretended respect for a foreign culture, there is the unspoken assumption that Western practice is superior.

Secondly, this attitude seems to take a rather static view of culture, seeing it as a set of chains that bind people to particular rules of behaviour. In fact, culture is dynamic and fluid, it changes over time.

It seems to me to be quite obvious that if a person of Asian descent can be considered British while keeping her home shoe-free, it is perfectly acceptable for a White British person to keep her home shoe-free.

It may be the norm in Britain and most of the USA for shoes to stay on in homes now, but this may change. In fact, I believe it probably will. Many White Americans and even British people are adopting the custom of shoes-off in homes.

We are living in a global village with increased immigration, travel and communication between different cultures. There is tremendous potential for different cultural practices to migrate across geographical boundaries.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Dedicated Research

I have just been doing some research on contestants on Come Dine with Me. Turns out one competing hostess who required shoes-off was Tanya Williams in Edinburgh, a born-again Christian (go Christians!) from Texas serving southern state cuisine.

This contestant was black. I may be totally wrong, but I do get the impression that black people seem a lot less shy than whites in asking for shoes-off. I must admit I have never visited the home of a black person, having mostly lived in predominantly white areas.

Another contestant approved by this blog is Nikki Bennett in Birmingham, who requested that her guests remove their shoes and bring slippers with them.

You miss a lot without a television

I mentioned in a post about the t.v. program "Come Dine with Me" which is a competition where the competitors try to host the best dinner party. I expressed doubt that asking the guests to remove their shoes would go down well.

According to somebody on Twitter, a hostess asked the other competitors to remove their shoes in her home.

If anybody has seen this episode, please let me know what happened.

Friday, November 06, 2009


HIPRF stands for Herbicides, Insecticides, Pesticides, Rodenticides and Fungicides. These are chemicals that are used to deal with weeds, insects, spiders, slugs, mice and fungus. They are used in all sorts of places, particularly outside, on lawns, pathways and driveways.

You do not know how often you are picking up these chemicals on your shoes. If you wear shoes in your house, you are introducing them onto your floor and into the dust that you breath. HIPRFs are toxins that are designed to kill lifeforms. Hence they can present health risks, particularly to children.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I had a visit from the "T.V. Detector Man"

Americans are often amazed to learn that in Britain you have to buy a licence to own a television set (which according to Richyrich costs £142.50). Other than satisfying our traditional British puritanism (of which I am justly proud) it pays for the BBC, the greatest public broadcasting corporation in the world (which blessed us with Doctor Who). In the USA nobody watches public broadcasting, here in the UK you have public broadcasting which is good enough to compete with, and often betters commerical broadcasting.

If you don't pay for a t.v. licence you can get a huge fine or even be put in prison.

If like me, you do not own a television, you will get lots of scary letters warning you of the consequences of watching t.v. without a licence. Until now.

I had a visit from the 'T.V. Detector Man" who came to inspect my property to see if I own a television. I had no hesitation in inviting him in to carry out his inspection.

I was glad to see he noticed the 'Please take off your shoes' sign on my doormat and he politely removed them. Very encouraging.

Daily Express: Why it pays to take off your shoes

Daily Express: Why it pays to take off your shoes

Its good to see this subject raised in a national British newspaper.