Sometimes you run across something unusual: an item that actually does what it purports – nary a whit of false advertising. I own such an item – a “foot cutter” by Battalia. “What is a ‘foot cutter?'” one may ask. I will tell you: IT CUTS FEET. More specifically, it is an implement with a very sharp razor blade (German, in this case, though it’s a Korean product) that you use to remove calluses and hardened skin on your feet. I should point out that you are expected to run screaming in fright from any Salon that has the audacity to use this implement. I believe there’s even a health code prohibition of some sort regarding the infamous “foot cutter.”

But in the privacy of one’s home – well – I figured that I, Kate the Safety Dog, could control any infection concerns and follow all crucial instructions. When I got home with the item I found this to be a tad more difficult that I’d expected. For example, here’s one of the items under the heading “Direction”:

  • Grab the handle and slice off the corn, callous or hard skin smoothly just like get a shave.

I pondered “just like get a shave” for a bit (as we all know my experience in this area is rather lacking). So quite a while ago, I used my “foot cutter” for the first time. I was tentative at first. I have disgustingly thick calluses on the balls of my feet and my heels as I am wont to gad about barefoot all the time. My left foot, in particular, has this amazing callus that’s about an inch thick on the ball of my foot, because I once ripped a huge, deep flap of skin open on this portion of my foot by catching it on the head of a nail (PEOPLE – when you take up the carpet to expose the hardwood floors again – a sound aesthetic choice – you have to CHANGE the tack strips so that they aren’t too high and don’t have FEET HAZARDS). Anyhoo, after this apt reminder to get a tetanus shot (and being ridiculed by a medical student for my, perhaps, over-zealous bandaging), my left foot healed with this bizarre, extra, EXTRA-dense callus. After a while, I blithely began to peel my feet like pedicure potatoes. What fun! Then, as you might conjecture, I got – shall we say – carried away. I discovered that the “foot cutter” is not called the “toe cutter” for a reason. Oh, it WILL very easily cut a toe; it will practically amputate a small one. It’s just that, PERHAPS, one is not intended to slice portions of one’s toes clean off. And yes, I did. This tool has a “sharp long lasting blade made in Germany,” so it was a nice clean cut. It then seemed like a good time to put the “foot cutter” away for a while.

Today, however, I got this overwhelming pedicurial hankering. I got out all my minty-fresh pedicure soaks and lotions and brushes and pumice wands and such. Then I thought, “If I avoid my toes I should be just fine with the ‘foot cutter.'” I carefully put in a clean, sharp blade. I warily proceded “just like get a shave.” And for a while, I was perfectly competent. Huzzah! Peeling strips of skin galore – disgusting, perhaps, but simultaneously gratifying. I did avoid my toes altogether. Unfortunately, I did not remind myself of the section of the “foot cutter” package entitled “Warning”:

  • Very sharp implement, keep it beyond children’s reach.
  • Not to be used on wounded or injured skin.
  • Please cover blade and store in a clean dry place when not in use to avoid injury.
  • The blade has a very sharp edge, so use it with caution when replacing.
  • If the consumer used it strongly or by compulsion, it can be injured to your feet.
  • Use gently to avoid any type of injury.

Ah. Six statements, each with either the word “sharp,” “injury,” or BOTH, that in essence assert that the “foot cutter” is, without a doubt, a deadly weapon that should probably be regulated and licensed (I figure I would not qualify for this license – I’d pass the written test, but the practical test – ooh boy). “Cutting” straight to the point (ha ha ha?); I sliced a substantial chunk out of the side of my left foot (a nice CLEAN chunk…). I then proceeded to stick my foot back in the bathtub full of very warm water. This makes for an impressive amount of bleeding from a wound that is neither life nor limb-threatening. Whoops. I admit – I had, perchance, “used it strongly or by compulsion,” and “it can [and WAS] be injured to your feet.” Yes, a “foot cutter” does, undeniably, cut your foot. Thank you, Battalia, for your honest advertising.