I hurt my foot because I was drunk
January 6, 2012 2:05 PM   Subscribe

How did Jimmy Buffet break his shoe and how did he cut his foot?

Some of the lyrics to "Margaritaville":
I blew out my flip-flop.
Stepped on a pop-top.
Cut my heel had to cruise on back home.

I always assumed he broke his shoe on the pop-top and hurt his foot at the same time. My husband pointed out this morning that it would have to be a pretty big pop-top to take out a flip-flop. So, did the shoe break on its own, requiring him to walk on bare feet and be vulnerable to a tiny piece of metal, or was it some kind of gigantic and/or sharp pop-top? Is a pop-top the tab from a can or the cap from a bottle?
posted by soelo to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Cheap flip flops break pretty easily all on their own - I've "blown out" a flip flop several times - generally the part that goes between the toes pops out.
posted by muddgirl at 2:11 PM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]

I always took "blew out" to mean that the center attachment, where the rubber thongs go through the shoe, broke, which frequently happens. So he took off his shoes, and while barefoot, cut himself on the pull tab from a can.
posted by PussKillian at 2:11 PM on January 6, 2012 [18 favorites]

Pop-top is the tab from an old-fashioned soda can. "Blew out" could mean the shoe flew off his foot.
Also see the lyrics from the live version when his leg was broken.

on preview, yes, broken thong on the flip flop
posted by Mngo at 2:12 PM on January 6, 2012

The flip flop thong broke, so his foot slipped out and he stepped on the pop top, the old-fashioned kind with a large metal shard that peels out of the can lid, which cut his heel.
posted by milk white peacock at 2:20 PM on January 6, 2012

[less rant more answer? thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 2:38 PM on January 6, 2012

Old pop tops looked like this.
posted by cooker girl at 2:51 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

I couldn't find a good image, but I'm not sure anyone under 40 can fully appreciate the lousiness that was a typical pair of flip-flops in the 1970s. Having grown up in the south in that time-frame, I sure can. Basically the thong bit was the cheapest possible grade of rubber, and the sole of them was a grade triple-z piece of brightly colored foam. They did not stay on your feet worth a crap, and either the thong piece separating from the foam (usually by pulling out of it) or the FOAM JUST BREAKING IN TWO was a common occurrence.

My sister-in-law famously twisted her ankle during a trip to Disney World because of cheap footwear, so Mr. Buffet has nothing on her.

Drinking a lot of beer (which I did not do in those days) probably doesn't help the failure rate.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:15 PM on January 6, 2012

... add in the fact that wino/beach bums probably went for maximum flipflop mileage and you've got yourself a winner.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:28 PM on January 6, 2012

First, I love this question. Second, I too have pondered this line and I see it as all one movement, his flip flop blew out, toe holder could have broken, or it could have folded in half and the heel folded under the front, and upon doing so he stepped on a pop-top and cut his foot on the resulting trip-up.
posted by roboton666 at 9:19 PM on January 6, 2012

As I recall, just kicking forward (as you step) and slightly catching the sand is enough to have your foot scoot right through the toe holder and onto the pop top, causing serious injury. (I have no experience with the pop top, but with mussels, oysters, bottle caps and other serious obstacles.)
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:00 PM on January 6, 2012

vulnerable to a tiny piece of metal

Keep in mind that the original pop-tops were steel, and sharp as hell. And everyone littered (like in Mad Men, really). The beach could be a nightmare of pop-tops and broken glass. In 1986 I went to Coney Island and the area under the boardwalk was not a romantic getaway; it was a sea of glass shards.

Bottlecaps could be nasty, too, of course. But they weren't as sharp.
posted by dhartung at 12:58 AM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew there was an older version of the pop tab, but I could not picture it!
posted by soelo at 12:17 PM on January 10, 2012

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