Hot foot

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Hot foot (Prank)[edit]

The hot foot is a prank where the prankster sets the victim's shoe laces or shoe on fire with a match or lighter.[1]

There are several other versions of the hot foot prank, but all involve using a source of flame near a victim's foot. Other versions of the prank involve using a cigarette on the victim's heel, placing a lit match between two bare toes on the victim, or sticking a book of matches to the victim's shoe with gum and lighting the matches.

The hot foot prank is mentioned in several baseball stories as a prank that players play on one another.[1][2][3] Bert Blyleven earned the nickname "Frying Dutchman" because of his love of this prank; during Blyleven's time with the Angels, the fire extinguisher in the Angel Stadium clubhouse featured a sign that said "In case of Blyleven: Pull." [4]

Hot foot (Soaker)[edit]

Example of hot foot (soaker) after accidentally stepping in snow resulting in a wet sock.

Hot foot refers to the sensation experienced after wetting ones sock while wearing shoes through the accidental act of stepping in a body of water (most commonly a puddle). Alternatively referred to as a soaker[5] or booter.[6] The origin of the phrase likely stems from the instinctual reaction of immediately withdrawing ones submerged foot from the liquid as if stepping on a hot surface. This verbage is colloquial to Western New York and parts of Canada.

A classic example is a child crossing a creek who accidentally missteps, placing his shoe covered foot into the water and soaking his sock. The unpleasantness that occurs whilst walking thereafter is hot foot.

In popular culture, this occurs during the 1993 major motion picture Groundhog Day, starring actor Bill Murray, when distracted he steps off a curb into a large puddle. Due to the premise of the film, the scenario repeats itself four times throughout the movie. Also during the 2003 major motion picture Bruce Almighty starring Canadian-American actor Jim Carrey which takes place in Buffalo, New York.

Debate surrounds alternative scenarios in the absence of a shoe or boot as to whether these truly constitute hot foot. For example, accidentally soaking your socks on a wet bathroom floor or a misstep after removing your boots in a wet mud room or entryway. These other wet sock iterations although similar do not represent hot foot as classically defined.

Hot foot should not be confused with trench foot, or other immersion foot syndromes, which are serious medical conditions resulting from prolonged exposure of the foot to liquid.

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