All I want for Christmas…is 10 minutes in a Garra Rufa bath

So I’m on a very cold run on Sunday morning with my friend, the flying postman. As regular readers of this column will know, it’s as well to keep to safe issues with TFP unless we’re planning a very long run, so, given that we’re only going to be out for an hour,  I ask him how the Christmas shopping is going.

“Brilliant”,  says TFP. “Got the last present last weekend – a voucher for a fish pedicure”

It had been a particularly cold morning, and I may have gone partially deaf, due to the wind whistling around us (is it just me, ordoes anybody else think the gulf stream might just have given up the ghost altogether?). So, not meaning to be rude, I asked for a repeat.

“A fish pedicure”, he repeated. “For K’s mum”.

“Does K’s mum keep fish then?”, I said, still very much operating in the dark.

“No, it’s a shop. In the mall. You go in, put your feet in a tank of water, and hundreds of small fish suck the bad bits off your feet”.

To be honest, I was still unconvinced that I’d not wondered into a strange parallel world, featuring mythical fantasy animals who do your every bidding, and controlled by the bloke on my right, who possibly needed to drop his class C intake down a notch. But, TFP continued his theme, with what he thought must be the convincing clincher:

“You know, it’s the same sort of fish that clean your feet when you’re on holiday”.

To be honest, no, we obviously go on different holidays. Anyway, I asked, quite politely, why anyone in their right mind would ever want to have such a treatment. After all, the only people that are going to go for it are going to have dead skin, a bit of infection, a little pus, some eczema and god knows what else. Surely it’s expecting a lot from the fish to clean each foot, process the horrors of each foot and not pass it on to the next client?

“Oh no”, said TFP, “you wash your feet first”.

Anyway, apparently it’s all true. I know this because I typed ‘fish pedicure’ into google when I got back, and it’s all the rage. Here’s a non-photoshopped proof:Apparently they’re Turkish Garra Rufa fish*. Very important, apparently that they’re Turkish , and I quote from the Dr Spafish website** “We only provide true breed Garra Rufa, not cheap imitation fish from the US or Far East”. Heaven forbid, although I can’t help wondering how they know, or indeed what would happen if you had your foot near a non-Turkish fish. I suppose we’ll find out some time soon in a small claims court.

It did all remind me a bit about the stories being mooted about around the iPad, as being a brilliant invention because it fills a gap in the market that people didn’t know existed before. Well, eat your heart out, Steve Jobs, because this one really didn’t exist.


* I’m not making this up

** Nor this



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