People have e-mailed with some concern about my disappointment with Flor carpet tiles, so I'd better explain. See, I was under some pressure to get a replacement runner for the kitchen and I wanted to get my choice of carpet in there before Jack went off and did it himself. Jack picked out the last three runners, each one seven feet by two feet of quality that would make any Montecito housefrau flare her nostrils with icy approval, runners that within days we've both ended up kind of hating.

Fortunately, kitchen runners get trashed pretty quickly around here, what with the tortoise and the dogs and the ground-in coffee grounds and me flinging ladles full of spaghetti sauce around when I talk. So we end up buying a new runner every six months.

Now, I, having read Heather's pro-Flor post and having received dozens of Flor-porn catalogues in the mail, knew that now was my chance to Go! Flor! It's hard to know what you're getting from a picture, of course, but Flor has a deal where you can order six little carpet tile samples for $5.00, which I was going to do. But I was also feeling the pressure of just committing to something right away before Jack showed up with another tasteful goddamned piece of floor covering. I'm just realizing that what I was describing as pressure from Jack may have actually been straight up competitive instinct on my part. I wanted my kitchen runner to win! And be best and be first. Wow, there you go, blogging is an insightful process.

So in the interest of winning the carpet runner contest that existed sort of only in my mind, I skipped the sample stage and went straight to the ordering of what was described as a tile good for high-traffic areas. The fact that they photographed this carpet with go-carts parked on it with the accompanying copy describing it as "grizzled and whiskery" might have tipped me off. But I'm a rusher. When I need something, I want it now. I'm hungry and I want that chicken out of the oven and I don't care if it's raw in the middle! (Not kidding.)

The Flor arrived, I laid it out on the kitchen floor, took off my shoes, and screamed. I still haven't worked up the nerve to see how much it will cost to return the stuff, it's still in my trunk, all eight tiles and twenty-one pounds of it. Torrie suggested selling them on Craigslist so that I might come out even on the deal. I'm thinking about it.

And that's the story of my experience with Flor. I still think the Flor concept is solid, but I encourage anyone who's interested in it to get some samples or find a showroom where they let you take off your shoes and run barefoot over the stuff.

However, as I am still somewhat embarrassed by my amateur's defeat in the Runnerdome, I'll probably just let Jack order something from cheapcarpets.com and keep my slippers on.