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VALLEY FOCUS | Studio City

Sisters Get Their Kicks by Slipping Each Other the Slipper

April 04, 1998|TOM BECKER

Somewhere in a dark corner of Beck Avenue, Kay Boley is devising a strategy to once and for all show her sister who's boss.

She sits in total silence, the quiet broken only when a menacing laugh escapes her, as if giving approval to her master plan.

"I have to get her real good," she said. "It's got to be a doozy."

A doozy.

All right, so Boley is not a sinister character, nor is she devising an evil plan. She's an 80-year-old retired dancer and contortionist whose home gets pretty nice light just around noon.

But she is out to get her sister, Lois Foy of Florida. Since 1967, the two sisters have been playing a game of one-upmanship by sending a slipper to each other through the mail. Whoever gets the slipper loses. It's kind of like being "it" in the game of tag. The idea is to send it back when the other sister least expects it and to disguise the package to hide its secret contents--one, old, yellowing terry-cloth slipper adorned with small gift tags that read "I got you" and "Surprise," among other things.

"It's a rotten thing, getting that slipper in the mail," said a smiling Boley. "But it's so much fun sending it back."

*

The tradition started 31 years ago when Boley and her sister were doing the laundry and, like the old sock-in-the-dryer trick, two slippers went in and only one came out. Months later, Boley's sister found the stray slipper and mailed it to her sister as a gag Christmas present.

Since then, the slipper has become kind of a got-you-last game. The two sisters have mailed it to each other every two years or so, hiding it under legitimate gifts and in boxes of See's chocolates. Boley has received packages from nieces and nephews, only to find the slipper hidden inside, placed there by her plotting sister.

Now, Boley must find a way to top Foy's latest method--hiding it inside a teddy bear.

"She told me to open the back," Boley said. "I kept pulling all this stuffing out. Then I felt something hard--the slipper. It was hysterical.

"Now it's my turn."

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