Saturday, November 12, 2005

Living With Imelda Marcos

I’m a simple kind of guy - the kind of guy that has only ever owned two pairs of shoes, ever, at any point in his entire life. A single pair of sandals for the summer months and a single pair of steel-toed work boots for the rest of the year because you never know where you’re gonna have some heavy shit fall on and squash your toes. Likewise, as a testament to my normal frugal expenditure on such unnecessary trivialities, my current pair of steel-toe shoes are a size too big. I'm not sure what I was thinking at the time, but whats the worst that can happen - people notice my large feet and assume that I'm hung like a mutant rhino? However, it also usually means that I‘m not exactly going to be the most fashionable person in the room at any fancy reception or anything; but comfort is not without its sacrifices.

But this all changed this past weekend.

I have been noticing that my drunken boob of a landlord that lives below me has been acquiring an alarming number of shoes lately. They have been stockpiling in our front lobby for the past few weeks now. Such brand names as Pony, Reebok, Brooks, Nike, Air Jordan, Kodak, Timberland, Keds, you fucking name it – his shoes have been literally breeding in our front lobby like fucking rabbits. It’s like living with Imelda Marcos! And judging by the strong smell of fresh leather that now permiates the residence and makes our humble abode smell like the reception area at a tannery, I think he may have a new addiction.

But even being the troubled, trendy, fashionable drunken boob that he is – he is not without his perks. It turns out that my landlord also knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy about some cheap ass shoes. And it just happens that I’m also in the market currently for another pair of cheap ass steel-toe shoes. So the bells and whistles in my brain sounded off like a five-alarm fire. How can one turn down such an opportunity.

So one thing leads to another and the next thing I know I’m in a back alley shoe warehouse and after a round of slapping shoulders and exchanging secretive nods and glances with voiceless guys in sunglasses, I’m informed that everything in the warehouse is only $20 a pair. TWENTY DOLLARS A PAIR! Holy shit - I've died and gone to shoe heaven! I almost creamed in my Caterpillars right then and there.

I wish I could say I was able to exercise some form of restraint here. But I’d be lying. In fact, my self-restraint lasted only marginally longer than Renee Zellweger’s marriage. But I’m talking about REAL big brand shoe brands here – not the rinky-dink discounted brands that you find in most clearance stores and which would probably disintegrate to dust on your feet the second they treadded through even a shallow puddle or would allow my toes to be turned into flattened cocktail sausages under the weight of the first heavy snowfall. And at the marked down price of only twenty bones each, even I can afford to treat my feet to a little luxury.

So before you know it - mere nanoseconds actually - we’re both running around this warehouse giggling like school girls and grabbing at pairs of high-end shoes like two Park Avenue rich-bitch, store-bought, daddy’s princesses with an unlimited credit card.

Well fuck me. This really is fun, isn’t it?

A wave of uncontrollable frivolousness washed over me. Suddenly my broke humble unfashionable ass is skipping through endless aisles of primo brand name footwear planning out the perfect fall and spring ensembles. I'm spinning gleefully with my arms stretched out high in the middle of this shoe warehouse floor like Mary-fucking-Tyler Moore. I even accessorized here people…ACCESSORIZED! How shameless is that?

So now instead of getting just another new pair of low-cut steel-toe shoes as originally intended, but I’m also now he proud owner of a proper pair of spiffy black leather dress shoes, a pair of pearl-white runners, a pair of brown suede dessert boots*, a pair of sturdy hiking boots, a pair of thick insulated winter boots as well as a snazzy pair of slip on steel-toe casual shoes for those times when I want kick in somebody's teeth, but still look fashionable while doing so.

To celebrate my momentary loss of control, not to mention masculinity, I returned home with my booty, polished off a bucket of fried chicken and spent the evening wacking off over my new pairs of ill-gotten footwear. Whats a boy to do?

* What can I say? They take me back to a time when I was young and cool and listened unappologetically to Hall & Oates.


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