Not only am I now certain the whole world revolves around me-I have irrefutable proof.
The newest scandal involving marketing Pinocchio-ism :I.E.- magical tennis shoes that tone your posterior, legs, and Kardashian shows that-now and forever(read al-fuc’n –ways) OLD SCHOOL still rules.
Screw objectivity- the Gawd of Get-Back is squarely in my corner.
Four weeks ago- in a fit of either misplaced guilt or uncharacteristic generosity- I offered to take my lovely (read long suffering) wife out to the *$ new $* Silver Spring to buy her a new pair of purple tennis shoes she had been lusting over -(Lusting is the right term folks- this story involves a woman and shoes..) There was a sale. And a coupon.
And I had been an asshole and a tightwad for a decade.
Lets just say my (shopping) Karma had run over my(anti-shopping) Dogma.
!!Okay- for those of you young un-married smart-asses-here’s a short lesson in modern translation between the sexes:
SALE in woman-speek=
A coupon and a sale means savings and the excellent get.
SALE in man speek=
What makes you think buying crap you don’t need is an economically sound maneuver in any way shape or form?
(Visions of a discount coupon on the Titanic come to mind.)
Or-in my case- Jesus Shana, you’ve only got TWO FEET…why do you need forty pair of shoes?
Or- when I’m REALLY determined to eat my own cooking (peanut-butter oatmeal-cold) for a week -I might conjure up a brilliant verbal hyperlink like:
Fer Chrissakes- I married an octopus!
(Attention unmarried smart-asses- Avoid saying the above. Or invest in fast food stocks and stool softeners.)
Ok. Enough eschatological suppositorial conjecture- She had a coupon.
Yer going shopping dude.
We enter the discount shoe store and browse. Browsing with mother and daughter means carrying a reader’s digest version of War and Peace to read between footwear choices.
Of course my wife-also nicknamed “The Finder” or in Levite tribal vernacular “Shops With A Fist, Bubke”- found the natty purple Chuck Taylors she wanted within forty seconds..but, there are so-oo many choices in our great Republic..why stop there?
I sit on a footstool (see what I did there?), and skim chapter 400 of my Russian masterpiece ,occasionally looking up defensively at the seriously most corpulent woman balancing in stiletto heels I have ever witnessed.
She is a little too close. I don’t want to be judgmental , unfeeling, or socially incorrect- but I don’t want this woman to lose her balance in those carnal pole-dancers and crush me like a ripe watermelon under a Semi.
There’s nothing safe about being the only man in a shoe store full of feral females in search of bargain footwear. Go climb yer lame ass Himalayan mountain or walk your tight-rope over Times Square, or hunt Bigfoot (skim-dick) THIS takes REAL balls. Attila the Hun would avoid this adventure and hide in his yurt counting yaks.
After reminding my dear spouse that we came in on a surgical strike for purple Chuck Taylor tennis shoes-(which are under her arm being squeezed in case they come to life and attempt escape) and adding that my prostate can’t take too much more bargain hunting- (I'm afraid to ask for directions to the 'Mens Room'-certain there isn't one..)
"The Finder" relents and we saunter over to take our place in line at the check-out counter. Our daughter has found some bunny slippers she doesn't need. And a jutted out lower lip daring me to mention the fact..(I know better.)
There are stylish young people ringing up the discount footwear with the quasi-superior air of college sophomores in the presence of three-legged gerbils.
Our shoe selling barrista, a well coiffed metro-sexual dressed in the hip clothes purchased straight out of a trendy catalog, eyes me with something bordering on the contempt one reserves for an old, fat, clueless Baby Boomer- and says:
“ I’m Jeremy- I’ll be your cashier today.”
“ Thank-you, Jeremy-“ I answer,” I’m so relieved.”
“ Shhh-hh!” hisses my wife pushing me to the side and in one magnificent motion relieves me of my Mastercard.
“ These are on sale I believe..I have a coupon.” announces Shana , with all the directness and certainty of a satisfied lioness displaying a kill.
“ Oh, so sorry- but this sale only covers Athletic Footwear.”
“ These are Chuck Taylors..the sale only covers Reebok or Nikes..you know-Athletic Footwear.”
“ Hey thur Jeremy..” I chirp up-pausing to read his nametag-“ ..but I believe those Chuck Taylors are capable of being tennis shoes..as in tennis..or running shoes, as in running..in a jock strap as in chasing game balls. See? The original Athletic Footwear were Chuck Taylor high-top sneakers.. ”
Jeremy looked at me as if I had said the rumbletoadeatschikenbythemidnight scar- in Mel Gibson Aussie/Aramaic.
“ Excuse me?” he answered .
“ That’s what I’m trying to do, Jeremy. These are ancient mysteries only those born in the fifties- or ninth degree Masons ,could possibly know. But for you I’ll make an exception- listen carefully- I'll whisper..soylent green is people and Chuck Taylors are Athletic shoes.”
Jeremy had that frozen possum smile that people always get when a naked man asks them for directions. In church.
Jeremy apparently also has a microphone grafted to his palm.
“ Any available manager to the front desk please..the front desk..any available manager.”
Jeremy did what every good novice sub-management trainee does- he immediately passed the buck and abrogated all responsibility.
It is my guess that Jeremy had a future in politics.
I was secretly glad he used the intercom and interrupted that hideous Journey song:
‘Don’t stop belieeeee-vun- hold to that FEEEEEEE-eee-eeeee-EEEEEEEEEE-ul-lun!’
Jeremy and I were in a zoological smirk duel- He the possum, I the smiling chimp.
(Three guesses what a chimp is about to do when he smiles, chum..)
“ Can I help you, sir?”
It was the manager lady. She was 24 to Jeremy’s 22 years on my planet.
“ I’m not sure. But you can help my wife buy this pair of Athletic footwear..”
“ For the advertized discount.” Adds Shana.
The manager-lady looks at the purple Chuck Taylor’s in barely disguised pity.
“ Oh, my golly- our discount only applies to Athletic footwear..you know, Reebocks, Adidas, Nikes..”
“ Wow,” I smile happily at my wife,”..twins.”
“ I have a coupon.”
“ Oh yes! Good golly I can see that M’am..but those only cover Athletic footwear…not casual footwear.”
“ Romulus and Remus..country and western.” I mutter to no one.
Jeremy stands like his butt is frozen to an ice sculpture.
“ Okay..like my husband tried to tell you..Chuck Taylors are Athletic wear. “
“ Oh. I see.Yes-but not here.” The manager-lady says using her finest mommy talking to toddler tone.
Poor thing..she just made a big mistake trying to shut down ‘Shops-With-A-Fist, Bubke’.
“ I. Have. A. Coupon!”
All at once I know exactly what I must do.
I snatch the coupon out of my wife’s hand and ram it to my mouth and chew it like a secret agent saving the planet Treefrog.
Everyone in the line- including blimp-lady with the glittering stilettos -stop and stare.
“ I demand to pay full price.” I say, the delicate taste of coupon still caressing my tongue.
“ That was not helpful.” My wife’s eyes well up.
“ Ring it up Jeremy. Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it..here’s thirty bucks cash.”
“ Are you sure you don’t want to look at our new line of slimming –toning Reebocks? They are guaranteed to slim you down as you walk or exercise.. they are on sale”, chirps frightened manager-lady. (Coupon eating husbands were not part of her training at the corporate robot-mill.)
“Ok-that postulation is way-y more absurd than eating a scrap of sale paper..”
“Oh no sir;” says manager-lady looking directly at my wife;”..this line of Athletic footwear are scientifically proven to help the wearer reduce weight and tone the thighs, buttocks and abs.”
“ I have more science- Eating feeds you and jumping in water wettens the jumper.”
“Shh-hhh! You are frightening everyone.”
This time my wife and the manager lady both ignore me. I have Jeremys undivided attention. Now the coup de gras ..
“Wearing Chuck Taylors, however, are guaranteed to produce oral sex at music school.”
“Banality is as contagious as jactitation Jeremy.”
The only sound that escapes manager-lady’s lips is an A-hh-um-ahaaa reserved for mentally challenged shoppers with thalidomide children.
The manager-lady and Jeremy the metrosexual nod in complete misunderstanding.
We leave with the handsomely packaged hard-won(un-discounted) Chuck Taylors.
My wife walks a full ten paces ahead of me the entire length of Fenton Street.
I am content. Today has been a productive day.
Tonight The Nightly News reports that Reebocks has been exposed for BULLSHIT involving scientific claims of ass-ab-leg toning bestowed by their magical Athletic footwear.
Some corporate spokespersons' ass is going to jail.
To this I would add that wearing special shoes will not result in winged chittering magical monkeys flying out your ass.
So sue me.
If there's any money left over I’ll take the change in purple Chuck Taylor high-tops and distribute these to the fattest cities on the East Coast.
“Don’t you people sell just regular-old -normal frickin’ coffee?”