This is my personal thoughts, opinions and musings place. I will also rant about things, especially politically-correct things that irritate me. And sci-fi. Did I mention sci-fi? There'll be lots of sci-fi stuff here. And movies, too. Mmmmm... Movies

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The tale of six shoes

I noticed, about eight months ago, that my regular shoes were beginning to give up the ghost. Whenever I walked, they would squeak and wheeze like a poodle with asthma. Eight months later, which is to say sometime last week, I decided that enough was enough and that I needed new shoes; obviously, I'm not a dictator's wife. So like the naive, single man that I am, I went in search of shoes. How difficult could it be? Granted, finding shoes that fit me has always been a problem for me; I've got weirdly-sized feet, but they go very nicely with my weirdly-sized ego. But I digress.

I have to be honest here and admit that I'm not a great shoe buyer, or even a good shopper in general. I don't derive orgasmic pleasure from handling tons of merchandise and selecting that one perfect... something, whatever it is. I also don't like to drive around in search of bargains; I believe that any value you gain from buying something for ten dollars less at another store is more than counteracted by the extra time invested and the fifteen dollars I have to spend on extra gas. So, before I head out to look for something, I make a decision of where I am going to be getting it and I stick to those choices unless something extreme happens or I receive some stupedous and unquestionable information about another store.

So, I decided on Walmart. It has good prices on shoes, and the few times I've walked through Walmart shoe departments, I've been impressed by the product lines they carry. It's also centrally located and easy to get to. You might wonder, why living in Canada, I would discount Zellers'. The answer is simple: their shoe selection is terrible. Mostly workshoes and cheap uncomfortable crap. I don't need workshoes and I already have much uncomfortable crap. On the other hand, their shirt selection is really good, while I can't buy shirts at Walmart to save my life. Go figure. Other stores were out, too, because I usually consider them to be too expensive. So, Walmart it was.

Once in the Walmart shoe department, I noticed something weird. A large portion of the merchandise was moccassins, which I can't wear. Physically can't, not emotionally won't. Another portion was workshoes. I don't need steel toes, so that right out. And the remaining portion of shoes was pretty much mostly white. Whose bright idea was this? Why would I want pure white shoes for the outside? I go in the woods in them, and they'll be grey and brown in no time flat. Also, they had no real walking shoes; mostly office wear and the like. The treads would you no traction on loose soil and gravel, so they were out for offroad use.

And then I spied with my little eye a beauty of a shoe. It was brown, it looked comfy, it had great treads, and the shoe lace holes didn't look like they would rip the shoe laces apart in two months flat. Don't laugh; that's what happened to the last pair of shoes I bought from Zellers'. I picked it up and turned it over my hand. It was nice and soft, and looked like it would offer great support for the legs, especially on one of my walking expeditions into the wilds. It was time to try a pair on.

So I started looking for a size 10, and lo and behold! Nothing! Nada! Zip! Zero! Zilch! Netu! Sizes 7 and 8 aplenty, likewise with 13. 13? Did they really need 5 boxes of size 13? I looked for the shoe in the other sections where they kept the stock. Again, nothing. I called the floor walker over, he looked in the exact same places I did and pronounced his verdict: all they have is what's out on the floor, sorry please come again later.

So, what's a man who believed the Walmart propaganda about how great their purchasing is to do? Well, he goes to the other Walmart in town. He goes there with great expectations, thinking that the stocking problems of one store should by no stretch of the imagination reflect upon the entire corporation. And what does he find at the end of the journey? He finds the exact same shoe he liked in the first Walmart to only be available in sizes 7, 8, 12 and 13 in the other store. And no, all we have available is what's on the shelves, thank you, please come again.

Truly, now I felt corroded and defeated by failure and envy and hate. Failure over my inability to get a good pair shoes. Envy for all those bastards walking around, showing off their shiny new footwear. And hate for purchasing departments at Walmart for not stocking the one shoe type that was actually selling, while stocking hundreds of boxes of shoes that obviously nobody wanted to buy.

Dejected, I left the store, my hate following me like a cloud of evil. I punished myself that night with a gourmet dinner at McDonalds. The cloud that followed me after that was still evil, though of a different kind.

So. To recap, my attempt at buying new shoes was rebuffed by two, not one, Walmarts on the same day. This left me dejected and not a little bit gassy. But I digress.

A few days after this horror, I decided to drop by The Bay. For those that don't know, The Bay is Canada's oldest corporation, incorporated sometime in the 1600s, where it spent most of its time trapping and drinking. It also owns Zellers', which is its most profitable division.

On my way to The Bay, I stopped at a shoe store in the mall. Dear Middle-of-the-road-Deity, why oh why would I want to pay $275.00 for a pair of shoes made in China? Once at The Bay, I found a great pair of shoes that turned out to be the most comfortable pair I've ever owned in my life, and for only forty five dollars. I changed into them as soon as I got to work(bought them at lunch), and all I can say is that if you could have sex with your feet(fetishes don't count), these shoes would be almost better than foot sex.

And so, an important lesson learned. If life throws a curveball at you, remember that even if it hits you straight between the eyes, it doesn't mean that tomorrow it won't bathe your feet in unearthly delights.

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