December 24, 2008

  • A really big shoe

    Seeing as how none of you cheap bastards have been buying me stuff from my Amazon Wishlist I decided to go ahead and stimulate the economy and buy something for myself. I bought the one item from the list that actually had some utilitarian value — the elevator shoes. Actually, I bought a pair for myself and a pair for my friend Jay, because each year we go to the South by Southwest music festival, and each year there are always ridiculously tall people blocking the view of the performances.

    This has always been a sore spot with me: I’m average height, so shouldn’t I be able to see over 50% of the people in front of me? Eventually I realized that while I may be 5′ 9″, my eyes are actually somewhere down around 5′ 5″. Also, I suspect that standing-room concert events probably draw more tall people than short, because tall people expect to be able to see, and short people expect that they likely won’t. To sum up: average height isn’t good enough for the concerts I want to see. I could use a little boost.

    Now I hear what you’re saying. You’re saying, ”But Jim, why didn’t you just get some Gene Simmons 7-inch platform boots?” Believe me, I considered that. But if some poor average-height shmoe ends up standing right behind me, I don’t want to look like a total jerk. No, I want the discretion that comes with elevator shoes, so that it’s not immediately obvious that I am, in fact, a total jerk.

    My shoes arrived yesterday, and I must say, this is by far the worst idea I have ever come up with.

    The first thing I learned is that each shoe weighs about 5 pounds. The insoles are made of lead. I guess if you are wearing elevator shoes you want to be darn sure those lifts don’t collapse.

    The second thing I learned is that they are essentially the same thing as women’s high-heel shoes, disguised as men’s shoes. It’s not a uniform, level lift, it’s mostly just you being forced to stand on tip-toe, without it being so obvious.

    The third thing I learned is that I can’t really walk very well in high heels.

    I called Jay and arranged to meet up at The Stag’s Head after work so I could deliver his pair, and I also figured it would be a good opportunity to test-drive my own pair, so I laced ‘em up and clomped down to my car.

    The fourth thing I learned is that I can’t drive in high heels. Dammit, off comes the right shoe.

    I arrive at da Head a little bit early, but that’s okay because I see another one of my friends at the bar and he’s a bit taller than average, so this will be a great opportunity to see if my new height has any impact on how others perceive me. I casually clomp up beside him.

    “Hey Jeff.”

    “Heya Jimbo, merry Christmas!” He stands up straight and shakes my hand, looking me square in the eye, which I notice is now at the same level as his. I shake his hand and stare back, waiting for a reaction, trying not to giggle.

    “What’s new with you?” I ask, maintaining eye contact. He proceeds to tell me, and I quickly realize he doesn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, so finally I just have interrupt and say, “Hey… have you gotten… shorter?”

    The fifth thing I learned is that when you point out to people that you are wearing elevator shoes, you’re pretty much the designated comic relief for the rest of the evening. “Haha, look at him walk! Hey, Frankenstein!”

    Anyway, I’ve decided that the shoes are much too uncomfortable and cumbersome for the purposes I had intended. There’s no way I could possibly clomp around Austin for an entire evening, much less a whole week’s worth of music festival. So if you know of any short guys with size 10 feet who might appreciate a free pair of uncomfortable shoes, please let me know.

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